Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wishing you a...

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas
and God's richest blessings for the coming year!

With love from,
The Esaus

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The first of many firsts...

When you're new to a country, pretty much everything can be classified as a "first."  We've already had a lot of "firsts" in the mere 2+ months we've been here.... some better than others :)
So, here's a quick snapshot of some of our Thailand "firsts"...

The first place we stayed when we arrived in Thailand...
"The Bai Bua Resort" in Ang Sila.

First major ice-cream face...
(there have been many, many more since this was taken!)

First batch of cookies baked in my very first Thai oven...

... I used THIS recipe and they turned out great!

Opening our very first parcel... from Nammy & Dampa Glen :)

Celebrating our first American Thanksgiving with the Owen family...

Opening our first parcel from Gramma & Grampa Esau...

Experiencing my first BRUTAL mosquito bites in Thailand...

First batch of beautiful Thai flowers... birds of paradise.

And we'll be experiencing another "first" today!!  Jon just went to pick up our very first Thai car!  Up until this point, we've only had bicycles to get around on so we're VERY excited about this new found freedom.  Its amazing how much you take transportation for granted until you don't have it anymore :)  I'll post pictures of our 'new-to-us' car once its home safe and sound.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Our Christmas decorating had to come in stages this year.  When we packed our bags to come to Thailand, I had hoped to be able to bring some of our Christmas decorations because I wasn't sure what we'd be able to buy here, in the way of Christmas decor.  But, if you remember from this picture, we were already maxed out on luggage and weight so the Christmas decorations didn't make it in.  

But, we had some very sweet family members give us some $$ before we left and they told us that it was specifically to buy ourselves new Christmas decorations once we arrived in Thailand.  Thanks again family-- you know who you are! :)

We managed to find a tree and most of our decorations at Makro (the Thai version of Costco) so we started with that.

Then, after some more searching through the Chiang Mai markets with Carmen, I managed to find a star for the top of the tree, some fabric to make a tree skirt (that only cost me $1.50!!) and even some snowflake ornaments to add to the branches.

I'll definitely want to add to our decoration collection in the years to come (the tree is a little more 'sparse' than I would like it to be) but overall, I was fairly happy with what we were able to find.  And for great prices too!

We knew we also wanted to find some traditional Thai decorations and were delighted when we found these woven lights at the walking street market.  They were perfect for our bannister...

They took a while to put together because the balls were flat when we bought them.  We had to carefully open each yarn ball, round them out and then snip holes big enough to fit the white lights through.  But even though they were a lot of work, we love the addition they bring to our staircase :)

We got all of our family Christmas shopping done at the Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Market and were happy to be able to send home authentic Thai gifts for everyone.  We hope you like them family! :)

Last night we attended the Christmas outreach at our housekeeper/nanny's church.  I'll post some pictures soon!  It was an awesome evening of great food, lots of laughter and good fellowship.

So, despite the warm temperatures and tropical climate, we're SLOWLY feeling like Christmas really WILL come this year :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Asleep on the spot...

As some of you may have read on my Facebook status today, Callie hijacked my iced latte and proceeded to finish it off. I was a bit worried that nap time may be brushed off due to the caffeine. But here's what I found when I went to check on her this afternoon...

Guess the latte must have been a decaf?? :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The latest Thai saying...

We learned a new phrase in language class yesterday and thought it was very fitting for something we've been wanting to share with you.

Here's the question:
"Khrawpkhrua khun mii kii khon kha?"  (How many people are in your family?)

And my answer would be:
"Khrawpkhrua dichan mii sii khon kha."  (I have 4 people in my family.)

Do you get it??  If not, I'll spell it out for you.

Our family currently has 3 members... Jon, Callie and myself.  But, as of late May 2012, we will have 4 members.  Yes, that's right.  We are expecting our 2nd child!  Certainly not what we were expecting for our 1st year in Thailand, but we're excited and thankful that the Lord's timing is always right.
I'll be very honest... it has made for an extra tough transition with exceptional exhaustion and morning sickness amidst moving to a new country and culture and starting full-time language training, but I'm finally feeling quite good these days and we're getting more and more excited to meet this little one.

