It’s been a REALLY long time since I posted..in fact I haven’t written anything since our move to Trang. That just goes to show you how busy it has been here!!! The pace has gotten so much faster! We are loving our congregation here…we have about 40 publishers, half Thai, half foreigners. It seems most of our need greaters do seasonal work at home during the summer, so about 20 have left recently for 3-6 months. They come from all over the world, so it is always an exciting mix of stories and jokes as we all adapt to each other’s cultures. While they are go though we going to have even MORE work to do! we are taking over a few of their Bible studies and Aaron will be the Watchtower conductor along with having 2-3 parts every mid week meeting…so you may not hear from us again until August! We will miss all our need greater while they are gone!
Since I last wrote we moved into a beautiful home, but most of you know already the roosters next door wake us up around 3-4AM and we have difficulty sleeping after that. we have experimented with every kind of earplug and white noise, but in the end our sleep just hasn’t recovered. Then for the next turn of events, a few weeks after we moved in, we found out unexpectedly that the home will be changing owners (long story) so we need to find a new house anyway. So we’ve been house hunting ever since but Thai people don’t like to rent so there has been very few options so far. Then we were told our landlord got an extension and we could stay until august, but then this week we were told that actually wasn’t true so we need to be out this week unless the new owner will agree to rent to us. What an adventure! We keep praying that something nice will come along quick or that the new owner will be agreeable to letting us stay, but in the mean time trying not to worry about it.
we had a super exciting experience come out of the house hunt though- while we were looking at a community pool that members of the neighborhood can use we met a women who overheard us speaking Thai. She came up to us an asked why we can speak Thai. We were able to explain that we are learning so that we can teach people about the Bible. Immediately her face lit up with excitement and she told us that SHE is christian! This is very rare since most in Thailand are Buddhist. She immediately invited us over her house and we talked for about 3 hours. Apparently “Pastor Paul” and his wife had lived in Trang years ago and taught her about the Bible. But when they moved back to America 3 years ago she had to study by herself since she hated the local church. Apparently they required you donate 10% of your income to the church, so when I read her the scripture of the widow who gave two small coins she really appreciated that. We shared so many scriptures and videos and she was so happy she even started to tear up. She even came to the meeting the next day!! She was shocked that something like that existed in Trang, and loved that so many foreigners were there to help. I haven’t been able to see her again because she has been traveling for work, but now that she knows where Bible students are in Trang I’m sure we’ll see her again.
We’ve had another nice experience with a South African woman who is living here and working as an English teacher in one of the schools. Her mother was a witness for a few years when she was young, but her father was extremely opposed. A sister met her preaching door to door and the woman was so excited she invited the whole service group in and they talked for an hour. The woman felt that she often would pop in and out of the truth through out her life, but finding us in this random city in Thailand really made her feel like Jehovah was welcoming her back. And without being able to speak or understand any Thai, she came and sat through the very next meeting, and has come to many since then!!! I was able to download the memorial talk in English so she could watch it on my iPad during the meeting and be able to understand the special program. Afterwards she cried saying how being at the memorial has brought back so many happy memories for her. She particularly appreciated the part where the brother mentioned any who haven’t been to meetings or associating with Jehovah’s Witnesses recently are welcomed back. She said that really touched her heart because for someone like her who has been away for so long, there is always the question of if Jehovah wants you back. She said she was really touched. Of course she also had a work trip right after, so I have not been able to catch up with her since then, but I am looking forward to hopefully starting a study with her as well!!! And the best part is this one would be in ENGLISH!!!
Just before our last trip back to America, Aaron’s cousin Caleb and his wife Maggie came to visit us in Trang! We had the best time ever touring them around! The town we live in now is a super fun place to visit because there is a lot to do locally, and we have islands only a two hour trip away. They spent the first week with us in in Trang the ministry, spending time with the friends, going to meetings, and touring around, and then the second week we went with them to Krabi and Koh Phi Phi for some much needed vacay time. And of course, I made a video of their trip 🙂 Just think…this could be YOUR vacation too!!! Come visit us!