Friday November 2, 2018

Acts 13:2-3 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

I am moving on past the challenges with homeschooling our kids and accepting it as just a part of our daily routine now. I still pray every day that it gets better, but if it doesn’t, He has His reasons for it and I will accept the challenges and frustrations as something that He wants me to learn.

Lucia got to do a video call this morning with her friend, Amalie, which means that David also got to briefly see his buddy, Oliver (Amalie’s brother). Our kids really enjoy these video calls with their friends and it makes such a difference in their moods for the day.

Teaching at the preschool was very fun today. The kids were energetic and engaged. We sang songs and played games with the little ones and with the oldest class at the preschool we were able to play games like guess the letter made out of PlayDough and what sounds do they make. I feel so alive while I am teaching here and it is an affirmation that I am where the Lord wants me to be. He sent us out on the journey, what seems like so long ago, and He did not say it would be easy nor did He say there would not be challenges. To the contrary, I knew this was going to entail sacrifice, frustration, and maybe even a few tears, but I don’t think I was prepared for the immense joy that I feel every time I teach or engage in service of any kind. I feel so alive, like this was what I was meant to be doing at this time. I can not even begin to express how grateful I am that He called us to this journey and that we were faithful and brave enough to five in head first, saying “OK, here we go”! I am even more grateful that He has accompanied us on this journey and that we are never alone.

After school today, we just came home and did some homework and once the kids were in bed for the night, Jeff and I stayed up and visited with Wat. This family has been so wonderful to us; feeding us, housing us, and even entertaining us. They have shown an unconditional love to our children and have accepted us as part of their family. Their compassion and kindness can be overwhelming at times. David has had the opportunity to watch Muay Thai, a mix of boxing and kickboxing and Wat has even acquired some equipment for David to practice with during our stay here. The kids have had a lot of fun using the boxing gloves to spar with one another.

Saturday October 6, 2018

Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

We woke up this morning to find that David has not gotten any better and that his top lip is swollen. We gave him another does of the Zyrtec and ibuprofen and then headed out to the Old City where we viewed two temples and did some shopping. It was a lot of fun to walk and shop in the middle of this city. It is all so different from the US and Germany. We walked through Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phra Sing, both were absolutely amazing though I think the latter was more serene. David was such a trooper. He said that he felt okay but was just really tired. We decided to cut the shopping short and to get the kids back to the hotel where they could chill and watch a movie. 

Here are some pictures of the temples and the town of Chiang Mai.

We have been doing a ton of traveling and have been on the go so much recently, the kids were really needing just chill time. So we dropped them off at the hotel and Jeff and I headed off to the mall here in Chiang Mai. We needed a few things that we were not able to find in the shops along the streets; we were gone about 90 minutes total and when we got back we all got ready and we headed out for dinner.

At the recommendation of the concierge at the hotel, we ate at The River Market Restaurant, which is beautifully situated right on the Ping River. It was a beautiful restaurant, great food, and stunning views. The kids were all well-behaved and it was probably the most relaxing dinner we have had in a while. It was perfect.

We walked back to the hotel while I was able to visit with my mom on the phone, it was a great evening. We got back to the hotel and had all the kids shower and rinse off before heading to bed.

David’s hives were no longer on his head or chest/back and had now moved to his torso and legs. While he is not better, per say, we saw this as an improvement, as they seem to be moving through his body, which tells us that it is likely a viral infection and not an allergic reaction. Our biggest fear was that he was having an allergic reaction to something in the food, since everything started after the food on the airplane to Bangkok. But, for now, all seems to be good. We got the kids to bed and then packed up for our early morning tomorrow, as we had to catch a 9:00 bus to meet up with our host family.

Saturday September 15, 2018

Psalm 73:1-17 A Psalm of Asaph. 1 Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth. Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them.

We had grand plans today. Go to Magdeburg for the German national karate sparring tournament and then catch another train to Eisenach for a fair (rides, games, food, etc). We bought the train tickets for both trains, but alas we stumbled.

We started the morning late and didn’t leave at the planned 9:00, instead we least at 11:00. The train to Magdeburg stopped one stop short of where needed to be and we all had to disembark. So we walked to the the arena for the tournament (2 miles), but not without a stop to play at the Elbe River (skipping rocks, playing with sticks, and bouncing of rocks).

David really enjoyed watching the tournament and we stayed to about an hour.

We then found out that the Ernterndankfest in Magdeburg was happening about a 15 minute walk from where we were. We had a quick conversation with the kids and learned that René, Susi, and Emma were also heading to Magdeburg for the day. The kids agreed that they would like to skip the fair in Eisenach and stay in Magdeburg for the afternoon and then have dinner with the Hoffman’s.

So off to the Erterndankfest we went and were surprised to find a Fall Festival happening. There were animals to see, food carts, beer, flowers, gourds, live music, etc. We stayed for a couple of hours and then headed by tram to meet up with the Hoffman’s for dinner. We had so much fun, as usual, with these amazing people. Anjali ended up going home with them after dinner to spend some extra time with Emma. René brought her home when he came over for some beers later that evening to watch (aka: listen to) the Michigan football game with Jeff.

Again, I got frustrated that our plans didn’t work, but His plans were better. When am I going to learn?