So... were you as surprised as we were?? ;)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thaan 'aahaan...

If there's something the Thai people do really well, its food.  They sure know how to whip up some tasty dishes.  One of the local food markets is just a 10-15 minute bike ride from our house, so it makes for a nice, easy meal when we don't feel like cooking.  And its a great place to practice our ever-expanding Thai phrases.  For those that are curious, the words "thaan 'aahaan" (pronounced TAN-AH-HAN) mean to "eat food."  

Eating is serious business people, serious business... :)

Can you believe that all 3 of us can eat for around $3?  
Its true.
These delicious Thai meals cost around 1 Canadian dollar each.
Not much beats that.

Food.  Such a wonderful thing. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I'll admit, when we left Canada just after Canadian Thanksgiving, I assumed that that would be the last turkey I would eat for a long, long time.  I didn't think you could even buy turkeys in Thailand.  And I hadn't even considered the fact that our teammates were American and celebrate Thanksgiving in late November.

But much to my surprise and delight, you CAN actually purchase turkeys here in Thailand, and Andy & Carmen (very conveniently) happen to be Americans, soooo.......

..... we get to eat turkey this weekend!!! :)

We're planning to have a Thanksgiving meal with the Owen family tomorrow, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the fixins' :)  I can't wait.  I plan to gain back all the weight I've lost from biking everywhere these days ;)

So on the topic of thankfulness, I thought I would list a few of the things I'm feeling thankful for right now.  It can be easy to point out all of the negatives when you're new to a country and everything feels overwhelming.  But I'm learning how important it is to pick out the good things as a way of moving forward and feeling more comfortable in our new home.

So, here are a few things I'm thankful for today:

- Thankful for cooler mornings... to the point of wearing long pants or putting on a sweater every now and then.  If you know Thailand, you'll know how refreshing this is :)

- Thankful for a husband and daughter who love me and whom I love to bits!

- Thankful for Andy & Carmen and for all they've done to help us get started here in Chiang Mai

- Thankful for a language teacher who is encouraging us and helping us move closer and closer to being able to communicate in the Thai language

- Thankful for a nanny/housekeeper who is WONDERFUL and takes such great care of Callie and our house.  We just LOVE her!

- Thankful for cheap iced-coffees and a new relationship that's blossoming with a Thai woman who runs a coffee shop just down the street from our school.  We study at her coffee shop a couple of times a week and are enjoying the fun we have practicing our thai with her.

- Thankful that I don't think twice about throwing the toilet paper in the garbage now instead of into the toilet (... ok, ok... I know that's "TMI" but hey... its the LITTLE things people... the little things that mean a lot.... and this was something that felt SO UNNATURAL when we first arrived!) :)

- Thankful for lots of exercise and feeling healthy

- Thankful for a spacious home to relax in and find rest

- Thankful that our bike ride to school feels so familiar and "routine" now

- Thankful for all of our loving friends, family and supporters back home who are praying for us and cheering us on!!

....... just to name a few ;)

Happy American Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back in the dating saddle again...

If you're married, you'll know how important it is to keep dating your spouse, even after being married for years.  Its so crucial to take time out of life's busyness and just enjoy one another's company.  And if there's ever a time that Jon and I have felt the need for this, it is NOW.

Its so easy to get caught up in the chaos and overwhelming routine of our lives here now, and too easy to forget to make time for each other, outside of studying and eating meals.  This is also especially tough because we don't have grandparents at our door, ready to watch Callie at the drop of a hat.  (Oh grandparents, how we miss you for SO many reasons!! :) )

But thankfully, our dear friend Carmen just happens to be absolutely incredible and offered to take Callie on Friday night so that we could have a 'night on the town... alone!'  We gratefully accepted and after dropping Callie off, we caught a songtaew (public transport) to the old part of the city in search of some Mexican food and good ol' market shopping.

