Our house in Phrom Khiri is near the district office, and recently they held an installation service for a new Buddha statue/idol placed in the front (it is the black statue in the photo). Caleb, our oldest son, was out playing soccer with the other Thai kids in the neighborhood that night, and they wandered over to look at the statue. All the other kids told Caleb to “wai” the statue. Usually the “wai” done with the hands is a form of Thai greeting, but in religious situations it is a form of worship and a sign of respect. An adult also motioned for Caleb to “wai” the idol as well. Would Caleb “wai” or not, and did he understand why he should not?
We were not outside with Caleb that night, but he later informed us what had happened and that he had declined to “wai” the statue both times that he was asked because he knew it was wrong. It was a sober reminder to us that the spiritual battle is very real here in Phrom Khiri, where we are trying to plant a church where there is no church.
When the short-term team from our home church in the U.S. came this past January, we remembered bringing them to the local market and seeing a young Thai lady wearing a green jersey shirt with “Lucifer 666” printed on it. Granted that she probably did not understand the English on the shirt and perhaps bought it second-hand only because it looked pretty to her, it was as if the devil was laughing at us and saying, “Look, I am here, and Phrom Khiri is mine.”
The four-faced brahma statue in the town center is another reminder of the devil’s presence, and now we have this large black Buddha idol. Pray with us for spiritual breakthrough, spiritual victory, and spiritual freedom for the people of Phrom Khiri.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~ Eph. 6:12