Final Day in Roi Et

Thursday saw the conclusion of the Asia Covenant Consultation and began with a worship time lead by the delegation from Japan.  The crowd sang together and the Pastor Ino shared from the Gospel accounts of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. I was up front translating for much of that time so there no photos to share.

Next up was a presentation from the India group highlighting the incredible challenges they face. Persecution of Christians is harsh in many areas and subsequently believers face tremendous hardships. The opposition comes from the government, from society at large and from within local families. Nevertheless the mission of the Church goes on and God’s kingdom continues to be built.

The concluding piece for this year’s consultation was a very lively discussion focused on what it means to be a Christian and plant churches in a specific culture. The wide variety of  contexts and experiences made for a very thought provoking and informative exchange. Until that point most of the Q&A sessions had not been very productive. But perhaps the participants realized this was their last chance, because all of a sudden everyone wanted to share their thoughts! It could have gone on much longer but was brought to a close for lunch.

The afternoon plans were changed and it was decided that everyone would get on a bus and head back to Khon Kaen so that we could enjoy some tourist style night shopping on our last evening in Thailand. It’s a two hour drive and we didn’t actually arrive at our destination until about 6PM. After a quick check-in we headed back out to a wonderful night market for shopping and great food. I was finally able to take some photos!

Riding a three-wheeled tuk tuk to the night market

 

Dinner with Covenant friends from Thailand, India, Taiwan and Philippines

The shops at the night market sold all kinds of things so everyone had fun picking out gifts for their friends and family and then haggling over the price with the merchants. But stall that caught my attention was the one selling fried bugs! Seriously… big, juicy, fried bugs that people buy by the bag-full. Most foods don’t bother me too much but this stuff got me seriously close to the gag-reflex.

 

Fried giant cockroaches. They're about two inches long!

 

These critters resembled horse-flies

 

Some sort of grass-hopper with really long back legs

 

Centipedes?

 

House flies?

 

Some sort of grubs

Needless to say, I was happy just to take photos of this stuff.  After a couple hours at the night market we all got into a bus and headed back to the hotel. Along the way the driver took us for a scenic loop around a lake at the south end of town. Seeing it from the bus window wasn’t very exciting but it gave me the inspiration to venture out a bit so after we got back to the hotel I got a map of the city and made sure I knew where our hotel was. Then I flagged another tuk-tuk and pointed to the lake. It only took about five minutes and cost about $2. There was a carnival of sorts along the lake and wooded park that runs along the shoreline. It feels amazingly safe here so I just enjoyed a leisurely stroll, soaking in all the unfamiliar sites, sounds and smells. The views across the water were nice so I snapped a few photos, and eventually settled in at an open-air restaurant that had live music.

 

Some things look the same

 

Shoreline view

 

A temple near the lake

 

A lake front park

When I was ready to head home I walked for a bit until I found a tuk-tuk and hopped in for the quick ride home. It was an unabashedly tourist-like evening but loads of fun too!  Today we will fly back to Bangkok, have a long layover and then take the dreaded red-eye flight back to Tokyo. Arrival is something like 6AM on Saturday.

Thanks for reading these posts. The next Asia Covenant Consultation will be held in 2014. The location has yet to be decided but I definitely hope I’ll be able to participate in that one as well.

9 comments to Final Day in Roi Et

  • RONNA

    Thanks for all the photos (except the bugs – scrolled past those)and observations on the Consultation!

  • andrea Johnson

    Sky’s uncensored comment was, “Yuck, that’s disgusting,” but since he’s been working on manners and sensitivity to others lately, he quickly said he wanted to change it to “Thanks for sharing that.” I wanted to say that I saw a two-incher in my kitchen the other day but was more tempted to smash it than fry it but that’s probably only because of the plentitude of other food around me.

  • jhpeterson

    Oh, there’s no shortage of food here either. Nevertheless I saw people bypassing the fresh fruit and ramen stands in order to buy a bag of bugs for dinner. Honest!

  • hydi

    Got back from the “wilderness” a few hours ago and wanted to check to see what time you get home. Finally found it here. See you tomorrow. Kendra is home but no sign of Eli yet.

  • kathy graham koller

    Well atleast the bug feast has more nutrients than a happy meal!

  • Pete

    Thanks for sharing the stories and pics Jim. Very encouraging to see them. They inspire me to continue to work towards a first every African Covenant Consultation. Some day. On the bugs, maybe of our neighbors in Congo would find them to be a delicacy, a real treat in season.
    Pete

  • Paul De Neui

    Jim, These photos are perfect. Even though he said he was on a high protein diet, I couldn’t get Peter Sung to eat any of the local insects either. For the record, those are actually NOT cockroaches but a specific type (and gender) of water beetle that look much like what you described and believe it or not have a chocolate flavor. The centipedes are actually grubs that grow inside bamboo and are delicious fresh fried. There were no cooked house flies for sale either, those were ground crickets. God’s diversity extends into the insect world and it is amazing what is beneficial that certain cultures disdain. Your pictures and comments are great. Thanks for keeping up the quality posts.

  • jhpeterson

    Thanks for the “informed” information! :) Chocolate flavored roaches, huh…? Wouldn’t have been my first guess. And thanks for the help on the trees. We received a full list of the Latin names for all the varieties planted that day. It doesn’t appear that there is a common English or Japanese name for our tree, the fagrea fragrans something… can’t remember. The best I could find was tembusu.

  • Bobbi

    Wonderful pictures! Glad to hear of the success of the home churches. God uses the small and insignificant things. I would take fried bug over roasted cat or dog any day!

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