Krabi Boats 8

Aunty Jariam loves to drive her motorbike, taking people to doctors’ appointments and caring for her neighbours’ needs. As a result of her love and care, she met Aunty Ieyad, who moved into her neighbourhood from Bangkok. This move was due to Covid and the loss of her son’s income from fighting in Muay Thai competitions, which was his livelihood; their move thus came with financial difficulties, and Aunty Jariam sought to help.

20180717 Bartleet Family 7 copy 2As we begin to think and plan ahead for our upcoming home assignment many of our Thai friends and acquaintances in our village have been asking if we will be coming back after our time in Australia. This is a difficult question to answer as our financial support is low and at this stage, it does not look likely that we will be able to raise the required support, especially in light of the economic hardships due to COVID.

As I have answered this question about our possible return I have shared with each person who has asked that ‘ I am hoping to return but I am not sure as our financial support for us to live and work in Thailand is low and if we do not get the required funding we will not be able to return.’ I have been greatly encouraged to have a number of my Thai friends who are not yet believers say to me that I should ask God. They have stated this very matter of factly as if they know He can provide, even though they are still discovering who He is.

Ghost monthEvery year in September families gather to ‘pay respects’ to their deceased ancestors. Every year in September families gather to ‘pay respects’ to their deceased ancestors. This is a very important time for our neighbours as this time of ‘paying respect’ goes beyond our understanding. For the Thai’s born in Nakhonsithammarat, it is believed that their ancestors’ spirits have been released from heaven or hell and have come back to visit them.

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About a month ago while out for a run, I ran past a restaurant that a friend of mine (Joy) owns. I stopped to say hi and chat briefly. As I was chatting to Joy, I had a sense that she was not doing well. Thai people are really good at keeping their emotions under wraps, but you can often get a sense of how they are truly doing by their eyes. Joy’s eyes did not have the usual friendly glint, instead they showed worry and burden.