Dr. David Ekkens – Thailand: “Fruitful”

A friend of mine remarked on our “fruit-full life” in Thailand. When I heard that, I said to myself, yes, working here does give us many blessings, not the least of which is the fruit.  Where else, I asked myself, could I enjoy a variety of luscious tropical fruits year round? Certainly not in Tennessee where we lived for 20 years. People talk about the sacrifices that missionaries make, but we shouldn’t forget the “fruits” we enjoy on a daily basis.

Where else could I carry binoculars and camera as I walk to work and photograph exotic birds and mammals along the way?

Where else could I walk to work every day past rainbows of flowering shrubs and trees?

Where else could I work and not have to worry about doing a portfolio or anything else to maintain (or advance) my status in my job? (Maybe in Tennessee if I got a volunteer job.)

Where else could we go to a local fresh market year round and buy tomatoes along with a myriad of other fruits & vegetables?

Where else could I sleep under one sheet (or none) most of the year and be very comfortable?

Where else could I see woodpeckers drilling holes into a termite mound to eat the unsuspecting arthropods?

Where else could I see 17 kinds of birds coming to the orange flowers of one tall Bombax tree for nectar and insects?

Where else could I go outside in the wintertime and find plants and animals to show my students in biology lab?

Where else could I be so impressed with the work that many volunteers and church workers alike are doing to share the love of Christ in the “Land of Smiles” that has not yet fully smiled on the gospel?

Yes, it’s a life full of fruit—God’s fruit that He sends to remind us of His love—the love He sent us here to share.


*Dr. David Ekkens serves as a Science Lecturer in Thailand. He and his wife, Sharon, are long-term volunteers through Adventist Volunteer Service.

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