Dear Friends & Family,
I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying your summer. Our family has done some traveling recently, both for vacation and for a big conference celebrating OMF’s 150th anniversary. We enjoyed some refreshing times but are now back in Bangkok, looking ahead to the start of the new school year.
Teaching Seminary: A Work-in-Progress
The new school term at Bangkok Bible Seminary starts Aug 17th, and I will be teaching 3 classes I have taught before. Each time I teach them, though, I try to improve the courses so the students get more benefit, and my teaching is more efficient. Last term, I replaced the short answer & essay section of my exams with oral interviews. It was fantastic because I could get a better sense of students’ understanding, and I was able to eliminate much of the endless tedium of correcting exams and deciphering Thai handwriting. As I prepare this month for the new semester, I am considering further how to best help students learn, especially how to adjust the teaching and assignments to the reality that many students are probably preferred oral learners, not bookworms like myself.
Homosexuality and Thai Christianity
The gay marriage juggernaut has not yet come to Thailand, but that does not mean everything is fine. Thailand has a relatively modest public culture and very immoral private culture, and sexuality is generally not addressed in Thai churches, except to tell young unmarried people, “Don’t.” Whether it is extra-marital heterosexual or homosexual practice, the fear of offending people or pushing them away often times results in non-action by churches. This is not true in all churches, of course, but it happens often. Conflict avoidance is a common trait among many Thai, which means that sin is often not addressed in the lives of believers. Of course, we are all “works-in-progress” and we must be patient as people grow in grace and understanding, yet some issues need to be talked about, not swept under the rug with the excuse, “I’ll pray for that person, and the Holy Spirit can speak to them Himself.” Pray that Thai Christian leaders will have the moral conviction, courage, and trust in God to speak the truth in love at the right time with the members and inquirers in their churches.