Chiang Mai is absolutely beautiful at night...

We had to walk several blocks and stop to ask for directions a few times before we finally made it to our destination.  Thankfully, Thai people are friendly and were more than happy to help us find our way.  Here's Jon stopping to ask if we were going in the right direction.  What a good man... :)

And..... we finally made it!  
(Now, I know some of you are questioning why we wouldn't go for Thai food.  Well... its for obvious reasons.  We get Thai food EVERDAY, so our tastebuds were craving something more familiar.  Something smothered in sour cream and fresh salsa.)

If you're ever in Chiang Mai, we can officially say you NEED to eat at "Miguel's Cafe."  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

The portions were HUGE but the prices weren't.  What else could a person ask for?

Even after (literally) stuffing ourselves with nachos and chimichangas, we knew we couldn't pass up their $3 banana split. 
And here's a funny/humbling little story to go along with it:

In Thai, the words "banana" and "salt" are extremely similar.  
I couldn't figure out why the waitress was staring at me in total confusion when I tried to order our banana split.  
I kept asking and she kept staring blankly at me.  
I was even pointing at the picture of it on the menu.  What could possibly be so confusing??

 Finally, Jon realized that I was asking for salt, not a banana split. :)  
Oops.  Definitely don't bring me that.  

In the end, she did bring us a banana split and it was delicious.

After our scrumptious meal, we walked down towards the old city gate, only to stumble across a HUGE city-wide worship service.  It was incredible to see thousands of Thai believers, gathered by the city gate, singing and worshipping God.  It was also neat to see how many Thai people were wandering over to see what was going on.
I couldn't help but wonder how many Thai people might come to Christ that night and the fact that God had a specific plan for those that did.  It was obvious that the gathering was having a big impact.
We both found this incredibly encouraging, and it made us look forward to the day when we'll be able to verbally communicate Christ's love to the Thai people.

After a little market perusing, we waved down a 'tuk-tuk' (another form of public transportation) and made our way home.  
The evening was a ton of fun and so refreshing for both of us.  Its amazing what a night off can do for the soul :)  I think it gave both of us the energy we needed to make it through another week of language study.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meat for the masses...

Shopping for meat is a very unique experience here in Thailand. Upon first glance, I was appalled at how you purchase meat at the grocery stores here.   It just seemed so 'unhygienic' to me, laid out in the open like that.
But, I don't think Jon has any immediate plans of becoming a vegetarian (and neither do I for that matter) so I just had to 'go for it.'
So, here's to chicken... and every other kind of meat your heart desires.  Mmmm??  
Doesn't that just tantalize the taste buds? ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Progress is a wonderful thing...

We're on Day 4 of our language learning and actually feeling some encouragement!  Our first 3 days were focused on the phonetics of the Thai language and proper pronunciation.  At first, it seemed a bit repetitive and tedious but now as we look back at the last few days, we truly understand the importance of these things.
First day with our new teacher at Araya Language School
We're now able to read Thai words phonetically (not yet in the Thai script... that comes later) and can properly say them.  Its amazing what a difference this makes!  Our teacher, Khruu NiiTaa, has been extremely encouraging and tells us that we're advancing quickly, and very well.  She says that most "farangs" (foreigners) take a long time with the phonetics/pronunciation and can't move on for a while, so we'll take this as a gift from the Lord :)

Its amazing how much we have to throw our own English alphabet out the window in order to grasp this new language.  Suddenly the letter c makes a "j" sound, the letter b makes more of a "p" sound, the letter "k" is supposed to sound more like a "g"... everything is new and feels so backwards to us :)  But we're slowly getting it and excited about our new discoveries.

In other news... one of our first discoveries upon staying in our new home, was the fact that our neighbours have a rooster.  Said rooster awakes at approx. 5am and does not stop telling us its awake until well after 8am.

So, while we were looking for coffee mugs in 'Big C' (Thailand's equivalent to Walmart), we knew it was a prophetic moment when we found these rooster mugs.  We both laughed and agreed we needed to buy them.

