Sunday morning found us on the road to Na Hui. This church is the closest, and we were glad of that. Bro. Anond’s pickup is still in the shop being repaired from an accident he was in last week. We are all five squeezed into a tiny rental car. Lots of togetherness, but we survived.
It was good to see the pastor, Ja Law, and his wife, Na Mi. He is one of the older, more mature pastors and has been in the Bible school for the last few years. Na Mi was the cook at the children’s home for a while, so I am a little acquainted with her. She’s a tiny lady, but full of spunk and not willing to take any nonsense. And she’s a very good cook.
This little church has struggled through some problems with a church split. Some things — like misunderstandings, disagreements, and gossip — are the same worldwide. But they seem to be recovering and new families have been added. Please pray that the church would prosper and be strong in faith and in love to each other.
With the addition of a truckload of children from the children’s home, the building was nearly full yesterday. I enjoyed seeing the children, who sat at my feet while Bro. Camp preached. I’ve decided that some of the first phrases in Thai I need to learn are, “Sit still,” “No talking,” and “Hands to yourself.” As I said, many things are the same the world over!
I know some will wonder, so I’ll stop to explain that Thai is the universal language spoken at the children’s home. The children are mostly La Hu, but there are several other tribes represented and they each have their own language, so they all learn Thai in order to communicate. When Bro. Anond translated, he spoke the message in Thai as well as La Hu.
After the message the church served us lunch. It was good, which was no surprise, since Na Mi cooked it. We had a dish with yam noodles, vegetables, and sausage. They also served us strips of fried pork and grilled pork and a type of cooked spinach. I think it was spinach. Anond called it “lettuce,” but it didn’t taste like lettuce. Although, come to think of it, I’ve never eaten cooked lettuce. Maybe — but probably spinach. Of course we had rice and wonderful fruit for dessert.
One thing I can’t get used to — the pastors never eat with us. We asked Bro. Anond if Ja Law wouldn’t like to join us. He said, “Here we do not do. He show respect for us by serve us.” It seemed disrespectful to us to eat while our host looked on, but we have to bow to their traditions.
After lunch we took pictures and squeezed back into the car to head back to the condo.
Jet lag kicked in again when we got back. We were desperate for some groceries, so once again I ventured out in a mental fog to buy food. This time I walked over the mall next door to the condo. They have a store there called “Topps” which caters to foreigners. There are all sorts of imported items there, from New Zealand butter to Scottish cookies to Lays potato chips. I can choose German sausages or Holland cheeses or British tea biscuits. I have to pay through the nose for my choices, though!
Trying to shop for gluten-free foods is a challenge. Add low-glycemic to the mix and shop in a place where the labels are not in English and you have a mega-challenge. Not to mention that I have to divide by 30 to figure out how much everything costs. That’s just too much to handle in a brain fog! I managed to bring a few things home but have heard Paul tell at least three people on the phone that we have nothing to eat, so I will venture out earlier today and try harder.
The Bible school runs from Tuesday through Friday, so we don’t have classes until tomorrow. Today we will try to get the rest of the things to set up housekeeping. We need boring but necessary stuff like adapters so we can run our computers. They have 220 here, so we have to get a converter to use our 110 appliances. I also badly need a broom and a long-handled squeegie.
The squeegie is for the shower. For some reason they designed the condo with a bathroom and a shower room. The shower has no curtain, only a drain in the floor. It doesn’t slope enough for the water to run out, so you have to scrape it to the drain hole with a squeegie. If you don’t, you have to stand in a puddle to brush your teeth, as the sink is in the shower room. Our squeegie broke, so it’s time for a new one.
Hmmm. I plan on taking a taxi to the Day Market to shop. Taxi’s are pickups with bench seats in the back. Wonder how I’m going to get home with a bucket, a dishpan, a broom and a squeegie? Where there is a will, there is a way, so we shall see!
We miss everybody at home, and we appreciate your prayers!