Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Viewing Pleasure

These eat things! They are awesome!

Here are some pictures I took from the gardens in Singapore!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Numbers and Lists

My trip by numbers and lists

6-Serve Asia workers met
2-of us traveling
1,000+-times I have thought I wished Aaron was here
600+-pictures taken so far
5-stamps on my passport so far

Ways I have traveled
  1. Plane
  2. Boat
  3. Train
  4. Taxi
  5. Tuk Tuk
  6. Sung Tao
  7. Motorbike
  8. The Travellator (see picture below in travelator blog)
  9. Walking

Things I have learned

  1. That financially it is smart for families to send their sons off to be monks: They are fed and educated and they don't need to pay for it
  2. That it makes me sick to my stomach to see young girls sitting outside a hotel waiting to be picked for the night's events
  3. That Karma is so misunderstood: One of our missionaries met a boy with a cleft lip and most people were horrible to this little boy (of about 6) saying that it was Karma because he must have done something bad in a past life. The cruelty he faced was horrible. (Side note now he is a Christian and there was someone who came out and was able to fix it!)
  4. Many people don't understand that our goal in our jobs really is to see people go over short term with a long term impact on their lives...a discipleship process. Many think short-term trips is a glorified vacation.
  5. That motorbikes are as scary as they look when you are in Asia...but G-d is greater than the scary driving
  6. That there are so many simple ways that peoples lives can be changed if there are just more people who are willing to work on the fields if G-d calls them.
  7. That every day two people die in Cambodia because of an undiscovered land mine.
  8. That so many people make offerings to things they don't even know...especially tourists who go to temples.
  9. That I really miss good chips and salsa.
  10. That so many of the long-termers are such amazing and beautiful people and how grateful I am for what they are doing.

Favorite things I have seen:

  1. Children playing and waving
  2. The wonderful colors at the Market
  3. Pictures of people healed from disease, women rescued from prostitution, simple procedures made accessible to those before unable to get them.
  4. The homes of many of the long-termer and their wonderful children
  5. Fruit-it is even refreshing to see when you are in this heat!

Songs that have come into my head:

  1. Wild Horses-Natasha Beddingfield
  2. My Redeemer Lives-Nicole C. Mullins
  3. J. loves the little children
  4. Say-John Mayer
  5. Do you feel the Mountains Tremble

Things you can pr-y for:

  1. That I will be able to embrace this last week and have G-d strenght daily
  2. That I can focus on being here and not going back home (I am missing it dearly)
  3. That I will be able to stomach all the food that I eat
  4. That I won't get more bug bites
  5. That Mandy and I will continue to have a great time together
  6. That the heat won't get to me especially while I wear pants and long sleeves
  7. That we will be safe when traveling
  8. That I will be positive for this last push of the trip
  9. That I can process all I have been through!

Thanks so much for all of you who are reading this and keeping updated on this trip and walking through it with me!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Floating Villages

As you go down the Mekong River, you see these pockets of villages, mostly Vietnamese trying to get by through fishing and keeping the cost of living low and having their homes floating on the river instead of owning land. As we were speeding by I realized that there are some using the bathroom in the water while others just down a few houses are getting drinking water. There is both spiritual and physical poverty here in abundance. There are some we have on the field wanting to get a book published that will help people to understand some of the basics of keeping well but the goverment doesn't want it published because they fear they will not be given foreign aid as it promotes self-healthcare and not govermental. Now the book will have to be published privately with the funds from the people themselves. May this be a cause that people will come around so that as they feel physically healthy they will become spiritually healthy.

This is a picture of a temple seen from the river and truly shows the contrast of wealth and poverty that is here.

Angkor Wat/Siem Reap

Temples, land mines, monks, poverty, tourists, suffering, malnutrition, foreign aid, human trafficing, Hollywood adoption, killing fields...All of these words describe Cambodia. So far having been here my mind and my heart are struggling to process all I have seen. I am sure it will take months to understand all I have seen on this trip. So far I have only been to two different countries, but each place I go is different. Chiang Mai compared to Lopburi, Siem Reap compared to Phnom Penh, River villages, prostitution centers...so much for my mind to comprehend. But the greatest thing about it all is that G is really at work. So many different things are being done, and while there is still so much more to be done and so many more workers needed, it is still wonderful to see even the beginnings of what can happen when people invest their lives in living out what G has asked us to.

