"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord..." Psalm 19:14

Thursday, July 30, 2009

meeting the culture

We've had the privilege of seeing some of the sites around Bangkok this week. Yesterday, we went to a floating market, where people like these ladies sell produce and plants from their little canoes. We also got to ride one of the canoes down the canal!

Enjoy the slideshow below to see more pictures of our outings, including our trip to a nearby park. That's where we rode the cool swan pedal-boats. And that's where we followed around the monitor lizard, who was like 4 feet long, head to tail. (He never did get out of the water like we wanted him to!) I also saw my first elephants yesterday while riding the bus!

Thanks for your love and prayers! Praying for new relationships to be built here, and for God's work to be done at ICS. He has been so faithful to this place -- I feel deeply privileged to be serving here!

Monday, July 27, 2009

sweet tacos and Thai kites

We have to be braver than we think we can, because God is calling us to be more than we are." Madeleine L'Engle

Darren, our headmaster, shared this quote with us yesterday. We talked a lot about the transition of coming here, and how it changes you...how it's hard for everyone, but it always gets better...how it teaches you to depend on Jesus so much more, and how that alone makes it worth it. They say you're just never the same after this. And, I have to say, it seems like so many of these people came here...and then they couldn't leave...or they had to come back. Kind of scares me, it's true. But it's a good, excited kind of scared.

Here are some fun moments we've had the past couple days:

Karly, her husband Mike, Miriam, and I went to a big mall downtown called MBK. Karly and I found sweet tacos with whipped cream and...cheese. We tried to ask the ladies if it was marshmallow or what, but I could only find the word "sweet" in my Thai dictionary,which is pronounced "wahn." So I pointed and said, "Wahn?" And I think she just thought I meant I wanted "wahn." Hehe. Then we decided we had to try 'em. Not bad!

Then, today, as part of orientation, we made Thai kites and flew them around the school yard!

Here is a picture of my new classroom! Clearly, I haven't started decorating or anything. Kind of sad that my kids probably won't believe me this year if I tell them their classroom is an island, or a pirate ship. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rain showers and swimming

Hi all! Check it out, this picture is of my apartment building. Some guys have been doing work on it, and this is the scaffolding they use -- bamboo tied together with rope! They climbed up and down in their bare feet! We watched 'em for a while, just because it was so interesting.

Today, we went to church held at a nearby hotel. It was started by some ICS families and some other missionaries. Way fun to meet so many missionaries and to hear just tidbits of what God's doing through them, and how they ended up here!

I saw my first rain shower today, and I really liked it, because it definitely cooled things off. Then later, we went for a swim. Our school's pool is always open to us, and it's very nice. In fact, maybe I'll take up swimming! :) Every Sunday, the families of ICS come together for swimming and soccer and things. I can't believe how many families there are that have stayed here 8, 10, 12 years or more. Lots of kids running around. Of the new teachers, I think Miriam and I are the only ones who aren't married! It's a joy getting to know everyone. Such nice, genuine people. I met a new friend yesterday, Karly, who's adopted from Korea like me! We both grew up in white families, and we laughed about how we sometimes forget we're asian. We're wondering what our new students will think about us -- English-speaking Koreans in Thailand.

Tomorrow is the start of orientation!! Sometimes I get flustered at the thought of school starting in two weeks...and I'm teaching 6th grade...and I have no idea what it will be like! Just gotta remember, it's not about me. And then, there's not so much to be afraid of!

Not to us, oh Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory...
Psalm 115:1

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 1

Here are just a handful of pictures. These were taken in or around my new apartment, which is right next to my new school. I'm on the fourth floor (and so is my classroom), so I think I'll get lots of exercise! It's been fun today, shopping around and observing. I ate lunch out for about $1.50, and it wasn't spicy (yay for me)! But my new friend, Miriam, found out the pork fried rice was definitely spicy. Miriam is a new 6th grade teacher like me, and she's also my neighbor -- so I think we'll become good friends!

It's hard to know what kinds of things to buy and how settled I should get here. Two years is a long time...but what will I do with the things I acquire when I leave?

Thinking of you all and so grateful for a way to share everything with you. I am uber-tired (maybe because it's 3 am Washington time?), but I'm trying to stay up until at least 8 pm tonight! The Lord is gracious, providing in even the smallest ways. He is so good!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm here!

