Wednesday, December 17, 2008

101 Posts Later...

... and we're coming home. This is it. The last post before we come home. I really don't have a lot to say. Today, I've been fighting back the emotions involved with leaving a place that has become home to me. There are people, places, and things that I will probably never see again. I'm glad that I will be able to see some people again, if not on this earth, in heaven. I also believe that that time is coming very, very soon. It's kind of interesting how we are going to be going through our second major life change in the course of one year. As we celebrated our 1 year anniversary the day before yesterday, it was fun to look back and see where we've been in the last year. We've definitely grown... physically, mentally, emotionally, culturally, and best of all-- spiritually. As we look forward to unknown things and uncertain times, I know we will continue to grow. I hope and pray that we will not lose focus of our whole purpose and mission on this earth-- "to obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus" (Revelation 14:12) and to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Thank you all for following our adventures, for writing us encouraging notes, and for keeping us in your prayers. They have not gone unappreciated. See you soon.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Man appriciation day

Two weeks. That's it. 14 days and about 36 hours of travel is all that stands between us and you! We are so excited to see everyone. (We're not as excited about the longest travel day in our history but we'll do it gladly in order to get home.) Pray that we will get over our colds before we have to travel. We have some Australian friends who just got home after 52 hours of travel due to the Bangkok Airport closure. They both had colds and said it was a fairly miserable endeavor.
We just had Fathers day on Friday. It is celebrated on the Kings birthday in the same way that mothers day is celebrated on the Queens birthday. Handy. There was a program during Saturday Night vespers that honored all the fathers on staff. As all the dads shyly made their way up front other saff members kept coaxing michael to go too. He tried to explain to them that he was not a father but they kept on insisting that he go up front with the rest of them. Desiree, our new volunteer commented that Sauce was kinda like our kid and the teachers told him that his students were like his kids too, so along with the two other men who weren't fathers he made his way reluctantly to the front and was honored with all the rest.
I guess we can just fudge and call it "man" appreciation day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Time to come home

Well kids it's time for us to come home. Reason being: I have found 2 grey hairs in rapid succession. Mai dee. Oh, and I found 1 black one. What is going on here?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pictures and Shorts

Summer and I started a new English Branch Sabbath School on Sabbath afternoons with another English teacher, Jarun. It's in the village youth center-- quite a nice little building! They even have white boards, and that is very exciting! Granted, I did write on that board with a permanent marker, but after only a little panicking and thinking they will never let us come back to use their building again, I colored over the permanent marker with dry erase marker.... and erased. Crisis aborted.

Last week was Sports Day(s). Sunday and Monday were filled with students on four teams parading, performing, demonstrating and sporting it up. They competed in the parade floats, cheering, 100 m sprinting, football, basketball, volleyball, tekra, ping pong, chairball, and badminton. Here was the most impressive float (team yellow) with their entourage leading. Quite good, don't you think? Tuesday was "Rest Day." (Much needed for us teachers who had a 3-day weekend)

Two students performed a well choreographed Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) demonstration. For obvious reasons, there was no actual fighting in the Sports Day games. This one was performed more like a dance than an actual fight.

Our Thanksgiving setup was simple and very beautiful! Not all the food is on the table in this picture (but we did have a lot of it!). It was nice to have an outdoor Thanksgiving. We shared many texts about God's abundant blessings before Supper and prayed, then we shared what we were all thankful for after supper. We even had pumpkin pie. It was very nice.

Loi Kratong is a lights festival celebrated as a Buddhist Holiday. It is very beautiful. In Chiang Mai, there were gads of people lighting off fireworks, sending up paper balloons into the sky, watching the parade, and eating food. There were also small "boats" of flowers and such that were sent off into the river with incense sticks or candles. The festivities were very fun.... and beautiful.... and slightly dangerous-- dodging bottle rockets as they whizzed toward your head. The sheer volume of balloons that were sent into the air was such a sight to see. It's too bad our camera couldn't capture it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Guilt-ridden Short

So, pretty much this boils down to the fact that I've only written one blog this month. I was feeling guilty about that so.... here you go. It's interesting how when things draw to a close, your interests and commitments change. There are quite a few things I could have written about in the past month, but haven't. Laziness? Probably. Anyway, it's becoming harder and harder to tell you about things here when we will be telling you in person in 3 weeks. I will try to post a few more things before we come home, especially since we won't see all of you right away.

