Krabi Boats 8

For the last year I (John) have been studying Thai in two different cities, while Nuch has been completing her Masters in Bible at the same time. As Nuch already has the language, we’re sort of “half-ready” to move on to begin church planting in Southern Thailand.


IMG_1823Since we left Australia in January 2009, we have lived in so many different houses since then including a 1 bedroom “sauna” in Lopburi for 3 months, a chinese townhouse; also in Lopburi, and a 2 bedroom condo in Bangkok’s CBD. We’re really thankful that we had no sooner left our last home in Bangkok when the recent riots/civil unrest began.

The point of the story is that we counted around 20 different places/homes we’d lived in in the last 5 years (the whole of our marriage). You might hear that and think, “wow”!! “that’s crazy”!!



A week ago I travelled to Bangkok to collect my oldest son, Nathan, who was returning home for Christmas holidays from his international school in Chiang Mai. (Nathan travelled to Bangkok with a friend who has a daughter at the same school.) Nathan and I then caught the night train back to Nakhon Si Thammarat. We've caught the train many times so far, and have never really had a problem, but this time we had booked tickets at the end of the carriage right next to the door which leads to the external door for the carriage and to the next carriage. Some of these doors close automatically, but not this one. It had to be manually shut by hand.
I found it extremely interesting to note that almost no-one bothered to shut it. Despite a sign on the door politely requesting all to shut the door, very few did so. Bothered by the loud noise from the track, the lady across the aisle from us, my son and I shut the door each time a person walked past and left the door open after him/her. We started asking the railway employees to shut the door after them but to little effect. One young fellow did so twice, while a waitress said "Sure!" and then totally ignored our request!

money_cant_buy_everythingVaughan & Cathy, our team-mates here in Pak Phanang were both admitted to hospital yesterday with dengue fever. Today as I was visiting them, the old lady who wanders around selling fruit stopped for a chat. It turns out that her son studied chemical engineering in Australia, and worked there for a while. As she was telling me how much money engineers earn in Australia I remarked that, yes, I used to work as an engineer in Australia and earn that amount of money also.

Intrigued, she asked me how much money I make now. When I told her that my monthly allowance was roughly one tenth of what I used to earn, plus benefits, she said, "You're lying! No one would give up a wage like that to come a live here on such a fraction of their previous salary."  As I tried to explain that it was because of my love of God that led me here, she continued to insist that I must be lying. Only when she finally understood that I came as a "teacher of religion" and I offered to show her my bank book that she finally realised that I was telling the truth.

"He's a very devout man," she said to Vaughan's neighbour as she walked off to continue to selling her little bags of fruit. Quickly I grabbed a tract from my bag to give her before she left. It turned out that title of the tract that I had grabbed for her was "Money can't buy everything" (though in Thai language of course). How appropriate!

long_distance_brotherYou've heard of long distance telephone calls and even long distance romances, but at the moment Matthew and Rowan, our two younger boys, have a long distance brother! Nathan, our oldest son who recently turned 11, started international school in Chiang Mai in August. Nathan has my old mobile phone (mobile phone calls here are quite cheap) and rings us whenever he needs to talk or ask a question. But every week we set a time when we all sit down with Skype and have a good, long chat. What has been really fun is to see Matthew and Rowan interacting with Nathan via Skype. We turn on the webcam, and then the fun begins!