So the past week feels like it's been non stop with trip a day trip up to Mae Sae (the Burma border) which is about a 4hr drive each way, then an overnight trip to Mae Dang - a tribal village that one of my friends from church is from, then back to Chiang Mai to say goodbye to Keir at the airport as he went back to the US first (Oum will head over as soon as her visa comes through - hopefully (for her) in the next month). Then today was kinda nuts with an early morning call from Buu asking if i might be able to take her to the hospital as she was needing to get a cyst cut out from her eye and was (understandably) unable to ride a motorcycle back home after the operation. So the morning ended up waiting around the hospital, then a quick lunch (of pad thai), off to school for my thai lesson, where i also ended up getting a call from my friend Kim who was stranded on the other side of town cos she forgot to fill up so her motorcycle ran out of petrol. So i had to go rescue her, then came home for a couple minutes to drop off some stuff before heading out to the movies - but the neighbourhood kids decided to take advantage of my arrival home and came over to play with my hamsters. (by the way, i've just discovered that one of my baby hamsters only has 1 eye :( very sad!!!) Anyway, finally managed to sort myself out, get to Airport Plaza, ate my first KFC meal here and watched my first Thai movie at the movie theatre!
So despite feeling like i'm always on the move at the moment, i'm really enjoying the time that i have to be able to build relationships with my Thai friends - whether it be on long car trips, waiting in hospital waiting rooms, swimming at the pool, over a KFC meal or riding bikes with no brakes around a village in the dark (where the roads have pot holes galore) - i think that ride actually got my adrenalin pumping more then any mountain bike ride i've done! :) haha There have just been so many opportunities for us to get to know each other more, to share with friends 1-1 about about things that really effect our lives like relationships, the gospel, whether or not they should/shouldn't go out with a certain guy, ideas on what to teach some tribal kids up north in a series of 10 minute Bible talks. I find it amusing that I've been asked for relationship advice on waaaay too many occasions now. Sometimes language is still a major barrier to me being able to say what i really want to say. But at the same time, it's been great cos my friends have been so willing to teach me more about Thai culture and even Christian Thai culture at that. I'm still being challenged daily to work out what is cultural vs what is biblical. And to work out what to do if it is cultural rather then biblical - but because that's how the Thai's think now, is it better to leave it as it or challenge them in their thinking - but at the same time risk appearing to be a foreign missionary trying to push on them my western 'christian values'? But what do i say when they ask me what do i think and keep pushing me for an answer cos they really want to know? It's been an interesting, challenging and fun past few days.
Here are a few happy snaps from the past few days:
in the back of Mac's car on the way to Mae Sae
this is Mac (if you turn your head sideways)
Crazy english foods you can buy at the markets (if you can't read the small print at the bottom of the pack, it says: "We like the new taste. We need the quality and we need the best food. here you will find what you want. You are the new man. How delicious can not forget. Special taste."
with Kim & Wood at Wood's mum's house in Mae Dang
Wood with his dog and one of the dodgy brakeless bikes we rode around the village
camping out at Mae Dang
my first KFC meal here - how civilised!!
so you don't get coleslaw here, you get tuna salad instead...hmmmm. ok, it was actually quite tasty tho
So, i'll also be heading down to Korat to visit some of my friends who i met in December during the DPC mission trip. I can't wait as it will be over Songkran - the national holiday week of water fights - seriously!! i can't wait to play!! :) haha all my friends here think i'm nuts wanting to go to Korat during Songkran as it's apparently the most fun up here - but hey, there's always next year.... :) So if i'm not able to post anything for a while, that's my excuse. But i promise to update you on Korat as soon as a i get a chance.
For those who are praying;
- thank God for the continued opportunities to build relationships with Thai friends
- praise for the provision of so many great Thai friends who i really enjoy spending time with
- for continued language learning - that i'll learn quickly so i can communicate better
- for wisdom in what to share and how to share it
- for safe travels as i head down to Korat this next week
- for my friend Buu as she considers how and what to teach the tribal kids
- for other friends with 'relationship issues' that they will seek to do what is glorifying to God