THE BWSUP BEAT
By Julie Belding
It was a humid January day, and by 1pm, after a few hours of wandering around in the 30-plus heat of Bangkok, I had no idea where I was.
These were my last few hours in Thailand, where I’d been attending an executive meeting of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation. How encouraging it had been to meet fellow Baptists from Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea.
Just to explain: the Baptist Women’s Union of the South West Pacific (BWUSWP) is a sister organisation to the Asian Baptist Women’s Union (ABWU) and both groups come under the umbrella of the Asia-Pacific Baptist Federation. So we appreciate these opportunities for networking and fellowship.
But the meeting was over, and anticipating an 11-hour flight home I felt a stroll round the city would provide welcome exercise.
Now, thirsty, sweaty and lost, I hailed a taxi to take me back to the hotel. But the driver, as it turned out, had no more idea of its whereabouts than I did.
As we meandered through the dusty streets I looked anxiously for any familiar landmark.
Then I spotted him: Ronald McDonald!
He stood outside a restaurant, totally recognisable except that this was Thailand and Ronald was contextualised. He stood with his palms touching in the polite way that people in Thailand greet visitors.
“Stop here!” I told the taxi driver. “This’ll do!”
I paid him, got out, and entered an air-conditioned “McThai.”
Well, there’s no comparing your standard burger-and-coke with a tasty national dish from Thailand. But to this parched, disoriented traveler Ronald’s place was an oasis. Even the fries tasted good. Revitalised, I’d find my way back somehow.
They call it globalisation, and many disparage it. But on a hot, sticky day in Bangkok, this weary Baptist was not about to argue the toss.
Thank you, Lord!