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Pictures from the zoo!

gooood times

Hello!! It’s been a few days, so we have a lot to update you on! But we’ll try to make it condensed, don’t worry.

We’ve been having a great time these past few days in Thailand. It’s crazy to think it’s already been a week since we’ve left! Time is going by so quickly.

Lately, we’ve been spending a lot of time with the kids from the orphanage. Katie and I are having tons of fun playing Dutch Blitz, basketball, and monkey in the middle! The boys here seem to like to play a lot of tricks on Katie and I! For example, whenever we ask them how to say different words in Thai, they’ll always tell us the wrong words. Then when we try to say them, all the kids will laugh at us since we’re saying the wrong thing. So far we’ve found one nice boy who will always tell us the truth when we ask him how to say things. And they can’t really remember how to say our names, so today Katie was known as “Buffalo” for the day. So as you can tell we’re having a great time!!! 🙂

Last night (Saturday night) we had our church service here at the Ang Sila Church. Karen, the lady who runs the orphanage, asked us to be in charge of Sunday school! She also asked Katie and I to prepare a couple of songs to lead in worship. I was able to play a bit on the keyboards and Katie sung along. It was good, except for we didn’t really know what we were doing. But thankfully the Lord allowed it to all run smoothly!

This morning we were able to go with the kids on a trip to the zoo! It was a lot of fun! We were able to feed the giraffes and elephants and pet them! We were going to see some more animals, but unfortunately it started raining and we had to go home. I had really wanted to pet a tiger, but it just didn’t work out. Maybe next time.

We’ve been learning a lot about the kids in the orphanage. It’s been so fascinating to hear their stories and to learn of what God has saved them from. It makes you realize how important it is that this orphanage is in place, and so thankful for the work that is going on here in Thailand. You can watch a video of one of the girls by going here: http://mbmsivideo.com/shineon/videos/safe-at-last. A lot of the kids also like to breakdance here! Karen has hired a breakdance teacher for the boys at the orphanage, and it has been a great way for them to build their confidence and is a great outlet that they have. You can watch a video of that here: http://mbmsivideo.com/countries/thailand/alh-breakdance.

ALSO!!! Katie and I had our first Thai massage today!!! It was easily the best massage I’ve ever had. Here in Thailand massages are really cheap, so it was only 3 dollars for a 1-hour full body massage! It was definitely an experience. The people here made sure to tell us which massage places were the good ones, and which were the sketchy ones, so that was nice of them. The missionaries made sure we knew how to say “Jep!” meaning “It hurts!” before we went, but fortunately neither Katie nor I needed to use it. After the massage they sat us down and we had cups of tea with the women who worked there. It was great!! Katie and I want to go every day now!

Overall, our time here has been going great, and it’s hard to think that we leave in just 4 days! Please continue to pray for good health, and that God would continue to teach us how to love these people just as He loves us. We have been fortunate enough to see his love in so many new ways this week, and we know that this is just the beginning! Have a great Sunday!

so tired i can’t think of a good title.

Well, life here in Thailand is tough. Katie and I are sitting here, checking our e-mail in comfy reclining chairs, drinking 7-11 slurpees listening to Rihanna. Yup, life is tough.

No but really! Things here are going well. Yesterday and today we spent some time at the orphanage, run by Ricky and Karen Sanchez, and hung out with the kids there. It’s a little more sobering to think that all these kids have HIV, but they seem to have good spirits in spite of it. We’re excited to get to spend more time with them this week!!

Today Katie and I decided to walk down the street and try some of the local cuisine. We’ve been finding that the food here is pretty good! Today we saw some local street vendors making homemade chicken tenders, and those were very tasty! We also bought some bottles of coke, thinking that we would just drink them out of the bottles. Instead, the lady opened them up, poured them into plastic bags filled with ice, and stuck a straw in it. I guess that’s the way to drink things around here!

Katie and I seem to have become familiar to a lot of the local shops around here. For example, the girls at 7-11 always laugh when we walk in since we go there about 20 times a day. But it’s fun to make new friends, even if all we can say is “hi” and “thank you.”

We’ve also met a really awesome couple Walter and Judy! They’re Canadian, so that makes them even more awesome.  I think we might get together with them sometime this week to play some cards, or maybe even the Wii!! They were nice enough to treat us to dinner tonight, so that was great!

There has been a lot God has been teaching us in these past few days. We’ll share about that soon! For now, continue to pray that we would stay healthy, that we can build good relationships with the kids and with the community we live in, and that we would have teachable spirits. Thanks and have a great day!!!

Sah-wah-dee-kah!

To those of you who don’t know, that means “Hello” in Thai! Basically, that’s the only thing Katie and I can say right now, and we pretty much look like we’re lost all of the time. Seriously, some random Thai person had to come and show us where the “on” buttons were on the computers we’re using right now.

Well, as you can probably tell from this post, we have arrived!!! After a long 36 hour adventure, we are finally settled in the bunkbeds we’ll be sleeping in for the next week or so. We’re staying at a church in the town of Chonburi, Thailand, and everything is going great so far! Traveling was surprisingly easy! We had a 9 1/2 hour layover in Hong Kong, so Katie and I left the confines of the airport and went exploring around the city. We ended up taking a tram up to the top of a mountain, where we were able to overlook the entire city and bay! It was beautiful! We also spent the morning walked around the Hong Kong Garden, and trying out some of the local restaurants. Even though we only spent a few hours there, we still feel like we were able to get a good taste of the city and have a lot of fun!

