Doing all three for Jesus.
since I have…
-eaten at Chick-Fil-A
-hugged my family
-been to my home church
-driven a car
-shopped at Wal-mart
-hugged my pastor’s wife
-had a girls night with my sweet friends
-eaten yellow squash
-bought mostly pre-packaged food
-knelt at a church altar (they don’t have them here)
-stayed with the Sanford family
-played with all my nieces and nephews
-been to a Cato’s–or shopped easily for clothes
-celebrated a holiday with family
-not had to think about time zones
-used a real oven
Some of those are more upsetting than others, but look at all we have done this past year!
-learned a new language
-adapted to a new culture
-learned to eat and cook new food
-made new friends
-started teaching English
-gotten really good at reading a map
-grown closer to our Saviour
-realized just how special all our relationships are
-learned how weak we are, and how strong He is
-started reading the Bible in a new language
-let go of many “American” ways-such as road rage
-taken a hold of Thai ideas-such as not getting upset quickly
-been to Cambodia
-gained an appreciation for the struggle involved in moving to a new country–especially dealign with Immigration deparments
-become adapt at driving on wrong side of the road
-developed a greater dependence on God
-grown closer as a family unit
-gained a new church family
-given the Gospel out to many Thai people, many people from other countries
God has been so good! Wow! It has been a fantastic year!
2 Timothy 2:1-3 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
If there is one word I could use to describe this first year in Thailand it would be, “AAAAAHHHHHH!!!”
This word means a lot of things. It can be…
“Aaahhh! I am so frustrated!”
“Aahh! I am so relaxed.”
“AAAHHH!!! I just need to scream.”
Yep, it can mean all of that!
WOW! this year has gone by in blur! Most years gooo slooowww, and taaake tiiimmme, but this year had flown by.
I have learned a lot of stuff this year. I’ve learned I cannot scream at people when they make me mad, to stay calm on the crowded BTS, and do not panic when you cannot see your parents for a few seconds because it is so crowded. When you walk past a temple, you have to learn to shake the feeling it gives you. Those chills are hard to get past.
When we first got here and walked into our two bedroom apartment, I was so tired, but I would wake up at 3 o’clock ready to go!
And the SMELL!!!! Ugh! The smell! Car fumes mixed with chicken being cooked, is just ugly.
But, all-in-all, life is pretty good here. I just have to go with the flow and keep on going. Sometimes, you have to take a deep breath, or cry a little because you miss home, but it is just part of adjusting.
I like Thailand!
I love learning! Seriously, if being a college student could be a profession, I would excel. However, it is not, and I am quite content being a wife and mom. But who said being a wife and mom means I cannot learn? Ask my poor hubby! Seems like I am always saying, “Did you know _______?” And it is not gossip I am sharing; it is some random fact I learned that day.
Knowing that, you would think I would be excited to have an excuse (language learning) to go to school, right? Some days I am and other days…not so much.
The truth is, things take longer over here–or at least in my neck of the woods. Traffic makes going to the grocery store at least a 2 hour ordeal. (That’s why I now have some of my groceries delivered!) Plus, one store will not have everything you need! I actually asked my helper why one store does not carry everything, and she just laughed. When I told her about Walmart (I MISS WALMART!) she got so excited. I got depressed. On average, I shop at 3 different stores for our groceries, and just because Store A had all- purpose flour last week, does not mean it will be there next week. This actually would not bother me, except for the amount of time it takes to get to and from each store. Ahmet does not let me drive here, so I cannot do it all in one day; it has to be spread out through the week. There is a Thai word running through my head right now–it means “troublesome”–but somehow the Thai word fits it better!
Then there is homeschooling. Praise the Lord we are able to use A Beka videos! They are such a help, but I still spend about 10-15 hours a week homeschooling. That is exhausting when you already spend 15- 25 hours (including transportation time) at school. Not to mention, there is nothing in this world more mind numbing than language learning. Except maybe phonetics class….
Now, if I want to do anything else, like go to the post office, the market, shop for anything outside of our norm, go to the doctor (we are there way too often!), or visit with a friend, it requires careful planning. I have to make sure it is a day our helper is here, or I have to take the girls with me. I do not mind taking the girls, but that means I have to walk home from school, then walk back to the BTS station, or the store, post-office, etc. That is a lot of sweating for one day, folks! Quite frankly, it is exhausting!
Add in the fact it is all done in a still foreign-to-me culture and a foreign language, and you have, well…days that feel longer than they are. Put all that together and you have a sometimes reluctant student!
Sometimes, it all becomes too much and I being to wonder why I even bother going to school. I should just hire a tutor to come to my house, and life would be easier. Then I remembered something we were taught at BBTI and by our pastor. Every exchange, every outing, every minute of observation is a learning experience.
Taking a taxi gives me a prisoner person that has no choice but to listen to me speak Thai. I get to practice giving directions, and seldom do I not learn a new word. In the market, I learn the words for my favorite food, and I can also learn how to cook unfamiliar ones…just by asking. Being out and about allows me to see monks, Thai dancers, smell food carts, get used to the crowds, hear the language, interact with people, and try their food. If I stayed home, I would miss all of this! I love walking because I am constantly exposed to things I would never see in America. All the walking I do has been a huge help in adapting to this new home, because I can choose to experience things from a distance or up-close, and my walks provide ample opportunities for culture watching. (I just made that phrase up, but I think it is self-explanatory, right?!) Plus, the exercise is good.
In the end, I realized as long as I DO NOT stay holed up in my house, I will always be a student. That makes me excited to make the trek to school, and anywhere else I need to go!
Hi! My name is Rachael and I am a child of God. I was saved from sin and all its bondage at the age of 21.