I mean, really... if you can't beat 'em, you may as well join 'em, right!? :)

Enjoying our morning rooster routine
Other than that, we continue to buy more things to fill our home and try to unpack a bit more each time we do.  It'll still be a while before we can fully unpack, as we need to purchase at least two more armoires.  Thai homes rarely, if ever, come with closets in the rooms and so, other than the small one our house came with, we have nowhere to hang our things.  Hoping this will be one of our weekend purchases.  I'll add more pictures of our house once I feel it looks picture-worthy.  Right now, its still a 'work-in-progress.' :)

Callie continues to do quite well here and is slowly getting more and more comfortable with the Thai Nanny that cares for her 3 days of the week while we're at school.  She's also learning to get along with her playmate JJ (Andy & Carmen's daughter) a bit better these days (let's just say they're only 6 months apart and still learning to play together :) ) and even decided it was "OK" to hold hands while watching TV the other day.  I definitely had an "awwww" moment when I received this picture from Carmen earlier in the week...
Learning to be friends


Well, that's all for now.  Thanks to everyone who continues to read our updates and encourage us with your kind words.  We couldn't do this without the support of all of you and really do appreciate you more than you know!  Hope you're all having a wonderful week.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Animals make everything OK...

I guess I'm back-tracking a bit with this post, but I know some of you family & friend folk out there would like to see these pictures.  So, here you go. :)

Our first day in Chiang Mai required some time for house-hunting, but after being cooped up on a plane, I knew Callie wouldn't be interested in wandering through empty homes with Carmen, Jon and I.
So, Andy very graciously invited Callie to join him and the kids at the park/zoo.  Jon and I weren't sure how Callie would feel about heading off without us so soon, but she ended up having a blast!  It was so reassuring for us, as we've worried about her and the many changes that have come over the last month(s).  Andy kept sending us pictures from his phone while we house-hunted and with each new picture, our hearts were put at ease.  Callie will be just fine here :)

They got to enjoy some ice-cream together...

Callie got acquainted with "the girls"...

She got to ride a toy zebra...

She got to visit a real, live tiger... (which surprisingly, isn't a first for her :) )

And she quickly fell in love with her new "cousin" Connor...

All in all, a pretty fantastic first day in Chiang Mai for our big girl.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just a little sneak peek...

I have a couple of pictures that Carmen took of our new place, back when they first looked at it.  So just consider these "before" pictures :)  But I know some of you are dying to see what our Thai house is like so I thought I'd just post a couple of shots.

Its 'partially' furnished, so today (and this coming week) will be a busy time of shopping for the other necessities.  There is a bed in the master bedroom and a wardrobe; a dining table in the kitchen; a teak furniture set in the living room and the landlord is throwing in a fridge and TV to sweeten the deal (which is fantastic!).  We'll have to buy an oven, a washing machine, a bed for Callie, a desk and a few other things to get us started.  But, its a good start!

Here's the living room, as you come in the front door...

This is the kitchen, just off of the living room/laundry nook....

And here's our cute (and in much need of an overhaul) little backyard, just off the kitchen...

The landlord is having the place cleaned and the yard done for us today.  So, we should be able to move in tomorrow (Sunday) which will be great!  We're going to do a bit of shopping today and hopefully find Callie a bed (at the very least).  They actually have 'yard sales' up here in Chiang Mai too so we might get out to do a bit of hunting for deals as well :)

So there's the sneak peek.  I'll add more pictures once we're moved in.  Happy Saturday everyone!

Our first home!

We just got back from signing the lease for our FIRST HOME IN THAILAND!!!!  Its an exciting day for us!  We'll be moving in on Sunday.... just 2 days away!

So thankful for the way the Father provides.  We love the neighbourhood its in and its a really short bike ride from our language school.  Just feels perfect.  We also bought our first bikes today and are excited to be 'mobile' again :)
I'll be sure to post pictures of our place once we're settled in.  Just wanted to share the good news!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quick update...