So tomorrow it’ll be up bright and early at 7:15! Some of the kids at the orphanage are having their blood drawn and they wanted us to go with them. We’re not really sure what our time here will exactly look like, and it might be a day-by-day type of thing, but we’re excited to get to spend some time with the kids.

For now, you can just be praying that Katie and I stay well-rested! Also, there are a lot of adjustments culturally that we need to remember. For example, Katie and I already gave some kids a “thumbs up” sign when they helped us with something, which we just remembered might be an offensive gesture here. Great way to start off the trip! Let’s completely offend everyone!! Sooo yeah. But we’re really excited for the next few days and to see how God will work in our hearts.

Well, we’ve gotta go get to bed, so we’ll try to post more later!!

Ice Cream and M.T.

Hello! Well, it’s down to the last day or two now before we leave, and Katie and I are getting pretty excited! Visas have come in (praise Jesus!), things on our to-do lists are getting crossed off, and last-minute details are being planned. I’ve been trying to prepare myself in a lot of aspects for this trip, but at the same time I still feel incredibly underprepared! It’s exciting, though, to think that in just three days Katie and I will be across the world. I’m looking forward to experiencing all the new things that these places will have to offer. I’ve been thinking a lot about the food, especially! I’m not a picky eater, but I’ve heard Asian food can be pretty spicy at times, so I’m hoping I can handle it! I have a feeling I’m going to be telling myself, “Just suck it up and eat it, Becca!” a lot on this trip. I do have one very major concern, though, and it is this:

Do they have mint chocolate chip ice cream in Asia?!?!?!?!

One can only hope.

So, a few days ago I was able to watch “Mother Teresa” the movie. My aunt had let me borrow it as a way of getting prepared for our time in Calcutta (thanks Aunt Mary!). To be honest, it was actually my second time watching it…the first attempt I ended up falling asleep halfway through (NOT because it was boring, mind you, just because I was sleepy…). But after finally finishing it, I have to say, Mother Teresa is a pretty courageous woman, and I think she’s a good example of what it really means to be Jesus to people–the time she spent serving others, the time she spent in prayer, how she gave up everything to be with the people who needed her the most. It just makes me think, “Shouldn’t we all be living like that? Isn’t that what following Jesus is all about–giving up what’s comfortable in order to serve Him with all of who we are?” It just gives me a lot to think about! I was also impressed with how available she was to serve. I think half of our problem as Christians is that our lives are so busy we don’t even have time to love the people God has intentionally placed in our lives. We ask God to use us, but when it’s at the cost of giving our time away, it’s a bit harder to be obedient. At least, that’s something I struggle with. It’s easy to look past people when we’re not focused on seeing them, if that makes sense. So anyways, watching the movie made me excited to go and see the place where Mother Teresa lived and served.

Well, I think that about does it for now! We’ll keep updating you all on how things are going. Have a great day!

Getting Packed

Much planning and preparing has been accomplished in these past weeks. Tickets have been bought, arrangements have been made, Visas have been applied for and bags are beginning to be packed!!! It still seems like a lot has to be done this next week but it is definitely all coming together!

So for those of you who are interested in more details of the trip, here is a basic outline:

On September 5, we will travel to Bangkok, and then onto Chonburi, Thailand, to work alongside Ricky and Karen Sanchez. While there we will be helping at an AIDS orphanage, getting to know the children there and relieving the regular nannies of some of their work. Although it’s not necessarily “nursing”, we are very excited to see their work and the impact they are having on the community there. Ricky and Karen have been working with Mennonite Brethren Missions and Services International (MBMSI) for a number of years. You can read about their various ministries by clicking here. We will also be visiting a bit with Andy and Carmen Owens, who have been serving with MBMSI in Thailand for about 10 years. You can read about their ministry here.

On September 16, we will leave Chonburi and fly to Dhaka, Bangladesh. We will then take a bus to Malumghat, a small town about 9 hours south of Dhaka. There, we will be volunteering at Memorial Christian Hospital (run by the Baptist church) for a period of 3 weeks. We will have the opportunity to see first-hand what working in an overseas hospital will be like as we work alongside the national nurses and doctors there. We’re pretty excited about it! To find out more about the hospital, click here.

On October 11, we will then fly into Calcutta, India, spending a few days volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity. This was an organization established under Mother Teresa in 1950, and its purpose is to take care of the dying, the sick, and all the in between. We are very excited about this stop! Not only will it be cool to see the place where Mother Teresa lived and ministered, but also to see the specific ways people are following Jesus’ call to truly reach out and minister to the poor and suffering.

After Calcutta, we will fly back to Thailand and spend our last few days traveling to some different places in the country that are said to be some of the most beautiful in the world! So after all of our travels, we should arrive home on the evening of October 20.

Please continue to pray for us! As we get closer to our departure date, this trip is feeling more and more real. We are asking ourselves questions such as “how will we communicate?” and “what if we get really sick?” There is definitely a lot to worry about and plan for, but pray that God would give us peace each and every day that this is what he wants us to be doing! Thanks again, family and friends, for your support!!