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A Moron in a Hardware Store

Today I (Karl) walked into a hardware store to buy a splitter for the hose to our washing machine so that we could run a hose for a sink/baby bath as well. I wasn’t sure of the word for “hose splitter” or exactly how to describe it in Thai but fortunately I happened to see a box containing a bunch of what looked like hose splitters. I picked one up and asked the store employee who was helping me if this was for use with a hose. He said “Yes” and pointed to the hoses so I figured I would pick his brain to get the exact Thai word for “hose splitter”. Holding up the splitter in front of me, I asked in Thai, “What is this called?” Looking at me as if I was some kind of moron, he said very slowly, “Pla-st-ic”. Ah yes, it is made of plastic. I knew that. Obviously the intent of my question was not abundantly clear. I tried rephrasing my question and eventually got the Thai word that I had wanted. I bought a hammer too and that went a little more successfully.


After being away from Thailand for a number of years, my general conversational ability is decent but I lack some of the specific vocab for places like the pharmacy or the hardware store. Some of it I knew but forgot and some of it I never knew. Much more to learn. Tomorrow is a another day to risk looking like a moron but it is also an opportunity to learn something new.

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Safe Arrival in Thailand

We arrived in Thailand this past Monday night and were picked up at the airport by the Language and Orienation Director to be taken to our new home in Lopburi, an hour or two north of Bangkok.  We live in a small two floor condo-type apartment in a row of attached homes on a narrow street.  Motorbikes zip up and down the small lane day and night as a shortcut between two major roads.  We have been have orientation sessions at the OMF mission home in Lopburi, the Lopburi Learning Center (LLC) where new missionaries study language, and around town and we get a feel for what is located where.  We opened a bank account, Sun bought a bicycle, and we met with the language advisors at the LLC to chart a course for language study.  There is so much more to tell and hopefully we'll get some pictures of our new surrounding up on this blog in the following weeks.  However, the priority at the moment is getting our new house set up, starting language study, and becoming familiar with our new surroundings.  We feel blessed in that, unlike most new missionaries, we both have some language ability and are not limited to pointing, smiling, and playing charades.  However, my Thai is a bit rusty and Sun doesn't technically speak Thai, but the related language of Laotian.  So, sometimes she can understand and make herself understood and sometimes not.  I'll write more about our settling in and adjustment later.   For those who are praying for us, thank you.
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Demonic Happenings at the New Airport

This Monday, Dec 4th, we'll be flying to Thailand and arriving at the newly constructed Bangkok airport, which opened in September 2006. The construction of it was plagued by a series of accidents and the Thai authorities decided to bring in a bunch of Buddhist monks to chant over it for good luck. The following excerpt from the Bangkok Post (Sept 24, 2006) tells of the bizarre event that happened during the chanting ceremony and gives some insight into the spiritual realities that shape the lives of Thai people.

 

Last Saturday there was a large ceremony held at the new BangkokInternationalAirport which is due to open this week. Ninety-nine Buddhist Monks chanted on masse to improve the luck ofthe new airport. Half way through the rite, a man appeared quivering and began to speak in a commanding voice claiming to be the guardian spirit of the airport land. He ordered that a proper spirit house be built at the airport to allow for its smooth operation. The man, who was unidentified, later passed out and woke up to find the spirit had left him” (Bangkok Post article, 24th September, 2006)

 

The spirit world is very real to Thai people. Please pray that they would understand the true nature of the principalities and powers of this dark world and would come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 

 

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Thai Visas Received

Praise God that we picked up our visas today at the Thai Embassy here in Singapore. 

The long story is that a couple weeks ago we got the word from OMF in Bangkok that the religion department and immigration department had processed everything for Karl's visa and OMF-Bangkok would send us an official letter to take to the Thai embassy to request dependent visas for Sun and Joshua.  That letter came quickly enough but we discovered that the letter had Sun's maiden name instead of married name.  So, we requested a new letter which came just a few days ago.  Providentially, the Thai Embassy is pretty efficient in pumping out visas and only has a one-day turn around time and we submitted the apps yesterday and then picked it all up today.  So barring any unexpected tragedies, we should be good to go for our flight out to Thailand on Monday (12/4)
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Thanksgiving Overseas

Celebrating Thanksgiving outside of the USA is a bit of a different experience.  First of all, it is not a holiday and therefore not a day off.  On Thanksgiving Day we sat in orientation lectures and carried on with life as usual.  So on the actual day of, we didn't do anything although some of the Americans in our international mission are putting together a meal for this Saturday night.  They went out to the store to get the fixin' for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, or at least as many as they can find.  Turkey is rather hard to come by so I think we are having chicken, or maybe Chinese roast duck instead.   All the missionaries who are here have been invited although the number of Americans among us is not that large. 
Tags: Family Travel