Hoping but never knowing

It’s Saturday morning 6 o clock. I wake up by the sound of a man’s voice through the loudspeaker very close to our house and it doesn’t take me long to realize what’s happening.

When we first moved into our house in Sahatsakhan at the end of the street with rows of houses on both sides I never thought, that I would witness one of the Buddhist activities so closely. But then not very long after that the local government decided to establish the town of Sahatsakhan to a more famous tourist place und to turn our street into a walking street. The first thing they started with was to mobilize the people of Sahatsakhan through the loudspeakers to gather together along our road every Saturday morning for what they call “Tag bath”. This means: Very early in the Morning the Buddhist monks walk out of the temple barefoot, dressed in their orange brownish robes a bag hanging from their shoulders. They walk along the roads, stopping in front of each house where people, sometimes just one person, but often as a group of family members old and young are kneeling on mats in a worship position. These people get up at down preparing rice and other food. Before they eat themselves they put the food in a rise basket or silver bowl, get out where the monks walk by and wait for them. As soon as the monks stop in front of them they put a handful of what they have brought into the monks bag believing and hoping but never knowing if this good deed would help to make up for their bad deeds. Then they take up their worship position and the monks give them a blessing by chanting some words.

Since I cannot sleep anyway, I get up and go down the stairs. Watching out of the window I see quite a crowd of people offering their food to the monks and then hands brought together worshiping.

Silently watching, I fold my hands and pray to God that many of them would one day be convinced that it is not through the good deeds but it is only through Jesus Christ that they can be saved and go to heaven.

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