Friday, January 21, 2005

More Firsts-John's first time preaching-Steph's first time teaching a Thai class

**Clarification - John's first time preaching to a group larger than 4 people**

Wow! It's been almost a week since I've written! Sorry it took so long! I started school on Monday and found out that my schedule goes like this:

7:30-8:00 - Wake up
8:00-8:45 - Get ready - shower and all
8:45-9:00 - Review for classes - make sure I have correct books in backpack
9:00-9:10 - Walk up our road and catch a "Songtao" at the end of it
9:10-10:00 - Ride to school (sometimes it only takes 30 min. depending on the stops)
10:00-1:30 - Learn and Study
1:30-5:30 - Break. Spend preparing the night classes lesson and getting lunch
5:30-7:30 - Teach a class for 30 minutes (45 next week) and peer review other lessons
7:30-8:15 - Ride home...
8:15-Whenever - Spend time with family, have/cook dinner, do any homework or read any book that has been assigned, e-mail if possible and most importantly - make time for God.

Very hectic week but it has been good! I've learned a lot!!! I taught my first Thai class on Wednesday night. And something wonderful has happened. When I got home John told me that Brian had invited him to come and speak at the church that Wednesday night. Now, for those of you who know John and I you know that I'm usually the one who stands up in front of people and preaches/teaches and John is more of a one on one kind of person and that's how he ministers...

So when Brian asked him - he resisted but Brian succeeded and John spoke for 45 minutes at the church in front of lots of people and the most incredible and wonderful thing about it is that the message that God put in John's heart really hit the people and afterward they wanted him to pray for them (most for healing) and a woman who could not bend her thumbs was completely healed!!! She can now bend her thumbs wonderfully - and the whole church knew this woman couldn't bend her thumbs!!! Praise God!

Anyway, there are some more praise reports but I just don't know the details and I'd rather not write anything and get it wrong. I am sooo excited that John took that leap!!! I am SOOO proud of him. So, it was kind of neat in that the same time I was teaching my first Thai class John was preaching his first message to the Thai people (with a translator of course). God is good!

I've gotten so many e-mails this week and I love it!!! From some new people too (Chancey and Teresa!! HELLO!) I've been so excited to get the e-mails but have not had the time to responds to many but I'm going to have time this weekend. :) My classmates are great people. There are five in all - 1 Frenchman (who hasn't lived in France for ages), 1 Englishman, 2 Englishwomen, and another American named Jim (from St. Louis I think).

The funny thing about Jim and I (the Americans) we're giving Americans kind of a accident prone name because Jim has banged his head on a low awning - stepped out infront of a truck by accident and bumped into something the other day and I fell off a motorbike and Thursday night I fell when I was coming out of the bathroom. There was a small step and I tripped and hit my head on the ground! I fell hard! I fell soooo hard that I had my first nose bleed (in my entire life) and I had a slight bump that has since gone down on my forehead. It wasn't fun!

But you know how when you fall you laugh? Or is that just me? I don't know...I fell down and I was laughing and crying at the same time - with blood coming out of my nose!!! It wasn't a pretty picture. I was like "OK...I'm going to cry but I'm really ok......really".....I couldn't stop the tears from coming and I was laughing like a luni!!!! Pretty soon my teacher and classmates realized I really was ok and started laughing with me.

I still giggle everytime I think about it. The poor Thai guy that saw it happen didn't know what to do...because he didn't want to touch me so he just stood there and went "OH! OH! OH!" looking around for another english speaker to help. I just kinda sat there trying to figure out what happened! I've never fallen so hard in my life!!! Anyway - *giggle* hopefully Jim and I won't give them any other reason to think Americans are particularly clumbsy and accident prone!!!!!!!

This school is quite intensive - On Tuesday he handed us a book that we are to have read with a book report completed by Tuesday - normally a week is a good amount of time to have that done in...but not with our schedule! So - I'm going to be doing TONS of reading this weekend. OH!

I got to feed and pet an elephant last night. My classmates invited me out to eat with them and while we were sitting there talking a guy with an elephant just strolls up and sees us as easy targets and starts waving food at us. I wasn't going to do it for money reasons but Jim went and bought a bunch of it and he gave us all some to feed the elephant! Man - elephants really are incredible and beautiful creatures. There is nothing like being right next to one (a short one as in this case) and looking it in the eye - they're just gorgeous!!! I never thought I would say that about an elephant! Then he put a hoop on it's trunk and he started swinging it like a holahoop and he got on his back legs, which worried me because he was literally 1 foot away from sitting on a car!!!!!

It was quite the experience. I had an interview with a Dr. here who has 2 boys and she wants me to teach them English and I got the job - I'm going to start comign to their house on the 29th. I'm a little worried because she wants me to bring Josiah. Her two aims are:

-I want me boys to have fun
-I want my boys to knwo the difference between Thai thinking and Western thinking

I went on to confirm that she wanted me to bring my son to the lesson and she was like yes - so my sons can play with him....I'm thinking - how in the world can I teach a lesson to her boys while they're playing with my son...ehhh...I dunno - I just won't bring him the first lesson and take it from there. We'll that goes.

I absolutely love teaching these students! They are incredible and sooo bright! They are sooo interested in me and what I like and don't like...ect. There are incredible ministry opportunities! The crazy thing about these kids are that most of them LOVE linkin park and Korn- for those of you who don't know they are extremely hard bands and horrible lyrics. Marybeth said that Thai people like dark things - all their movies are incredibly gory and dark. I was just shocked to see this cute innocent looking face look at me and say "I live for Korn!" And she was not talking about the kind you eat!!!!

John just told me a hilarious story that I have to tell you! He has strapped a car seat onto the back of the motorbike so that John can go on the motorbike when I'm at school with Josiah. Dont' worry is strapped to the motorbike VERY VERY well. So anyway, John and Josiah go out all the time during the day and he was just telling me about a time he was out trying to locate the store to buy a cable for our camera and Josiah fell asleep in the car seat. The car seat sits straight up on the motorbike whereas in a car it has a slant to the back.

So when he fell asleep he was hunched over and his poor little head was just bobbing up and down and everytime John would turn a corner he would sway in the car seat (the carseat wouldn't sway - he would-so don't worry mom!!!) So, some thai ladies saw this and they started trying to get John's attention to tell him that Josiah was hunched over...keep in mind that they idolize our little white baby. A lady came across the street into the middle of the street where John was waiting at a red light and was trying to put his head back...but it wouldn't stay!!!! John said he didn't know if they thought something was wrong with him or not - he just kept saying he was sleepy but they kept trying to help his head stay up ( he was soo sleepy )!!! John said he started trying to wake him up - but it was almost impossible.

I thought that was sooo funny that the Thai women were so concerned that they came into the middle of the street to hold his head up!! I have to get off because John just got home and needs to get on the internet fast. John is probably leaving Monday with Todd Pruitt to go to Phuket again up into where there are tons of refugee camps (people who have lost everthing because of the Tsunami).

He's going to have to take Josiah with him - which is good and bad because I'll definately miss him and it will be rough on John having him with him. Todd is bringing his 2 daughters who are old enough to help watch Josiah so that is good. They'll be gone for about 5 days!!!!!!!!! That will be rough but that is the reason why we came! Ok...gotta get off :) I'll write again soon! Keep us in your prayers!