Brian and a friend, Cameron, went down to Phuket this last weekend for a race. Here’s B’s report from the weekend:
This weekend I went down to Phuket, Thailand with a friend to run the Phuket Marathon. He is leaving this Friday to be a missionary in Uganda and really wanted to run his first marathon before going. This was the only marathon we could find in Thailand in his time frame so I said I would go with him. I used it more as a training run for some other upcoming races but still finished pretty well (7th overall, 4th in age group). It was a very challenging race with a very hilly course. It was also super humid and hot. My shirt, shorts, and cape were all completely soaked…by mile 5! My friend’s goal was to finish the race and encourage other runners along the way, which he did!
It was so nice to get away for the weekend to a place where we had no internet, no computer, no facebook, no email, etc. Just us, the ocean, and lots of runners. Our goals for the weekend were to relax, have lots of great conversations in which we uplift and encourage each other and share with each other about what God is doing in our lives, meet lots of new people and have conversations about Jesus with the people we meet, and of course run….a lot!
We were able to do just that! We had lots of really great onversations with each other and with other people, including some really great conversations with a couple people about Jesus and spiritual things.
One was our taxi driver, Mr. Vee. A very friendly Thai fellow who works a lot. We had some great conversations with him and ended up giving him a tract about Jesus in Thai. Please pray that he reads it and listens to what God speaks to him.
The second was a Muslim man from Pakistan who owns a tailor shop in Phuket. His name is Ahmir. We ran into him as we were walking to the ocean and ended up talking with him for several hours (we ended up not making it to the ocean). He lives and works in Phuket and sends money back to his wife, kids, and other family back in Pakistan. He visits them once a year for a couple weeks. We had a lot of discussion about what he believes according to the Koran and we were able to share the hope, joy, and peace we have in Jesus. My friend gave a short version of his testimony about how he found Jesus and how He changed his life. Ahmir didn’t really know what to say so we started talking about something else, but we could tell he was thinking. He believed that Jesus was just a messenger of God, not his son. We told him about Jesus’ teachings and how he says that He is the ONLY way to God and He is the truth and the life. I ended up giving him my travel Bible that had the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs with lots of my highlights, notes, etc. He was very appreciative and accepted it with much respect. He kissed it and said this is your Holy Scripture. Please pray he reads it and opens his heart and mind to the Word of God.
We also had some great conversations with other people who we hope we can stay connected with, including a girl running her 6th marathon who helped pace my friend for many miles, a Singaporian guy (who lives in Chiang Mai) that we met at the market who was there to run the half-marathon and ended up staying right next door to us at our hotel, and several others.
It was a great weekend and we both came back feeling refreshed.