25 July 2006
The below update was made out to some friends and I thought that it would be good to keep it in this blog .....
We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on 16 April 2006, Sunday. It was Easter Sunday and my birthday. Of course all the goodbyes at the airport were depressing. Being my first time away from my parents and Malaysia for an indefinite time was exciting and terrifying at the same time.
We were scheduled to stay at the Royal Princess, Srinakarin Hotel for 5 days whilst waiting for our goods to arrive from Malaysia but somehow it turned out that we had to stay for 3 weeks due to some delay. The hotel was next door to one of the biggest shopping complex in South East Asia i.e. Seacon Square. You want anything? They have it. So, everyday we went to Seacon Square for meals and to entertain ourselves. There were internet cafes which I went to do my emails. It was about 20 Baht per hour, which was very cheap. Other places in the city cost between 30 to 80 Baht an hour.
After the 2nd week in the hotel, we were all restless…. Dying to move into our new home and for the children to settle to some homeschooling routine, unfortunately, we did not have any of our books with us. Through some miracle, we managed to clear our goods from customs, including some nasty SMS to the Movers (never employ TMS Movers ever again!!!). We bought brooms, brush, buckets and etc. to clean our new home with only the help of my 2 assistants (Joel and Ethaniel). Ethaniel (4+) was intently scrubbing the toilet and the floor skirting. I was impressed with his ability to concentrate on the task and finished it. We washed the downstairs and upstairs too. It was tiring but thank God for that 2 assistant because without them, it would be too great a task. Ivan was at work….
We visited ECB, an interdenominational church. It was different from our church, Grace PJ. Especially the worship but other stuffs are OK. So, the following week, we visited The Hope of God, International Fellowship. Of course, the worship was very similar to Grace PJ and after service there is an International Buffet offered to church members for a discounted price of 90 Baht (normal 230 Baht). The people were very friendly and really made us feel at home. Eventhough Joel has only 2 friends in Sunday School (most members are single, newly weds and young children), he still loves the church. Ethaniel has more friends. One particular girl from Malaysia, Jie Wern is also 5 years old. She enjoys playing with Ethaniel as well. Our cell members adores Joel and Ethaniel and of course particularly Ethaniel, due to his friendly and mischievious ways. The adults love to disturb him and he in return ‘entertains’ them. Eventhough playful, Joel and Ethaniel behaves themselves most of the time during cell group and church, which makes them a favorite. Anyway, there are not many children around for them cuddle. So fortunately for Joel and Ethaniel, they often get a lot of attention.
The Pastor, Ps David Chen is a Chinese Thai who travels a lot. Whenever he travels, Ps Isaac Alamo (An English University Professor from US) will be the one preaching. He is a volunteer for the church. He has a great heart, full of humility, down to earth and has a great sense of humor. He is also our Cell Leader.
Last week, Sunday, the presence of God and anointing was so strong for all of the church members to repent. Pastor Isaac has a vision that God was hurt due to our unrepentant hearts and cold response towards him. The whole service was a session of repentance before God and crying out to God. People were kneeling, crying and yielding their hearts to God. It was an amazing service and I was personally touched by God too. The service ended without a sermon but people were definitely ministered to!
We stay 10 minutes from the new airport which is due to open in September 2006. About 45 mins from the city on Sunday. We are about 20 min from the supermarkets & shopping complexes e.g. Tesco. We are about 20 minutes from Bangna. Bangna has more expats than our area. Our “mooban” (gated community) is pretty quiet and nice. It has many small little canal/lake around. We cycle around the housing area during the evenings and there are not many cars around. The Summit Golf Club is in the midst of the housing area but we don’t play golf. There is also a community swimming pool. We met a little friend called Ryan (5 yrs old). His father is an American and his Mom is a Thai. Cute little boy. We visited him the other day at his home and he was so excited!!! He is a potential friend of Ethaniel. They are very cute together.
We are going to a Cell Group in the city which takes us almost an hour to get there. It is largely due to the rush hour traffic. We have a Lebanese, an Armenian, a French, 2 Americans, 3 Thais, an English lady, an Egyptian, 6 Malaysian (including my family), a New Zealander and a missionary Jewish couple (from Australia). Talking about global!!! We have been very encouraged and inspired by all of them but especially the Jewish couple. It was really exciting meeting a real Jew. Have never personally met one so close up!!! They are such faithful servants of God and absolutely wonderful and loving Christians. They are converting people to Christianity like I have never seen and known! Every week there are converts and it is absolutely true that the harvest is ripe, especially in Thailand.
Indeed sometimes Ivan and myself feels inferior when we hear what they are doing. But I know that God has His timing for us. But we have heard some very encouraging words and a Word of Knowledge prayed upon us by our Cell Members.
I have been serving in the area of worship leading and playing the guitar. Still not so good at playing the guitar but somehow through my willingness to serve, God has multiplied my talent and now I can play in timing. But need to practice!
I cook majority of the time except on Sunday noon or when we go out during the weekends. I definitely still prefer the food that I cook eventhough there are some yummy Thai food out there. We cook all kind of food e.g. chicken curry, a variation of Asam Pedas, Mee Rebus, Tom Yam and etc. The children enjoys the food they eat at home eventhough every now and then they crave for MacDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Thank God that the children has been exposed to eating all kinds of food whilst in Malaysia. They can eat hot and spicy, Chinese, Western, Malay and Thai too. Ethaniel can eat hot too! But needs a cup of water beside, all the time!!
The fruits in Thailand is one of the most delicious I have tasted. It is cheap, fresh, sweet and absolutely juicy! Laici (huge), longan, pineapple, watermelon, mangostein, mangoes and etc.
Ivan’s Job (Mattel Bangkok Limited)
Ivan is currently managing 3 department (Painting, Die Cast, Process, I think). When he arrived in Bangkok he was assigned to something else and now he has been given more responsibility. He is enjoying himself immensely. He has always enjoyed engineering… and now its like coming back home. He goes to work on time and returns on time. Work is very busy but he does not have bad stress. The people at work are also nice. His boss is a Malaysian and they have known each other for a long time.
The children are slowly settling into homeschooling. There are few interruptions except for the occasional guests (My in laws are here for 2 weeks) and my cousin from US was here few weeks ago. So, we do our studies in peace. We don’t watch TV, no gameboys, no PS2 and etc. The children run around the house, cycles, plays catching, spiderman, combat, reads and etc. We went for foot massage the other day and the lady massaged Joel and Ethaniel’s feet for free and they really enjoyed themselves! So, they were busy giving foot massage to each other!
As for me, things are very busy due to homeschooling both Joel and Ethaniel, cooking, cleaning and etc. I try to catch up on reading… Calling Malaysia and anywhere in the world is ridiculously expensive. I am just waiting for my broadband internet to be installed. After that, I can skype or google for free. In this sense, I feel cut off from the world. In another sense, it gives me more time to do other things. I get to do some sewing too. For cleaning, I get some help from Joel who helps with vacuuming, mopping and washing the dishes. Occasionally Ethaniel will vacuum upstairs, take out the rubbish, hang the clothes and mop the staircase. It really depends on his moods and how persistent is Mommy.
I hope to be able to write more often now that my husband is convicted to purchase a laptop for me after our computer was damaged in shipment. I still have to wait for the broadband line to be sorted out….