Reflection from Thailand by Catherine Little:
Respect for the king, the country, and the country’s religion—the expectation that citizens live by these values is palpable in Thailand. Everywhere you turn there are pictures of the king. Giant portraits of King Vajiralongkornstand outside every government building, inside meeting rooms, on stores, and even on the side of an office building—a twenty-story tall portrait high above the streets of Bangkok, looking down on citizens below. Thailand flags hang prominently on many buildings to honor their country. Buddhist temples and spirit houses are found on almost every block. Everywhere you turn there’s a visible reminder of what Thai citizens are expected to honor in their lives.
In contrast, here in the States we determine what we will honor primarily for ourselves, and reminders to incorporate our faith into our lives come from within more than outward symbols. Aside from churches with crosses on their steeple, few visible reminders call us to live out our faith. One “take away” for me from the missions trip is the importance of living a life that consistently reflects my faith—to be a visible and consistent illustration of what it means to live a life that honors Christ. In absence of portraits, flags, and temples, our lives are the visible symbols of our faith.