Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hot Showers

My intention was simply to capture the fact that there were NINE of us on this tiny street, but by the time I backed up to take the shot there was a lot more than just preaching going on.


Its true. 

A lovely Japanese sister gave us a wonderful little box. 
A lovely Thai brother installed that little box. 
And now glorious hot water rains down upon us, even from the midst of our tiny ghetto bathroom. 
Modern day miracle. 
It's taking me longer to get ready now though. Cold water isn't very inviting. You spend as little time as possible with it. But now I sort of hang out in the bathroom and forget to leave. Ah well. 

 What did I do today?

I got up. Took a gloriously hot shower. Drank stupid powdered coffee. Got ready for meeting. Pretty normal. 
Until it got spectacular. 
It got spectacular when I went to pick up my Bible student for meeting. 
Not only is she the first of my Thai Bible students, but she's the first one that came to meeting too! I've been inviting her for a while but every time I asked, she smiled shyly and looked down. I thought she was scared. 
So I finally brought the brochure to show her what went on at our mysterious meetings. 
"I'm not scared!" she said, "I just don't have a car! I can only go 50 meters in any direction!" 
While this may have been a slight exaggeration, she still accepted a ride to meeting. Snap back to present day. She didn't forget our plans and she didn't cancel either. She prepared her Watchtower and she raised her hand for 3 paragraphs, finally getting called on the third time. I tried to film it but I was too giddy and pressed the wrong button. Bleh. Boy, was I a proud mom! Of course, Poweena or Cut do most of the explaining on our studies because Ning doesn't speak much English. But it's very sweet of them to still call Ning "Lexi's" student. 

We went out to lunch after. That's me with 3 Bible students. They got along swimmingly. After giggling in the car for forever, Cut dropped everyone off. Cut helped 3 people with comments today, and still managed to participate herself. She then tried to study with two of her students who turned out to be busy. Then we sat in a cafe and composed a letter together for another promising Bible student who had just sent a crushing email cancelling her study. After all this activity, Cut uttered a dissatisfied sigh. "What am I going to do with the rest of my day? It's like I took the day off from Jehovah." I looked at her in disbelief. She felt she hadn't done enough?! 
Cut is a more like a pioneer partner and less like a Bible student. 
She totally gives my zeal a boost and is one of my favorite things about Thailand.

Anyway, for obvious reasons, today was awesome.

The famous Cut, me, Goi and Ning!

You might think it was hard to get the kids to sit like this but... they did it automatically. When the little girl on the left sees Cut, she screams with delight and drops what she's doing to run and tell the other kids. The kids stream out of all their hiding places by bike or on foot, hop on that thing and grab a brochure. Let the learnin' begin.

Somehow I managed to be on the other
side of the house while Jeehu was
witnessing to this guy.
Not that you can see him or anything.

Another story from Korean prison. 

We have a new brother, Jeehu, with us from Korea. I asked him about prison life and this is the first story he told me.
Some brothers were in cells full of mostly fellow witnesses. Jeehu was not. Sometimes he was in a cell with 15 people, and only a few of them were witnesses. He said he could hear the other brothers laughing and talking in their cells but in his, you kept to yourself and read quietly. One day, he got a letter from a sister. The other cell mates saw it and made him read it out loud to them. Weird, but true. It gets worse. He complied but apparently he didn't read it with enough feeling so at lunch they came over and hit him on the head for being a boring reader. Come on! I think maybe only in Korea could you get bullied for not having enough pitch, pace and power. Also in their cells the toilet is just out in the open so no one can hide in the bathroom and kill themselves or somebody else. The things our brothers are enduring...

But we're happy to have Jeehu with us!

Jeehu and Glen with our breakfast popsicles.

The Care Bears are real and I have their Bible.

Let me tell you a Bible story.

See here, we all use Bible cases. One reason will be explained later as I show you how we have to disassemble and reconstruct our Bibles which makes them a bit unwieldy. But also, they just plain get dirty and destroyed. So the case is a witness necessity. It's taken me 7 months to get a complete Bible/case. That was probably my fault but anyways. I finally got a shiny black one. Ok.
Then i'm on a call with Jeehu and I see him pull out...hearts and hearts and... MORE hearts! On the inside it gets better: there are flowers! I think to myself, it must be a Korean thing. Because most guys would cringe feeling the testosterone draining out of their fingertips as they flipped through the scriptures. Plus in Thailand, a guy using this kind of Bible could really give the wrong idea. But maybe in' I carefully broached the subject. Did his Bible? He told me an old sister made it for him. (WHAT was she thinking?!?) Did he...uh...want a different case?
Yes. Oh my yes.
So we traded. He can now be a real man and I can be, goodness, well I can certainly feel a bit more humanitarian.


