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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
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Orientation Course

We've been in Singapore for about two weeks now and are well into our Orientation Course (OC) at OMF's International Headquarters. We are here together with other new OMF missionaries (and their children) from a variety of countries - USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Philipines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, etc. There are about 40 adults and 16 kids. Fortunately, there are some kind grandmas from UK and Australia are helping with childcare so that Sun and I can attend the lectures and not have to watch Joshua all the time.

 

The content of the lectures have covered medical issues (insurance, malaria, dengue fever, where to get medical advice and care on the field), finances (how OMF financial system works), the vision and mission of OMF International, times of Bible study, prayer, and worship, and meetings with the International Directors and Intl Medical Advisor. Joshua was able to get his six month shots right here at OMF HQ so we didn't have to go look for some place around town or wait.

 

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Arrival in Singapore

We arrived in Singapore around midnight on Nov 1st and have been catching up on sleep ever since. Joshua did well in the airplane and more than one fellow passenger remarked on how good our baby was. We are relaxing for a few days at the OMF guest home and have had some extra time to read the Bible, pray, and talk which has been very good after our busy final weeks in the States. Our orientation course starts next Wednesday, I think. Until them, we are enjoying a little bit of down time as a family.

God was really good to us in the final weeks leading up to departure and provided so many friends to help us with packing, moving, and so forth. The night before we moved out of our apartment, the doorbell rang and UPS had a surprise gift for us. Someone had sent an anonymous gift of a full set of Calvin's Commentaries. Awesome. So I put them right into the pile to ship via ocean freight and will get much use from them starting in a couple months when all our possesions catch up with us in Thailand.

We've been learning about the city/nation of Singapore. It only takes an hour to go from one end to the other and it is super clean and highly regulated. It feels a lot like Thailand in some ways, but different in others. Maybe I'll write more about Singapore later, but in the meantime, here's a map of Asia to show where we are right now. You'll see Singapore at the tip of the Malaysian penninsula.

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Departure Immanent

We fly out to Singapore for a month of training this coming Tuesday 10/31 (LAX, 11:25am Cathay Pacific) and then on to Thailand on Dec 4th. We are busy finishing up last minute details - packing, selling the car, buying last minute items, turning in apartment keys, meeting with family and friends one last time, and so forth. Look like we can pick up our visas at Thai embassy in Sinapore. Praise God! We are finally here and it is time to go.
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Joshua Tree & Ordination

My ordination service is set for this coming Sunday evening. My parents are able to make it out for the weekend so it will be good to see them again before we head off to Thailand for about four years. Praise God that our financial support has come together sufficiently for us to leave at the end of this month. We gave notice to our landlord and are looking for plane tickets now. In the few weeks that we have left we are trying to not get everything packed up but also see as many people as we can before we leave. My brother recently came out to visit and we all headed out to Joshua Tree National Park for a few days. Here is one of the many pics that we took. I have posted more on Joshua's blog (yes, we have a blog for our baby, and no, he does not write his own entries)

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Thailand Coup

It looks as if the coup in Thailand is going to be a bloodless overthrow of an unpopular prime minister. I went to pick up some Thai food tonight from our favorite little Thai place down the street and asked the folks there what they thought about all that's going on in Bangkok. There consensus was that it is good for Prime Minister Taksin to be out of power. I don't know enough of Thai politics to give a definitive opinion about whether this is a good thing for the nation or not but I do know that despite his repeated electoral victories, he was quickly becoming a heavy handed, and thus unpopular figure in the country. As a related side note, when I was in Thailand in July 2004, I was told that Taksin's unofficial policy to deal with the illegal drug problem was this: Hire off duty policemen to covertly assasinate drug dealers.

In any case, Sun and I are hoping and praying that things will settle down in Thailand and return to relative normalcy (and democracy as well), and that God will use this coup to speak to Thai hearts about the lack of peace and security in this world, and drive them to seek the peace that only Christ can give. And since there