The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
( John 1: 29 )
Food, just not for eating
Last month we had the opportunity to meet with our fellow students and teachers to learn a little more about the history of Lopburi, the city where we live this year. We visited all kinds of historical locations, of which Phra Prang Sam Yot was the first. This is also known as the monkey temple, because of the large number of (sacred) monkeys that fight each other in clans, but also unsuspecting tourists, for the food they carry (all the small shops that sell food around the temple help not included; see photo below left). The temples built in Lopburi are mainly left over from the period when the city was part of the Khmer empire in the Middle Ages.
Here you can clearly see how Hinduism and Buddhism are intertwined in Thailand. The people who come here promised the spirits the offering of certain goods. When the spirits ‘grant’ their request, they bring the offering to the temple. So there were for example dozens of eggs, cartons of bottles of soft drinks and even complete pig heads carried inside to thank the spirits for what the Thais received (see photo below right). The family of the man who was just able to join the police also brought in all kinds of things, which was all taken away again after three minutes (because that is the usual time). It is an interesting place to see, to train ourselves, but also to continue to see the continued necessity of our presence here. We are grateful to know that Jesus is the Sacrificed Lamb, that He was the final sacrifice to redeem people from their mistakes and restore the relationship between God and themselves (Hebrews 9:11-22).
Surrounded by superstition
The second place we want to share about is the Look-Sorn Shrine, or the “Shrine of the City Pillar.” This Thai-Chinese shrine, according to tradition, contains the cornerstone of the city, where King Phraram (according to the Ramayan epic literature) landed his arrow that turned into stone, marking the place where the new city of Lopburi was to be built. The city pillar must always be half submerged in water, otherwise a fire would break out in the city. Something that Lopburi has suffered before, when the old city center was completely destroyed by fire. Surrounded by ancient temples and the kind of trees under which (according to tradition) Buddha’s Enlightenment took place, it is a fascinating place, where people still come to pray and pay tribute to the past. The old woman who stopped in front of the temple with her scooter (see photo below) was living proof of the continued importance of this building, and its centuries-long spiritual influence on the people here.
Seen by God
And even though we see and feel these different religious influences, at the end of the street from the temple above, is also the small but nice church of Lopburi. A church, once founded by OMF, that now functions completely independently. What an encouragement that both these Christians, and the people who do not yet know the Sacrificial Lamb, are seen by God, through His eyes: with a desire to see more of Christ, to know more of Him, and to be more like Him . Would you please pray for all these people?
Would you also like to pray especially for the children? There is a loss of friends from the Netherlands and family, but there are also changes at the daycare (see photo below with the teachers). Two friends already moved last week and another girl is moving next month. They will then be ‘alone’ for a few weeks. At the end of November there will normally be 2 boys, and perhaps 1 girl in March. Their children’s hearts have to endure quite a lot.
Hannah can be quite creative, which gives her peace. Judah finds it very difficult (given his age) to put emotions into words and he clearly has a harder time with changes and sticking to the rules. Would you perhaps be willing to write them a card as encouragement? They will probably really appreciate that!
Current postal address:
FAM. ROOBOL, c/o Lopburi Learning Centre, 67 Soi Naresuan 3,
Tambon Thalechupsorn, Amphur Muang, Lopburi 15000,
Praise and Prayer
We praise the Lord
- Voor een goed contact met de buren.
- For friends around us, both here and at home.
- For a good first contact with the church that we visit this year.
- For the good health of our family.
- For collecting Jesse’s (Religious Affairs) visa (validity 1 year)! The dependency visas of Katrien and the children have also been collected (initially valid for 3 months; after Jesse has his work permit, it will be adjusted).
Would you please pray for?
- For a work permit for Jesse and a successful extension of the dependency visas.
- For a new chairman (NL) and practical helpers (BE) for the Home Support Team.
- For more individual partners and churches who want to work with us so that we can achieve 100% budget coverage (2023: monthly deficit of 400 euros).
- For the children, that they may know the Lord is close and also looks after them.
- For attention to God and each other in our family, and to our marriage in these demanding times.