Below are pictures of Angkor Wat...a temple that has been both used for both Buddists and Hindu wors-p. This is one of the few things that survived the Khmer Rouge devistation. I pr-y for all of the people who wors-p here so blindly and the people who come here who so badly need true healing. So many deal with Post-tramatic Stress after the Khmer Rouge. May they know what can really bring healing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lopburi Youth Center

The student leading the cell group

Off and Pung-the couple running the Youth House

Yesterday was quite an interesting day. I felt awful in the afternoon. It was 36 degrees C which is 97 degrees F. Yes I had to look that up! I was a bit dehydrated and I had an horrible headache. On top of that, it was a day when I was really struggling missing Aaron.

In the morning we had spent about four hours at a pr-yer meeting where we got to hear some amazing things that are happening on the field. It was so neat to hear about how many things are going on just in the central region of Thailand. However, afterwards the elements caught up with me and I had to rest. I just wanted to go home. So we went back to the home we were staying at and I spend the next hour pr-ying and resting. Then that evening, we went to the Lopburi Youth Center.

It was absolutely the exact thing I needed. It was an encouragement to see what is being done there. We got to see some other Serve Asia workers, we got to see a student leading the cell group, and got to meet a very faithful Thai couple that loves on these kids right where they are at. The moment the students walk in the door they know they are cared for. What the perfect thing for me to see that stirred my heart and made me excited. Even if that was the only thing I came on this trip for, it would be good! However, I know that there is more to come. But here are some pictures from last night!

Some of the other students

On a side note, I am doing much better today. I am feeling a bit better and got to talk to both Aaron and my mom on the phone for a very short time. Please keep me in your thoughts. Pr-y that I will be able to get rest and that my body will remain healthy. I have fear that a cold is coming on. Also that I will be able to really enjoy my time. We have a pretty intense schedule in front of us.
Miss you all! Love, Me

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Loves the little Children

One of the hardest things for me so far was seeing all these beautiful children in them temple. However, it was very powerful when a childhood song that I used to know came into my head and reminded me that J. loves the little children...all the children of the world!


Yesterday we went to a temple in Chiang Mai. It was so interesting to watch so many people worship all of these different images that were cracking and fading. How different it would be if they knew that they didn't have to pour oil over a candle or walk around the temple a certain number of times for the Real G. to clear their s-n. It was amazing to see all of the THINGS that needed to be done. How great that we can just ask. That is the amazing difference in a relationship and rituals.

We also went to the night market and on the way home drove a tuk tuk (once again don't know the exact spelling) home. On the way we saw the building where all the prosititues sit outside waiting to be chosen. I wish I could explain to them that they already were chosen and loved in a much more beautiful way.

It has been so beautiful to be out here even though I miss many things...namely my hubby and my friend Sarah who should be having her baby today!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

All its own

This picture needed a blog all it's own.

This has been one of my most favorite things so far. You can't see it very well but the blue writing over the moving walk way says "End of Travelator"
YES...in Singapore they call it the travelator. They don't have a cool voice saying "Watch out for the Travelator" or anything like that, but it is still awesome!

So far...

The First few days: (out of order)

Singapore Airport:
Aaron you would have loved the real gardens
Hong Kong Airport (Naomi this is as much as I got to see but I took this for you!)
When I was flying out here I was thinking about what the smells that I would experiance. However I must say that as I was driving in the taxi I just kept thinking, "This makes me think of Wild Ginger" (A local Thai resturant) which just made me want to eat Panang Curry or Pad Thai. However I had just come off 26 hours of flying and about 12 meals (or so it felt).
It has been very interesting to be traveling so far away from all I know. However, for the last day and a half I have been around a great group of Serve Asia Field side coordinators, mostly Americans and Europeans and Aussi's. Which has maybe been a good transiton for me to slowly get to know Asia. It is also humid like the South so I am able to relate to that as well.

Today however Mandy and I are going to a temple here in Chiang Mai and taking a sungtao (have no idea how to spell that) up there so I am sure I will be having my first real dose of culture today! We are also going to the night market which will be a great place to see the local working class and to get a taste for what life can be like out here.

Tomorrow we will be on a train ride down to Lopburi, Thailand and so therefore I won't be able to write about my experiance for a few days but I promise I will.