For those who follow the news, you'll know that the flooding in Bangkok has gone from bad to worse.  In fact, its gotten so bad that the country has called for a national holiday, lasting until next Tuesday, just to give people a chance to flee the city.  Because of everyone trying to get out of Bangkok, Chonburi is filled to the max.  Apparently, there isn't a single room available now in any of the hotels, guesthouses or resorts here until well into November.  We've definitely noticed an influx in traffic and busyness here.  Its so sad to think that most of the people coming here are leaving everything they have, and it may all be under water in a matter of days (or already is).

The 'downer' for us in all of this, is that because of the flooding, all of the flights out of Bangkok to Chiang Mai are booked solid and we're having a hard time finding a flight out.  We had hoped to leave tomorrow (Thursday) but at this point, we're not sure whether we'll be able to.  Please PRAY that there will be a flight open for us.  We are eager to get up to Chiang Mai so that we will have time to find a house before language school starts on Nov. 7th.

In other news, we spent a good portion of this morning, having a tour of the new ALH houses (the Abundant Life Home orphanage) here in Chonburi.  Its incredible to see the 4 houses that have already been built and 1-2 of the houses are moved into already.  When we came 2 years ago, they were still praying about buying land for the orphanage but nothing had started yet.  So it was very cool to see the houses up now and the children enjoying their new homes.  Jon spent most of the morning building blocks and tracks with one of the ALH boys, Apilak.  He seemed to love the attention and even gave me a 'gift' when we left-- a yellow flower brooch. :)  These kids are amazing and touch our hearts each time we get to see them/spend time with them.

The rest of the day has been spent trying to get the rest of our worker permit paperwork in order, as well as flights for Chiang Mai.  We look forward to an evening dinner with the Sanchez family and some pastors that are here visiting from Bakersfield, California.

Anyway... that's it for now. I want to leave you with a little Francis Chan clip that a friend sent me yesterday.  It was exactly the encouragement I needed and I hope it encourages you too! Please check it out HERE!

Hoping our next post will be from Chiang Mai... :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

1 Peter 5:10 says...

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

Karen sent us this verse in a text, just after I was released from hospital.  These words bring tears to my eyes today as I think about the truth in them.  As tough as this last week has been, I am reminded of WHY we came and WHO we're serving and the fact that HE will in fact, restore us and guide us for the journey ahead.  Its amazing how hazy things can get when life feels overwhelming. :)
I just feel really thankful for the promises in the Word today and hope that maybe these words will be an encouragement to some of you out there in bloggerland.  Not sure where YOU'RE at, but rest assured, you have a loving, heavenly Father who will reach out his hand and save you, even when it feels impossible.
Thank-you Lord, for your grace and understanding heart.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Week ONE

Well, its been quite the first week here in Thailand!  Since my last post, I've been deathly ill and ended up in hospital for a night.  They diagnosed it as gastroenteritis, and let me just say that it was AWFUL.  Don't think I've EVER been that sick in all my life.

After an entire day of sickness, Karen came and took me to one of the private hospitals here in Chonburi.  I was so dehydrated that it took 4 tries for them to get my IV in, during which I kept passing out.  It definitely got worse before it could get better.

But they did finally get my IV in and started both saline as well as antibiotics.  Karen was incredible and stayed the whole night in hospital with me (seeing as Jon needed to stay back to take care of Callie)!  Thank-you again Karen... you're the BEST!

It was amazing what a day on the IV did for me, and I was released the next afternoon.  I'm still not feeling 100% (a bit weak still and taking it slowly with food) but am definitely feeling infinitely better than I was.  Thank-you to everyone who has been/is praying for me!  Your prayers have been evident and God has been gracious.  So far Jon and Callie have been OK but you can definitely keep praying that they'll stay healthy.  I don't want either of them to have to experience that!