On another note, Happy Thanksgiving! I came down with the flu or some such nonsense, so it was a little on the down side, but we had an amazing American Thanksgiving with 4 Canadians, 3 Americans, 1 Thai, and 1 Cambodian. It was nice to have a taste of home here. We felt loved-- like we got to spend Thanksgiving with our family away from home. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Pray for us as we finish up our ministry here, that we can finish strong to the end. And pray that the airports open up again so we can come home on time. All our love.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thoughts on Six Weeks

This'll be a short one. I just thought I'd share some thoughts and experiences as they come to my mind. I guess you could call this a free-writing exercise.

First of all, big news that I'm sure NONE of you know about. *Ahem* Go back and read that first sentence again, but this time read it with a sarcastic tone. --Moving on-- We have a new president! It has been interesting observing from a more removed area all the happenings in America. We don't have TV (praise the Lord), so all of our event-following has had to be via the internet. It was quite exciting coming to school on Wednesday and watching as the polls started to close and the votes counted. Change. In light of end time events, any change is very exciting. Please understand that I'm not speculating that Obama will be the last president before Jesus comes, but every day we come closer and closer. I tried to teach my students the other day the word "anxious." When I think about the end times (which I've been doing more and more lately), I would have to say anxious is the best word to describe my feelings. Excitement, fear, motivation, nervousness-- all these things make me want to tell people about the good news of Jesus more.

I have been studying my Bible a lot more, and while I can't say that I know everything, I can say that I've learned a lot from my study and reading. It's amazing what some good study can do for your spiritual life. I'm getting a bigger picture of God's awesome plan. I have for the first time in my life started reading some of Ellen White's writings. I was never interested in reading them earlier, because I didn't like the way many people used her writings. I think about that now, and that's a little bit silly. People use the Bible in bad ways too, but I still read it. So, I gave her a chance. Wow, Wow, Wow!!! I would *highly* recommend reading some of her writings. Steps to Christ is amazing! If you are a new Christian or not one at all, read that one first. I have recently started reading the "Conflict of the Ages" series. I'm in the middle of Patriarchs and Prophets as well as The Great Controversy. The way this woman writes, you'd wonder how anyone could beat other people over the head with her writings. I urge you. If you have been turned off from her because of other people, just try her writings out-- from a fellow skeptic turned believer. Of course, always measure her writings (as well as anyone else's--Adventist or not) against the Bible. Just because writings may be popular does not mean they are right.

Speaking of the end of times, the end of our time here is only 6 weeks away. Wow! And speaking of anxiety, I am anxious to come home. We've changed a lot since coming here, and I don't know how I am going to handle returning to a strange culture. I am absolutely thrilled to see all of you, but at the same time I'm scared out of my mind. Expectations are a curious thing. And I am out of time. Off to my next class. Please pray for us as we finish our time and ministry here. I will post a blog soon of some of the things I've learned since coming.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hair progression

Okay so some dramatic things have happened to my hair lately. I could tell boring stories but I think that the pictures say enough so enjoy!

Okay so here's stage one. The culmination of 10 months in Thailand and several years prior to that. The kids loved my hair this length.

Stage two:This was after the first haircut in Bangkok. It was short but it did funky things when I didn't tame it and I don't have time to tame my mane here. So after a bit of lip biting and sitting very nervously in a barbers chair I came out with the following hairstyle.

A lovely picture of Jaime and Michael. Oh wait! Nope that's just me after haircut number two. I have serious bangs again. I swore I would never do that again after 8th grade but eh!? Whatever. It was time for something new. -grins-

And this is the everyday me. Short, sweet and to the point. The kids are so funny. They are so blunt. When I first cut my hair one of my girls in P3 came up to me and said, "Teacher! Mai soy louay!" Which means, "You're not beautiful at all!" I had a good laugh over that one. "Well," I thought, "If you don't like it like this, I guess there's no harm in going shorter..." The result was pretty good. The second cut got them speaking more English, "Teacher, you more beautiful with long hair." I know I know. I like it though.