This past month my younger brother, Michael died. He was 52 years old and lived in Oxnard, CA. He will be greatly missed. Please be praying especially for my mother at this time. She is 79 years old and has cancer. Sometimes it is hard to be so far away when your family back in the USA is going through difficult times.
Religious Merit Making
As you know, most of our neighbors here in Thailand are Buddhist. It is common for Thai people to attend meetings at their local Buddhist temple. A normal part of these meetings is time spent listening to the Buddhist monks chanting prayers using a special “religious” language called Pali Sanskrit.
It is an ancient language that is not understood by the Thai people. In fact, most of the monks just memorize the chants but don't understand what they are chanting. The Thai people believe that they are making merit simply by sitting in the temple while these prayers are being chanted. Understanding what is said doesn't matter.
Recently I was talking to one of my new Muslim friends. He told me that he spends time every day reading the Quran in the Arabic language. I was impressed that he could read Arabic. He said, “Oh, I can't understand it. I have just learned to read the words phonetically but I have no idea what it means.” I asked him, “Don't you have a copy of the Quran in Thai so you can understand what it says?” He replied, “No, it isn't good to read the Quran in any language except for the original Arabic. I make merit simply by reading it even if I can't understand what it says.”
The people of Thailand already have plenty of religion. But they still don't have the one thing that they most desperately need. Jesus Christ! Please pray for our family as we continue to share the good news of Jesus with the Thai people.
Yours for Thailand
David M. Speights