Other than recovering, we've been doing some orientation with Ricky & Karen.  Yesterday we had a day at the TMBF office (Thailand Mennonite Brethren Foundation) and each had an hour language lesson.  The office overlooks a beautiful pool so Jon and I tag-teamed and took turns taking Callie in the pool while the other one had their language lesson.  Callie absolutely LOVED it!  The pool had two different slides and a kiddie area that was shallow enough for her to stand on her own.  I can imagine we'll probably visit that pool again someday in the future... it was a huge hit!

Jon is busy getting paperwork done today for a work permit.  I'm not exactly sure all that's involved but it is a pretty lengthy process so we're hoping/praying it will go smoothly.  We also have to extend our visas at some point as the Thailand consulate in Vancouver would only give us 90 day visas.  If you think of it, this is all stuff we could use prayer for.

We have a little less than a week left here in Chonburi before we fly up to Chiang Mai (next Thursday, Oct. 27th) and settle in for the year.  Our friends & fellow missionaries, Andy & Carmen, are currently busy trying to find us a place to live in Chiang Mai.  Language school is set to start on Nov. 7th so that leaves us just over a week to get settled in before classes start.  We're REALLY hoping they are able to find something before we get there so we can unpack and get settled.  Living out of suitcases has been a bit exhausting these days :)

Well... that's all for now.  I'll leave you with a couple of pictures I've taken on the iPod over the last week.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Flying into Bangkok... just a small glimpse of some of the flooding that has been happening.
The scary part is that it has gotten SO much worse since we got here.
Please remember to pray for the people of Thailand that are being affected!

Riding in "Uncle" Ricky's car

The evening sky from our hotel balcony

This kid continues to be the epitome of flexibility...
sleeping in her make-shift bed in our hotel room :)

Callie got to enjoy a day at the aquarium with Daddy while Mommy was sick...

... they saw tons of cool fish...

... and even got to "ride" one :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

First post from THAILAND!!

Yup.... the time has come! Here we are with all of our luggage, ready to leave Vancouver in the early hours of the morning on Thursday, Oct. 13th... bound for Thailand!  Can you believe we only had to pay for 1 extra bag and 1 overweight bag!?!  That's the blessing of having a sister who works for Menno Travel! :)
We left Vancouver airport at 2:45am on Thursday, had a really brief layover in Hong Kong (a little less than 1.5 hours as our flight was late getting in), and then we landed in Bangkok, Thailand at around 10:35am on Friday.  The flights felt LONG but thankfully Callie slept for a lot of the first lag, the meals were excellent (yay for Cathay Pacific!!) and all of our luggage arrived with us!  Praise the Lord!!

We got through customs easily and were soon greeted by Ricky Sanchez!  We impressively fit ALL of this baggage in his SUV and were on the road for the 45 min. drive to Chon Buri.  Here's a really quick recap of our last few days:

Day 1- Arrived in Chon Buri and settled in at the "Bai Bua Beach Resort" in Ang Sila.  The room was spacious, clean and just a few steps from the pool that overlooked the sea.  Just gorgeous!  We unpacked, grabbed some lunch, had a brief nap (easier said than done when all your body wants to do is SLEEEP!), had supper at the Sanchez home, and then off to bed!!

Day 2- EARLY morning wake-up from Callie (4:15am to be precise), breakfast in our room, early morning swim in the pool, relaxing in our room, lunch with Ricky, more recouping in our room, dinner and Aree's birthday party at the Sanchez home, off to bed :)

Day 3- Yet another EARLY morning wake-up from Callie (again... 4:15am), early morning swim in the pool, ventured out on our own.  We walked and walked and WALKED in the heat of the day, waiting for a songtaew to pick us up.  We finally made it from Ang Sila, all the way to the beach front in Bangsaen and stopped for chicken, rice and Coca-Cola on the beach.  Then we made our way back to Ang Sila.  Again, easier said than done when you don't speak Thai :)  But we eventually made it back to our hotel in one piece, exhausted and ready for another swim to cool off; then it was nap time again, quiet Thai supper in our room (delicious!) and an early night.

