In 1978, I began visiting tribal villages in Northern Thailand. Knowing neither the languages nor the cultures, I depended on English-speaking tribal people to guide, advise, and interpret for me.
Over the next 32 years, we saw miracles and healings, witch doctors and changed lives, poverty of material goods and richness of spirit. I learned to love these diverse groups and lived with them weeks at a time, sleeping on their bamboo or teak floors (bamboo is better--it's springy!) and learning to avoid the little green chilis lurking in their food.
Almost as interesting as the tribal people were the members of my small teams, ranging from IBM programmers to a germaphobic concerned with keeping her shoes clean. Ah me!
Meanwhile, hundreds of tribal people exchanged their fear of malevolent spirits to a love and trust of Jesus, Son of Gui'sha, Creator God. Women discovered it was all right for them to play guitars and participate in church, and at four conferences specifically for women, they were set free to use their spiritual gifts. Praise God!
At their insistence, I was officially made an advisor to an indigenous evangelistic group, Penecostal Assemblies of Tribes. They said I was chosen because I had white hair and so I must be wise. o-o-kay! I agreed to be an advisor with the proviso that, if I suggested they do something not according to their culture, they wouldn't do it. They agreed. In fact, they've followed that stipulation so assiduously that I can't remember a single thing I've suggested that they've actually done. Maybe they hear God more clearly than I do, you think?