I ran up the steps, panting and struggling to hang onto the armful of red heart-shaped balloons.
“Hurry up,” I called back to the teens straggling behind me. “She’s already here and we aren’t set up yet.”
“I knew we should have gotten here earlier,” I muttered.
I rounded the corner and stopped in dismay. Another l-o-n-g flight of steps led past the beautiful flowers and lush foliage…up and up and up.
We were at Bhuphing Palace on Saturday for a special occasion. Our good friend, Rusty Van Der Net, asked our help in preparing a surprise proposal. We had fun making up clues to a “treasure hunt” that led all through the stunning gardens at the palace. Verses from Song of Solomon gave hints to the next destination where one of our kids was stationed with a red heart balloon and yet another clue from that most romantic of Bible books.
The trouble was that we had a late start and they arrived early. I still had several kids and clues to place and the palace grounds were immense. I definitely should have worn my running shoes.
We made it up the steps and jogged around the reservoir, the dining pavilion, and, finally, the Queen’s palace, dropping kids with clues off all along the way. Then I only had to race back to the entrance and greet the soon-to-be engaged young lady. My well-known lack of directional sense led me on a couple of detours as I turned the wrong way, but I’m not ashamed to ask for directions and kept running. In due time I arrived back at the gate.
A charming young lady met me there and enthusiastically entered into the “treasure hunt.” I trailed behind her to make sure our clever clues were not too obscure for her. I certainly made my quota of steps that day!
The jaunt was well worth the effort though, when the last clue led to a rustic bridge where Rusty proposed. We were all at the end of the bridge, trying to divert the foot traffic, which included a busload of Chinese tourists, who waited patiently until the ring was on her finger. Lots of clapping and congratulations erupted from the bystanders, as well as from our troop. The kids were thrilled to be a part of the excitement – just as I was.
Unlike Rusty, Ellie is shy and not comfortable in the public spotlight – so I’ll wait and introduce you when we are a bit better acquainted. For now I’ll just say that she is a lovely lady whose faith in the Lord and love of the truth drew Rusty to her. We are happy for both of them!
The newly engaged couple joined us on Sunday as we traveled to the village of Hoi La Bong.
William has been interpreting for Paul since our part-time translator has been unable to help on Sundays lately because of other commitments. It’s hard for William because he is more fluent in Thai than in Lahu and this particular message was difficult for him to translate. Paul revised his plans and just gave a short, encouraging message. Asa preached instead.
We really feel the lack of a full time translator/interpreter. Please pray with us about this need.
We had a good service, although several of us couldn’t understand the preaching, (which was in Lahu). Afterwards we had our tailgate clinic and headed back home.
We’re thankful to be back on schedule this week. Last week we were at the hospital with Andy. I’m happy to report that he is still doing well. He has not had any adverse side effects at all from the medicine to kill the parasite that had lodged in his brain. He’s still on a regimen of drugs and will need to go back for another CAT scan in a few weeks. A year of anti-seizure meds are in his future, but we have hopes that he will continue on the road to a healthy brain. We are so thankful for the prayers of our faithful supporters, and for the financial gifts that made it possible for us to get the best care and treatment for him!
Paul left today for another week of preachers’ training. I’m glad Kimmy is here to help me with the kids and the multitude of things that crop up when Paul is gone. She’s a huge help to me!
Please pray for God’s continued blessing this week for Paul and for the men. We are so happy to have this opportunity to see the Gospel and sound doctrine spread throughout the mountains of Thailand and Myanmar. What a privilege to be here! God is good.