Just wanted to let you all know I am here in Bangkok now, at my new apartment! Pictures to come soon. :)

4,849 miles later...and 35 pounds lighter!

Hello from Tokyo everybody! Likin' the airport here (even though I have no idea how much I just paid for wireless...500 yen, is that a lot?)

So, this morning, my friends were making fun of me on the way to the airport, because of all the things to worry about, I was just stressed that my bags would be overweight. WELL...turned out to be a valid fear, my friends.

One of my bags did end up being over 70 pounds like I feared, but worse than that, I learned at the airport that United International flights require all bags to be 50 pounds or less. Oopsies! And, to make matters even worse, we had to work with Mr. extremely rude airline dude. (If you know me well, you know that nothing scares me more than mean people.) So there we were, frantically throwing out 35 pounds worth of stuff onto the floor. I think I said "this is awful" at least 20 times before we were through. Needless to say, Andrea and Anna went home with...a bunch of my things! SO glad they were there to take it all -- and so glad they were there to laugh about it with me!

Anyway, it all worked out, and maybe the Lord allowed that mess to happen so I'd be distracted from any other fears. I felt pretty good once that ordeal was done-with! :) And, hey, at least I can lift my own suitcases now.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement. I really enjoyed the plane ride, and now I'm kind of ready to just be there! I should reach Bangkok Friday morning, your time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

12 hours to go!

Twelve hours from now, I'm gonna be on a plane, headed for the biggest adventure of my life. (Have I mentioned I'm not really...what's the word...adventurous? And yet, I'm excited. Craziest thing.)

Praying that...
  • traveling will go safely and smoothly...from the long plane ride to switching planes in Tokyo to finding my ride in Bangkok
  • I will sleep on the plane (which is why I'm still up!) and get some great prayer time in, etc.
  • I will be encouraged and have peace in all things. God is in control.

Not sure what to expect, but so looking forward to meeting all my new co-workers and seeing Thailand with my own eyes! Ready or not, here I come...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This just in...

Just moments ago, I heard a knock on my door, and to my surprise, I opened the door to find a mail lady with my visa! Like the best birthday gift ever!!

Puh-raaaaise the Lord!

Already, I am learning so much about God's timing and faithfulness. I know deep down that He's good and trustworthy, but with all this confusion, it's so hard not to try and take control. (As if we could!) Lord, help my unbelief!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A little change of plans...

Hello all! Just got home from a very special, very sweet going away party. Thanks to all who came. It meant a lot to me. :)

So, because of all my visa complications, I am not able to fly out tomorrow, as planned...and am instead rebooking for this Thursday. Though it's been a bit of a stress having so much up in the air, my new administrators have been very encouraging and supportive, which helps a lot. Also, I know your love and prayers are felt daily as well! Kind of grateful in a way for some extra days here, to get things finished up -- and to celebrate my 24th birthday tomorrow!

Please pray for two main things: Firstly, that I get that stinkin' visa -- tomorrow would be nice!! And second, that my background check from a couple years ago will suffice for my work permit (because I don't have time to get a new one!).

Just got back Friday from a fabulous trip to Hawaii with my Dad and family that included lots of snorkeling and parasailing too! Oh so blessed to have such precious time with loved ones. Enjoy highlights from both trips on the slideshow below!

To view more Hawaii and summer photos, check out the link to my facebook albums, even if you don't have facebook:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's really happening

Just wanted to shout out some praises, because God is faithful (and he sure helps me keep my sanity too!). Got my final shots today...and finally received my flight confirmation for the 21st...have a storage unit secured and some possible moving help...bug spray, clothing, camera, etc. are bought...and I can even see the end of all this paperwork! Whew!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer! Please stay in touch with me as I go far away. If you didn't know, I thrive on people-interaction!! Even the online kind, haha. Also, please know that it is a phenomenal blessing for me to have this blog so I can share my experiences (and my heart) with all of you throughout this journey.

Had two wonderful weeks with my mom in California, including a birthday luau and a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth with my mom and brother, Matthew!! Tomorrow morning, I'm headed to Hawaii to spend time with my dad and family!

Praying for a great, relaxing trip and for God's continued privision as I actually move and leave very, very soon! Also, still trying to figure out the whole visa thing -- cuttin' it close!