|Run, Huy, Me and Kyla - ready for the boat ride around the Golden Triangle!|
Golden Triangle? Never heard of it?
Me neither...until I moved here.
Imagine boating down a large river, with Thailand at your back, Burma on your left and Laos on your right. The same sun beats down on these three lands. The same rain falls, and the landscape looks entirely the same. But, the people, languages, government, religion, culture, etc. are so wildly different. It was slightly awesome to literally be caught in the middle of these three countries - knowing that each one is desperately in need of Hope.
Last week, we had to make a "border run" for visa purposes, and went across the border of northern Thailand into Burma. It was quite uneventful, and we didn't stay for souvenirs. Maybe next time.
After we were through, we met Nick and Steph's family in a nearby town for a quick retreat...and it was prime opportunity to "scout the land" for future work. We went to the Golden Triangle because, frankly, we are so close to these two Restricted Access Nations, that it would be crazy not to make the trip.
|Run, Treav and Huy enjoy the windy ride.|
|Burma on the left, Laos on the right. Me in the middle!|
|A casino on the Burma side. Definitely wouldn't call Burma "paradise" to anyone living there...|
|We weren't allowed to enter Burma from the boat, so we turned around to the Laos side. Another casino on the riverbank? You got to be kidding me! The boat driver said it is funded by the Chinese. Interesting...|
|The S-clan being helped out by the Laotian kids.|
|Some of the kids waiting around for new tourists|
|Whisky bottles filled with scorpions and cobras|
One thing I saw on a tourism video before we went were these bottles. Yes, it isn't just cheap whiskey in those bottles. There are scorpions and cobras, too! Appetizing, right?
|King Cobra on the menu?|
In the biggest jars were an assortment of wildlife - said to give power, strength and healing to those who drank it. Ok.
The salesman proudly lifted up the King Cobra for us to see. Needless to say, our eyes grew wide. No, thank you.
|A Laotian woman walking with her baby|
|Antique opium pots|
These opium pots were being sold as "decorative items" along with pipes, chess boards and random antique figurines. Nothing like an opium pot to get a conversation going about the decor of your home! I passed on these beauties...
|The Golden Triangle in view|
We packed up and headed back to Thailand after a trip through the walking market, and on our way back to the shore, the three countries came into view. We prayed over them and asked God to bless these nations and reveal the Truth to them. He has been merciful to us, so we pray that He will be merciful to them, too!
|A faithful witness|
On our way back, we spotted this sign and cross witnessing faithfully to Laos. Praise God!
|A Thai Buddha|
We are so thankful for our trip. To see the nations. To reach across borders and intercede for God to move.
We pulled up on the Thai side and Treav took out his guitar for a quick time of worship. There was nothing more appropriate than that. We all prayed and asked God to dare to use us to impact these nations. To make bridges for Hope to spread. To be used by Jesus to show His unending love for all people.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."