As I mentioned in the caption, many guys join the monastery at a young age. For many, it is a way for them to have a chance to study and be in a stable place; after finishing their studies, they can choose to stay or leave… many leave to get married, get a job and have a family.
While praying in the temple courtyard one evening, I was approached by John, one such young man. We got to talking (as you may or may not know, in the Buddhist culture, women are not allowed to talk to nor touch a monk… however, being foreigners, young monks sometimes are so eager to practice their English and converse, that they… I don’t know – make an exception?) So, John approached me and we got to talking. I found out many interesting things by our conversation. He mentioned entering the monastery because of a family problem, and talked about wanting to be a tour guide in the future. We also talked about faith and religion… and, it was eye-opening for me to hear him talk about the “God of America.” I quickly assured him that I did not believe in the God of only America, but of everyone, and was able to talk a little about Mexico and the ministry there. It was also interesting and … disheartening … that when I asked John if he knew anything about the Bible, he hadn’t even heard of it. “God, continue to grow your Kingdom through churches in Laos, and the Living Word.”