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Bangkok Bombings

Written by Karl Dahlfred on .

Last night in Bangkok, on New Year's Eve, there were a number of bomb blasts in Bangkok, killing three and injury several others. We are in the city of Lopburi, a couple hours north of the city, and so we were well away from what might be called the "danger zone". Funnily enough, we didn't find out what happened until my Mom called us on Skype this morning and told us the news. I had been out to the market already this morning and hadn't seen or heard anything out of the ordinary but then again we live quite a distance away from Bangkok and it is not so easy to accidentally overhear things in a second language.

I went back out around noon to pick up some noodles for lunch and decided to get a Thai newspaper to read about what happened in Thai before I got online to check it out in English. Sitting in our living room with the newspaper and my Thai-English dictionary, I learned several new Thai words and phrases, like "die on the spot", "critical injured", and "sniff out evidence". Language learning aside, it appears that several small bombs went off at eight locations throughout the city, bringing New Year's festivities to an anti-climactic halt as people who had gathered for "Times Square" type celebrations headed home well before midnight as a safety precaution.

Nobody knows for sure who is behind the attacks although there have been a number of attacks in Southern Thailand in the past, probably from Muslim insurgents of some kind. Some in the current Thai interim government suspect that those responsible for the bombings are linked to "previous [government] administrations" who want to create a lack of confidence in the current administration. However, that is speculation and the perpetrators are unknown.

We know from history that God often uses times of instability and suffering to break people's confidence in themselves and reveal to them their need for Him. Unlike her neighbors, Thailand has never been colonized nor recently been through a time of war and thus their is a high degree of pride and confidence in themselves and their nation. The tsunami shook that confidence some but the Thai (like many people around the world), don't like to reflect for long upon disasters but would rather shake it off and proceed with life as if nothing will ever happen to them.

Although instablity and suffering are sometimes used of God to move people to trust in Him, it is not disasters or crises that we depend upon to change lives, but the power of the living God changing the hearts of people through the working of his Holy Spirit. God brings his elect to salvation in both times of war and times of peace. May God be pleased to use the current instability and every other appointed means in his providence to redeem a people for Himself from among the Thai. May the trust that people put in idols, spirits, money, government, or their own cleverness and "know how" be shown to be but an empty hope. The LORD alone is our hope and refuge, an ever present help in trouble.

If you want to read more about the bombings, you can read the news at the following websites: Bangkok Post (www.bangkokpost.com)
BBC Asia Pacific (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6222013.stm#upagain)

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