Two things I experienced today that have never been part of my Christmas day before:
- The smell of freshly cut grass mingled with sunshine and warmth - a smell you only usually get in a UK spring or summer!
- The problem of my paper crown hat continually blowing off during Christmas dinner as a result of the fan!
Other than that it was pretty similar to being at home, thanks to a lovely British missionary couple who live nearby and welcomed me into their home for the day. Very grateful.
But in general over the last month, being in a new culture for the Christmas period has been wonderfully refreshing. None of that frenzy that is created in western cultures, centred around santa and elves and vague ideas about good will and the potential for human goodness, really exist here.
In Thailand for Buddhists (over 90% of population) Christmas is nothing; and for Christians it is nothing less than an opportunity to explain the real Christmas story to the community.
It is a time to spread the message not of our capacity to bring good will to fellow man, but of God's generosity to us in sending His Son. It is a message not of human goodness but of human depravity and God's goodness in making a way for us to be good as we were meant to be.
Am thankful for the opportunity to experience this afresh in a new place without the familiar added extras.
1.) Lunch with the Trelogans, Carolini and Leeanne!
2.) My first hot Christmas, out in Thap Than, Thai countryside!