Phi Jim is a marvelous cook. She has worked in the OMF Bangkok mission home kitchen for many years and we love her. But it is her other role that takes up most of her time and passion. Phi Jim is the elected head of the large neighborhood where OMF’s Bangkok headquarters is located…serving the neighborhood and seeing struggling people’s lives and circumstances improve is the practical way she lives out her Christian faith.
The Neighborhood Centre is just around the corner from OMF and is a place for people to congregate. This is where the community comes to learn new skills, to play a game of bocce, to enjoy the playground, to grow mushrooms, to hold a wedding, to make merit on auspicious Buddhist days, to meet with a teacher to do some tutoring, and as I have discovered this year, to do exercise with the elderly.
Each Sunday morning the loud speaker announces that it is time for “elderly exercise.” It was quite humbling to hear that at 58 I qualified! All of us have matching t-shirts and we meet to warm up and then do a pretty strenuous 50 minute workout. Some of the other ladies are in their 70s and 80s and they aren’t nearly as sweaty or red as I am by the end. There is laughter and chatting and drinks and snacks and it has become a really nice way to be known in the community, a foreigner and a Jesus follower. I am very thankful for the natural way Phi Jim has invited me to be a part of this group.