I was driving to meeting the other night when I got pelted in the face by a suicidal bug. No big deal. Then I got one on the forehead. Then one on the other cheek. About 12 bugs later I realized I was driving through some kind of swarm and I started to get worried. But no need to worry because the worst already happened! One made it in my eye.
All the way in.
I drove the rest of the way to meeting with one eye squinted all up, Popeye style, hoping the bug wasn't crawling around in my head or anything. After a quick trip to the bathroom i'm preeetty sure I got all the pieces out. I'm much better about remembering my night goggles now.

 A little bit later, I was at the meeting checking my answer on Google translate to see if everything was peachy. I put the phone down on my lap and looked around for someone to check what I had written.

Three foreigners speaking Thai and two Thais translating
for the deaf.
Well, there's a sweet little button that when pushed, reads the translation out loud for you. Apparently my lap found the button. Because then, blaring out of the middle of a previously normal meeting came an automated Thai voice reading my comment for me!! Nope, couldn't turn it off in time. Thanks technology!! Why are there no seats big enough to crawl under?

Then a cute little Russian girl came in late and very shyly sat next to me. She waited a minute in confusion then asked what meeting this was. I knew she was looking for the Russian group. I pointed to the back room. She pointed to her shirt and asked me something. I'm like, oh boy, this chick doesn't understand me. So I smiled indulgently and waved for her to follow me. I got up, walked to the back, pointed to the door and made her go in. I walked away feeling like a good samaritan and sat back down. Then my good samaritan feeling started to melt. I turned half consciously to Amy who was shaking her head and mouthing "That's not Russian." I looked around and Amy wasn't the only one who was giving me the 'What'd you do that for?' face.

OH YEAH. Sometimes the Russian group meets back there and  S O M E T I M E S  the sign language group does. Guess which day this was? Good samaritan feeling completely gone now, replaced by idiot moron agony. But then I realized that most of our local Russians would be in that room anyway, so she would probably find a buddy and understand some part of the meeting and survive. Meetings are rough!!

Making a Bible.
On the left we have our complete Bible, printed (but not translated) by us and on the right we have the Greek scriptures both printed and translated by the brothers.

So what you're gonna wanna do is rip out that old, outdated and difficult to understand translation of the Christian Greek scriptures piece by piece. Careful now.

Hey look, the pages are back in! JK, I forgot to say you can remove the cover.
Who needs two covers on a Bible? That's just greedy.

Glue that new translation into the void that that the old translation left and you now have something that you can slip into a pretty little case with 500 hearts on it. Yaaaaaaaayyyy!!!!

Random News

The first ever BSCC for Thailand will be held this November.

Amy's friends the Westbys gave a talk at our hall. They used to serve at Bethel. He worked with cattle. That's right, he was a COWBOY at Bethel!! I never picture that job when I think of what goes on at headquarters. They have since graduated from Gilead and been assigned to Thailand. There have only been two couples invited from America to attend Gilead since the new arrangement started and the Westbys are one of them.
It was great to have beer and pizza with missionaries!!

A sister I go on studies with every Tuesday, Poweena, has awesome studies. One of them plays kingdom melodies for us while we study at her office. At meeting, Poweena usually has between 3 and 5 students with her including two adorable boys, one of who already wants to be an elder.

We just figured out thay almost all of our elders serve in two languages. 
Whether it's Thai/English, Thai/Sign Language or English/Russian, it's all amazing.

I just ran out of sticky notes!!

The other day I wasn't well in the morning so I met up with the group mid morning. I had a general idea of where they were but still I had to wander to find them. A lady saw me and said, "I know where your friends are. Come with me," and she motioned to her bike. I hesitated but she seemed real confident so I got on and subsequently got dropped off smack in the middle of my group. Much to their surprise.
Thai people are swell.

Study has gotten out of control. The other day I had to write a talk, study for the school and service meeting and prepare a lesson in Thai on THE RANSOM. So when you think of Amy and I, think of us buried under books, papers and laptops, squinting into the warm glow of our florescent lights deep into the night. And LOVING IT.

This one was great. The very next one the very next day had about 6 wriggling little travellers inside it, hiding out in various locations. Couldn't salvage it. Also haven't been able to eat one since.

Dragonfruit, u so weird.

This blog brought to you by cookies. The milk here is delicious.

OK, that's all folks.