You wouldn't think the two connect, but yesterday they did! I was swimming in our beautiful swimming pool here in the complex to get some exercise (thank you to our Thai friend who is letting us use this condo for free!). There is something about water that calms my spirit and gets me really focused. It was towards the end of my work out when I noticed several others in the pool also doing laps. I felt that nudge that is becoming oh so familiar and decided that I needed to strike up a conversation.
So I said the first thing that came to mind (in Thai), "Do you know what time the pool closes?" They responded, "Oh! You speak Thai (in Thai of course)." And we were off from there. P' Gai, P' Dtaan and P' Monkon (P' denotes elder which you add before any one's name who is older than you as a way of showing honor) began asking me questions, "Where did you learn to speak Thai?" "How long have you lived here." And finally "Why are you in Thailand?" I have thought long and hard how to answer this question. I want to be truthful and yet at the same time I don't want turn people off by telling them I am a missionary (Thais immediately think that I am here to change their culture and religion.) So I use different answers for different occasions. This time I explained that my family has a foundation and is interested in helping Thai woman who want to continue with education but lack funds to do so. (this is true. My family started WorldTEAM foundation, our first project called Rescue the girl child, for this very purpose). Many of these women end up in prostitution.
Their next question made my heart jump, "Why do you feel this way? Why do you want to help Thailand?" As with the taxi cab driver a few days ago, I explained that God in heaven put this love in my heart because He cares for the Thai people. They were awestruck.
Our conversation continued on and eventually they invited me to join them for another fitness class this week. I rejoice in the fact that the Lord opened the door to take them one step further on their spiritual journey. I look forward to more interaction with these precious people.
Below is a picture of my pool. Such a blessing!