Missionary Philip Bassham writes this article about his first impressions of Thailand. He is currently on a survey trip of India and Thailand with a team of men from Vision Baptist Church. Lord willing, Philip and his wife, Lori, are planning on leaving for the field of Thailand in the fall of 2012.
The city is gigantic. Like New York. Skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. City is very modern with every convenience imaginable. Malls are 6 stories high with everything you can get in America, seems like. Bookstore has not one book on anything Christian. Can get very nice house for around 5-700, seems like. Everyone is sleeping at 9 pm except me. There is food on the street everywhere that looks good and edible. There are spirit houses for every building all through the city that supposedly protect and bring good luck to that place. There is a shrine in the back of every single business along the road. Coke has real sugar here instead of high fructose corn syrup. Every cab driver has a mini idol of Buddha on their dash. Though those things are true, the city is very secular and disinterested in spiritual things. Carnal. Girls seem very insecure by the way that they dress. Screaming for attention and acceptance. The city is huge. A 6-winged demon is on many large buildings and the currency because that is supposedly the spirit that appeared to the king in a vision and protected the city from being overtaken in a war in exchange for giving that demon the country. Thailand is a shame-based culture (my neighbor will think ill of me and my family), rather than a guilt-based culture (My God holds me responsible for my actions).
The city is a bit more expensive than I was expecting. Pretty much everyone in the city has a smartphone. Even many iPhones. The possibilities here are endless and exciting. We visited a church today that has started 7 churches across Thailand already.
The language is going to be very difficult. Even though I am sick on this trip, I am very excited. It breaks my heart to know that virtually no one of the millions in this city have ever heard of Jesus. I am very thankful for the men that came with me on this trip, they have been invaluable.