Shortly after our arrival in Thailand in 2013, Janella and I enrolled in language school to study Thai. This was a challenging endeavor that gave us deep respect for our career missionaries who work intensely to become proficient in the heart language of their people. Although my progression in Thai has been limited, I did learn some important lessons. At the end of the first week, the school director assembled all the students and carefully outlined the core values of Thai culture. The most memorable element to me was her description of how much the Thai people love, honor and respect their king. During his 70-year reign, King Bhumibol Adulyadej showed deep love and compassion for his people and instituted many programs to improve their lives. He passed away on October 13, and now the country is in profound mourning. In a world where many leaders are mistrusted and reviled, Thailand was blessed to have a ruler who cared deeply about his people and made a real difference in their lives.
As I reflect on presidents, prime ministers and other rulers in places I have lived, there are some I deeply respected. Many have died, and others I don’t remember. Regrettably there are some whom I remember for the wrong reasons. However, I serve a King who is the Creator and Master of the universe. He is eternal, He is all-powerful, He is all-present. He is the one who provides me with life and hope. He promises me an eternal future with Him because He chose to die so I might have life. He was resurrected, and I can choose to live eternally with Him. I am inspired by the words of Don Francisco’s song, “He’s alive and I’m forgiven, heaven’s gates are open wide! He’s Alive! He’s Alive!”