Used with permission, I thought this a unique snap shot of a missionary’s life in Thailand (particularly Chiang Mai).
From the viewpoint of a missionary who is also a statistician:
- I’m 50% busier here in Thailand than I am at home.
- Being a missionary extends the width of your daily encouragement/discouragement range by 50%. Our highs are higher and our lows are lower. It underscores the reality of the daily spiritual battle that is so real. I now know better why some missionaries return home quickly and why others who go for 3 years end up staying for 30.
- Churches, on the whole, are 50% stronger back in the US than here. This has a lot to do with one main factor: the transient nature of people coming and going, moving and leaving for furlough, on a constant basis. So the body is constantly changing.
- There are at least 50% more opportunities and Christian resources back home for kids … in the US youth ministries are stronger, there are Christian concerts, Christian radio stations to listen to, lots of mens and womens retreats and book studies, shelves of the latest Christian books that you can’t get here, Christian sports testimonies like Tony Dungy, etc. Not so common here or on the mission field in general.
- There are 50% less rules and laws here. People ride standing on the backs of pickup trucks. There are no fences around swimming pools. Little children stand on the motorcycle seat between two parents. There are no state laws around using your plate a second time (although buffets aren’t common either).
- I have a 50% higher craving for Blue Bell ice cream than I’ve ever had before.
- I’m getting 50% more exercise here as there are always sporting activities going on around Grace International School and the weather is always warm!
- The calling of a missionary’s life here is at least 50% clearer than Christians back home. Some folks back home spend years doing one thing and then finally realize later in life what their purpose is and then begin living that out. At least that’s what a few have told me. Here, they come here with a crystal clear calling from The Lord. They know why they are here. That helps.
- I am 50% percent more impressed with the resolve of missionaries than previously. One of my students was sitting in a church in another country and hand grenades were thrown in the church and five people died. One of my fellow teachers was in a school in another country and the school was ambushed and six people died. They stayed on the mission field to continue giving their lives to the Lord and His commission. There are so many stories and many are like these.
- We need 50% more prayers for safety and protection. A friend faces the possibility of significant prison time for something he didn’t do. The “systems” here are different. I’ll leave the detail out for you to fill in the blanks.
- Chiang Mai is indeed 50% more beautiful than Indianapolis.
- Today we were biking and we saw some animal residue that was 50% larger in mass than anything we had ever seen before outside of an exotic zoo.
- Most of the shoes in the stores are 50% smaller than the size of my feet.
- There are 50% more close calls while driving in Chiang Mai than any single traffic area we’ve ever seen before. Apparently in our own city of Chiang Mai there are two people killed every day while on motorbikes. Yikes.
- More than 50% of the Thai children we know have fathers who are unfaithful to their wives. Actually the number is around 80%. We have heard that a wife’s chief concern is if the husband gets attached emotionally with one woman (prostitute) in particular. Hard to imagine.
- While watching the Olympics, more than 50% of the coverage we watched was Thai athletes doing weightlifting and badminton. I still don’t know if the US won track or dropped any baton. Guess I’ll find out in June when we fly back to Indiana.
- Everyone here seems to act 50% more superficially and on the surface than back home. Everyone avoids conflict. It’s the Buddhist and the Thai way.
- We can eat out for much less than 50% cheaper than on 86th Street. Our favorite dinner out is around $6.50 for our family of 5.