To The One Who Conquers
by Dr. Norberto L. Mercado

Storm the Gates for Christ !

The conference on Oriental studies at Chulalongkorn University ended about two hours ago, and I'm back to my hotel.

I have taken my bags, and I am in an internet cafe beside the Northern Train Station in Bangkok, Thailand.

At 8:00 P.M. , I'll take the train to the north - to Vientianne,Laos - a 12-hour ride .

I'll sleep in the train, and we will arrive in Vientianne at around 8:00 A.M.

From Vientianne, I'll travel to the city of Kham Cot and to No Pe ( all in Laos), on my way to North Vietnam.

From the northern province of Ha Tinh, I'll travel by train to Saigon - 36 hours ride .

The train will pass through the northern provinces of of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, the old city of Hue, Quang Nam,then to the southern provinces of  Quang Ngai, Bin Dinh, Phu Yuen, Khanh Hoa, Nin Thuan, Binh Thuan, Bong Nai, then SAIGON CITY (now Ho Chi Minh).

Whew ! What a ride !

                              * * *

The Conference on Oriental Studies sponsored by the Royal Thai  and Chulalongkorn University gathered a battery of  well-educated and seasoned international speakers.

Among the international speakers are : Germans Dr. Peter Skilling, Professor Dr. Jens-Uwe Hartmann, Hans Georg Berger; French Professor Dr. Catherine Choron-Baix:Italian Professor Elena Tamagno; German Professor Dr. Heinrich Detering, Professor Dr. Eckart Goebel, Professor Dr. Kathryn VanSpanckeren, among others.

All speakers had to present and read their papers.

The second to the last speaker was Japanese Professor Dr. Yoshiki Koda. His paper is titled  "Japanese Philosopher Tetsuro Watsuji (1889-1960) - His Cultural Anthropology and His Buddhistic Thinking.

After he presented his paper, a Caucasian lady asked a question about the Buddhist philosophy on "death".

The Japanese answered it well.

Then, I seized the opportunity by asking a second question.

This is how I asked it :" In the Christian belief, when a person dies, his body is buried but his spirit and soul goes to God. That is if he is a Christian.
Do Buddhists have the concept - that of the spirit and soul of man returning to God?"

That simple question "floored"him.

"I have no answer," he said.

I delivered my point. All those present learned that a man is a tripartite being -body, soul, and spirit. And a man is accountable to God, for he will be judged by the Lord God our Creator after his life on earth.

Buddhists don't believe in God.

I seized that opportunity because I recalled what my friend Kent Hutcheson told us in 1973 - "Whenever you have the opportunity, speak out for Christ."

We call this "storming the gates "for Christ !

For three days since I arrived in Bangkok, I have been giving " cards " to students in Chulalongkorn University and Thamassat University - "storming the gates" .

Good mentoring Kent!