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Ghost Village

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On a trip to a village in Mae Taeng, Ajarn Pichai told us we would be sharing the Gospel in 4 surrounding villages. 

He gave me four warnings: 

1) These villages would take a while to get to because there aren't traditional roads. A city foreigner like me might have difficulty driving the terrain, he laughed. 

I can handle it, I said. 


2) These villagers likely had never seen a white westerner before. We don't know how they will respond when they see you. 

I'm brown, I said. I'm outside in the sun so much I look Thai. I can handle it. 


3) We will have to park far away and walk through a dense forest area to get to the village. There might be predatory animals, so we need to move quickly. 

My voice cracked a little. Like what kind of predatory animals? 

As bad as it might sound, I resolved that if an animal came after us, I couldn't outrun it, but I could outrun everyone in our group. 


4) The last village we will go to is known as the ghost village. It used to be a place of human sacrifice to evil spirits. They still make sacrifices there, and it is run by the village witch doctor. It is known around this area as the ghost village. The people claim that many spirits live around the village and protect the village from evil things. 

I interjected... "So... evil spirits protect them from something more evil?" 

"No." He said. "The evil spirits protect the village from anything that isn't welcome in the village."


Have you ever daydreamed about some hypothetical situation where your faith was steadfast, even to the point of potential death? I have. 


In my daydreams, I'm always Daniel, resilient and resolved. Give me lions. Give me the furnace. I'm the first-century Christian who says Caesar isn't Lord, Jesus is Lord as a Roman soldier holds a sword to my neck. I am all the great men of faith rolled into one. They would have a whole section of me in Hebrews 11. 


Truth be told... I'm probably more akin to John Mark - who (likely) ran away naked at the first sign of trouble in Gethsemane. I'm not a pillar of steadfast faith. I'm Peter in Acts 14. I'm Peter before Acts 2. 


I've been in dark places. I've seen and experienced the unexplainable. It has left me damaged. It has left me fearful. As a believer, it is hard to admit my weakness because it feels like a lack of faith. 


It's one thing to go into a village, aware that darkness exists. I do that all the time. It's entirely different when you knowingly walk into a place called ghost village, which proudly declares itself as the epicenter of evil. 


So what was Ghost Village like? I don't know.

I didn't step foot inside the village. 


I quietly walked through the forest of doom to the village entrance but didn't go inside. I didn't want to go inside.


I stayed out front alone and prayed through the psalms while our pastors went in. It's incredible how fear amplifies your prayer life and how circumstances help bring new life to previously known scripture:


I read through the Psalms and came to this: 


Psalm 46: I Am. 

                 I Am Elohim. 

                 I Am the one true God.

                 Cease Striving.                   

                 Be still. 


                 I will be exalted among the nations. 

                 I will be exalted in the earth. 

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