Day 4- Yup... you guessed it!  Another EARLY wake up from Callie (4:00am this time.... can you see a pattern here?  Please pray that the jet lag will go away SOON!!), early morning swim in the pool, packed up our room, moved from Ang Sila to Bangsaen and are now staying at the Yanadin Inn.  We stayed here the last time we were in Thailand so it feels very familiar and much more like "home." :)  The Bai Bua hotel was nice but very isolated which made it tough to get food, etc.

So that brings us to now!  We got settled into our room here at the Yanadin Inn and then headed to Bangsaen beach with Ricky for some great Thai food.  It was just as delicious as I remembered it to be from last time :)  Then the rain clouds came and we made our way back to the hotel.  Its been nice to spend the rest of the afternoon reading emails and catching up on Facebook, while Callie watches videos on the laptop.  I (Bonnie) am looking forward to getting out this evening with some of the ladies here for Karen Sanchez' birthday.  Jon is hoping to get to bed early with Callie seeing as we managed to skip naps today.... praying that will be enough to get her to sleep in tomorrow!!!

We'll be in Chon Buri for the next 2 weeks, doing orientation with Ricky & Karen.  Then, on Oct. 27th, we'll fly up to Chiang Mai and finally get settled into a home.  Language study will start on Nov. 1st.
If I'm really honest, these last few days have been tough.  The jet lag is killer, its tough not being able to communicate, and I'm feeling quite homesick realizing this is it now.  Its hard to leave loved ones and familiar surroundings behind.  But we're also continuing to trust that God has a very specific purpose for us here and that it will get better, once we can settle in a bit more.  Its been tough being in Thailand but still having to live out of suitcases in a hotel room.  Please pray for comfort as we let go of life in Canada and try to start a new life here in Thailand.  We are excited about what lies ahead and know that this is just a season!  And please pray, again, that jet lag would be gone SOON and we can have a bit more energy to soak in these weeks of orientation.

Thanks for everyone who has sent Facebook messages/comments, emails and has been praying for us over the last few days!  We have definitely felt your prayers and couldn't do it without you!  We love you all and will do our best to keep you updated.  Until next time.... :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Early morning in Sorrento...

We're house-sitting at Jon's aunt & uncle's in Abbotsford this week so when it was time to figure out our route to Sorrento for Sunday morning, we figured we'd need an extra 30 minutes or so, seeing as we wouldn't be leaving from Chilliwack. Google maps said Sorrento was 4.5 hrs away from Abby. Jon figured that was probably a bit on the generous side, but we figured we should rather be early than late when visiting a new church.  Thankfully, Callie spent the night with my parents because we knew it would be an extremely early morning departure and a long day.
So... the alarm was set for 4am and we were on the road by 4:55am.  Here we are, on our way out of Abby...

Just a little proof that we DID actually get on the road as early as planned...

I must admit, as much as I hate early mornings, it sure is a beautiful time of day.
No one around, sun rising, colorful sky.  Beautiful.

Driving through the Coquihala.  Still, virtually no one on the road.  Perfection.

So it turns out that Google maps was, in fact, WAY off with their time estimation.  We arrived in Sorrento at 8:15am.  A mere 3.25 hrs after leaving Abbotsford.  Hmmm.... the church service wasn't til 10am.  Now what?

Time to explore the town a bit...

Sorrento is quite a quaint little town.  So pretty.

Don't know if this is "allowed" but we did it anyway.  
The coffee shop wasn't open so we had to kill time in other ways.  
So, we tried out their machinery...

Getting back to our roots?  Well, maybe Jon's anyway.

I had to give it a try too...

As I mentioned in our newsletter, we had a wonderful morning with the congregation at River of Life Community Church.  We left Sorrento later that afternoon, feeling very encouraged, supported and knowing that God had orchestrated this visit.  We look forward to spending more time with them when we come home for MINA (ministry in North America--aka: furlough).  Thanks again to everyone who made our morning in Sorrento special!