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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Coming to America...Evidence of a changed heart....

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I’ve written.  I have been trying to write for many days now but I just have not had the time…that is I’ve not had the time with out any children needing my attention.  Being a mother is an incredible thing but I’m not going to pretend that it is not trying on every part of you.  

It’s trying on your patience (letting a child be a child…even if it means letting them sing the same song over and over and over…), your brain (figuring out how to explain things a million different ways so that your little one finally gets it), your heart (when your child doesn’t obey and you have to discipline them because you love them), your body (well…do I have to write anything about that?)…

But genuinely – being a mother is the best…single most important thing I think I’ve ever done in life (besides giving my life to my Savior).  My boys are a blessing from above and everyday I am in awe at the people they are becoming.  Anyway, that was a bunny trail!  

Tonight we went to a weekly fellowship that we have every Wednesday night.  Last Wednesday it was at our house and tonight it was at Pii Che An’s and Pii Mamms house.  It’s always a great time of fellowship and fun and most of all FOOD!  Great Thai food.  

I can always count on eating something I’ve never eaten before on Wednesday nights…whether I want to or not.  Anyway, as we sat in their home…well, let me describe everything to you.  It’s typical for Thai homes not to have a table or chairs.  They usually have a small coffee table that is low to the floor and everyone sits on the floor on mats.  

There were a total of 7 children that normally come (along with 9 adults) and then about 4 more that showed up because they saw a bunch of farang faces.  So…all 11 children are running and round and having a blast in this rather small house that is one large room with a petition made out of an entertainment system.  

There is an array of thai food laid out on the table…Wonderful florescent lighting – as usual (I actually don’t hardly notice it anymore)…and the heat is stifling but there are two fans blowing on the next to lowest setting rotating around the room.  

Everyone is chatting away and having a wonderful time.  After chatting in Thai for a while my brain went to mush for a minute to recuperate from all the work I just did.  I just kind of got quiet and looked around the room watching everyone having a good time for a minute.  As my eyes wondered they settled upon an empty shelf on the upper part of the wall near the door.  

A huge smile came upon my face…that was were CheAn’s idols were.  Every Thai home has a shelf similar to this where a monument to budda always resides…everyday they sacrifice food to the idols and say their prayers.  CheAn has taken down all of his idols and now all that remains is an empty shelf to testify that his heart has been forever changed to know the one true God!!!  

I just looked at John, patted his leg and smiled.  CheAn came to know of Jesus because he responded to one of the tracts that John and Clinton had been passing out.  We were there in his house fellowshipping with him because there was a change in his heart…because John and Clinton had gone out as they always do…

You know, right now is kind of a tough time because we are getting ready to come to America to visit for 3 months.  Everyone told us of this “in between time” before going home for a visit.  They said it’s rough because you are ready to go and visit but your still here…the things you normally do usually get put on hold because you are preparing to leave…culture stress usually sets in…I thought that we wouldn’t go through this but we have felt this a little bit.  Tonight at CheAn’s was an encouragement…knowing that Christ through us is doing a work here…

I wrote it on our newsletter but if you didn’t know – we are going to be in America…EATING GREAT FOOD…for sure on the 17th!  We’re really excited and let me tell you what an incredible thing God did for us.

We were 3 days away from our deadline of needing $1,200 to pay for our tickets.  We were hanging in there…and praying and the money come in!  THANKS in LARGE part to John’s family!!!  Thank you!!!  The really awesome thing is that we called the day before we had to pay for our tickets to confirm that we could come in the following day and the lady informed us that there might be a promotion that would reduce the cost of our tickets!  Needless to say we were excited!!!  

So we waited for her to call us back and when she did we found out there was a promotion that we could apply to our tickets.  She gave us the new prices and we started figuring how much we would be saving.  (we needed to purchase either train tickets or plane tickets from Hat Yai to Bangkok).  So when we did the calculations something kept coming out wrong – then we realized that when John first converted the amount that we needed from baht to dollar – he used the wrong conversion rate and it made a 200 dollar difference!!!  

GET THIS!  If that lady hadn’t told us about the promotion we would not have been able to pay for our tickets!  The promotion made the difference that we needed!  Isn’t that awesome!?!  I was in awe.  So we’re coming soon and we can’t wait!  Well, part of me is torn – I’m going to be really sad about not seeing my Thai friends for 3 months and our home and work is here.  But man!  I can’t wait to see my family!!!  Hug my friends!!!  Share our vision!!  EAT AMERICAN FOOD!!!  

Wow…it’s amazing how much I just wrote!  Well…I made a few short lists for fun!

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • Being on American soil with fellow Americans

  • Food!

  • Dryers

  • Downy

  • Dishwashers

  • Central heating and air

  • Regular lighting (no florescent please)

  • Customer service (don’t take it for grated people!)

  • Driving on the right side of the road

  • Southern hospitality

  • Mexican food

  • Hot water at the sink

  • A bathtub

  • CARPET

  • Walmart!!!

  • MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

Things I’m going to miss while I’m gone:
  • THAI food!

  • The many smells of Thailand

  • My friends

  • Speaking Thai

  • The Thai people

  • Quick – CHEAP food

  • Studying Thai with Phon

  • Having an instant open door just because I’m white

  • Opening up the house in the morning

  • Waiing people (greeting in Thailand where you put your hand together and bow)

  • Bathrooms with sprayers and a drain on the floor (the bathrooms are made to be wet…all the water goes down a drain in the floor – no separation between bathing area, toilet and sink)

  • The look on my husbands beat red face after returning from being out in the villages

  • Josiah being a people magnet

  • My Thai friends!!!  

Well, America here we come – it won’t be too much longer now!  Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on and prepare to come to America.  Thank you for reading!  

5 comments:

souljourne said...

YEAH!!!!!!! We can hardly wait to see you all!!!! Love this latest update!!! Love Love love the part about the empty shelf!!!!

Anonymous said...

WOO HOO!!!

We are so looking forward to you coming!!! I have told my friends at house church...and friends at church!

YEAH! HOORAY!! It will be good to see you all and hug you tight and greet the new (to us)baby.

You are so LOVED!!
Anita JO & Naomi

Jesusisaliveinme said...

Praise God for blessing you all with coming home and supplying all your needs! He is always faithful as you well know! Loved the update and praying for traveling mercies as well as peace during this transition time for you. Blessings!Julie :)

BungerFamily said...

We are getting excited as well and can't wait to meet Jude. Keep in touch and see you soon!

Steve, Annie, & Braden

RideN4Jesus said...

We are so excited for you! What an awesome thing you have done and let Jesus do through you! Have a great visit in the states! Safe travel and thanks for keeping us involved with the updates!

love & blessings
jon & shannon bowlin