Job 12:7 Ask the beasts, and they will teach you…
On our last day in Thailand we had the absolute privilege of spending the day with two families of elephants who live in an elephant sanctuary. (There are 80+ elephants total, but they keep them in different sections of the refuge in family groupings.) Their ages range from 7 months to 74 years old. Most have been rescued from unhealthy working conditions and are now “retired” and get to live out their lives safely. They will no longer have to carry people on backs not meant to bear weight or haul heavy logs secured with chains up steep hills.
We couldn’t help but see the parallels between the need for rescuing elephants, children, and women because all need to be kept safe from harm. None are meant to be the recipients of people inflicting themselves upon them in ways not intended by God.
Being with the rescued elephants allowed us to see love in action as a restorative balm for the soul. While with the elephants we got to feed them, give their hides loving pets and scratches. They walked with us, laid down in water so we could bathe them in mud, and then led us to a waterfall where they joyfully splashed and played while they rinsed themselves off. (We did, too!) It was such a blessing to behold. The elephant families were protective of each other, affectionate with each other (nudging heads, hugging with trunks, tucking babies protectively within the group to ensure safety). It was a beautiful picture of what family should be and how people should be with each other.
Being with the elephants reminded us that as God’s steward, we have been entrusted to care for His creations.
Tomorrow to Cambodia for the last couple of days of the trip!
The Thailand Team