Harp and Story

Putting It All Together

We went to Bangkok yesterday, always a long and tiring journey. We did find the few needed items to finish putting together the aqua-ponics system for Bamboo School.

Bamboo School boys level the hillside for the aqua-ponics system.

Bamboo School boys level the hillside for the aqua-ponics system.
Cleaning the glue out of the IBC totes - GO Girls!
Cleaning the glue out of the IBC totes – GO Girls!

The boys had leveled off the hillside on Sunday and the girls had worked on scrubbing out the IBC totes.

Momo Cat and Matthew scrub out the fish tank.
Momo Cat and Matthew scrub out the fish tank.

Matthew and Momo cleaned out the last of the glue in the tote for the fish Tuesday morning before we left for the city. Steve is plumbing today and the boys who are not in school, (they arrived after the Thai government school began their semester and Thailand does not allow for late arrivals), these boys are carrying up gravel from a pile at the clinic and then washing it here by the bathroom block before it gets put in the cut-down totes.

Conagee and Matthew wash gravel for the Aqua-ponics grow beds.
Conagee,  Matthew and Eric wash gravel for the Aqua-ponics grow beds.

I think maybe they wish they were in school after-all!

The grow beds are almost ready for gravel.
The grow beds are almost ready for gravel.

Coming back to the school last night from our trip to Bangkok, about 1:00 a.m., the entire rear, passenger side, (for those of us who drive on the correct side of the road that would be the driver’s side rear!), wheel assembly flew off the ambulance. We felt a bump and then heard a grinding, knocking noise and then like a flat tire and within milli-seconds the axel was dragging on the road. Thankfully, we had slowed down for a very rough railroad crossing so our speed was maybe 35 when the tire left the car. Cat was driving and managed to drag the car to more or less the side of the road. At first we thought we had a flat and we’d just change the tire, but upon closer inspection two of the lug bolts that hold the wheel to the axel had shired off. Steve went looking for our missing parts and much further back up the road he found the wheel with tire still inflated, and one of the lug bolts with the nut still attached. Cat is going to have to get a new rim, for that one is pretty damaged. The truck skirting got pulled in and dented up when the tire made its escape as well. Soon two Patrol Police pulled up on their motorcycle and then two policemen in a Toyota Hillux came and stopped before the railroad tracks providing a road block for us complete with flashing lights. Cat, even after all her years in Thailand doesn’t speak fluent Thai and we don’t speak Thai at all, so it was quite amusing trying to communicate what happened. The police thought Steve was the driver and had fallen asleep at the wheel – one officer gave him an “energy drink” to wake him up. Steve kept trying to tell him that he didn’t need it, but they were insistent, so he finally drank it. Uug! That satisfied them. Cat called Tooey back at the school and she ended up speaking with the policeman in a three-way conversation; Cat telling her the story, she translating it for the policeman and then telling Cat what the policemen were saying. The long and the short of the night was: Tooey drove the other ambulance down to pick us up and the police called a “tow truck” to take our car to the police station. The tow truck was a Mazda pick-up with a lift mounted in the bed. It did the job, we were thankful. We got back to Bamboo School around 4:00 a.m. Didn’t get up for 5:15 worship this morning though!

Today’s trivia:  Malarial mosquitoes only come out between the hours of sunset to sunrise, that’s why we sleep under mosquito netting in malaria infested areas of which Bong Ti is one such area.  Some varieties of daytime mosquitoes carry denge fever and chickkundungyah (sp) fever – neither one of which would make your day!  Have a good one!!

Our Home Sweet Home at Bamboo School.
Our Home Sweet Home at Bamboo School.

In the Villages of Thailand

60 hours after we left CA we are finally with our friends the Sloan’s in the Bruu village of Nang Khan Kan in northeastern Thailand where they have been ministering for the last 28 years.  We all will be leaving this village for Bangkok on Monday evening the 21st of January where they will be flying back to the states and we will be going on to Bong Ti Bon and Bamboo School, an orphanage/boarding school four hours west of Bangkok on the Thai/Burma border.

The Mekong River that separates Thailand from Laos

The Mekong River that separates Thailand from LaosThe Mekong River

We flew on Singapore Air and I must say that is one nice airline!  Good service, good food, friendly attendants, more leg room – even in economy with footrests to boot!  But what has really put my stamp of approval on this airline is the Singapore airport with its free lounge areas complete with reclining chairs, soft, pleasant music, dimmed lights where one can stretch out and actually sleep.  Anyone who has traveled on long international flights can appreciate what it means to have a place to stretch out and sleep!  Singapore Airport is also a feast for the eyes with orchid gardens scattered throughout the international terminal.  Sorry there is no picture for you, but the batteries in the camera were exhausted – from the long flight I guess!
Another new experience for us was a stop-over in Seoul, Korea.  Steve and I keep track of all the countries that we visit including those that are only airport visits and this trip has added two new countries to our list!  Our flight took us up and over Alaska, the Bering Sea, down the coast of Siberia, China and then Korea.  A cold flight it was, glad we brought coats even though we knew we most likely wouldn’t need them in Thailand or in Australia where they have been suffering through days with temperatures over 110 degrees F.We cleared customs with no problem and wanting to check and send emails we went to a free internet area, couldn’t get on though so decided to go find something to eat.  As we were searching out our options Steve suddenly remembered our computer, he had left it at the free internet area.  Oh no!  As he hurriedly retraced our steps through the airport I prayed.  Please Abba, have mercy upon us and let our computer be where we left it.  What seemed an eternity later, but was actually only about 10 minutes, I see Steve coming with our computer in hand.  YHVH takes care of His kids even  when they foolishly blunder!

We left the Bangkok airport after our lunch of chicken stir-fry and steamed rice for me and beef stir-fry and steamed rice for Steve, (very good BTW!) and took, for the first time, the City Line air train from the airport to Phaya Thai and then transferred to the BTS for the ride up to MoChit.  We had to navigate our luggage up and down several flights of stairs; the down wasn’t so hard, but the up was exhausting – where are the elevators!  Got a taxi to take us from the BTS MoChit stop to the Bangkok Bus Terminal, (a very busy place indeed!) where six hours later we left on the 8:30p.m., overnight bus to Mukdahan.  Got in about 7:00 a.m. and it was with a great relief to find Isaac and Karen Sloan with Cadance waiting for us!   They took us out to Thai breakfast of various vegetables in yummy sauces, omelets, fresh fruits – watermelon, guava,

Buying skirts for our Bamboo School sponsored daughters
Buying skirts for our Bamboo School sponsored daughters

pineapple and others that I can’t name and then to the street markets for whatever reason one might have to go browsing through the early morning markets.  I found three lovely skirts to take as gifts for our sponsored daughters at Bamboo School and some natural herb remedy specially blended for coughs.  Steve has had a cough that he has not been able to shake since our time in Israel for the 2011 harvest season.  He was reluctant, but I made some tea for him anyway and he did drink it.  We’ll keep at it until the herbs are used up.  Can’t hurt I figure, but it would be interesting to know what’s in it!Last night, our first night in the village, some believers invited us to their home for dinner, about 12 along with the five of us.  We sat on woven mats outside in the covered garden and feasted on “hot pot” – fresh leafy green vegetables mixed in hot broth along with beef strips and rice noodles and then some purple potatoes steamed in a creamy, sweet sauce for dessert.  After dinner Steve got out his harp and began to play.  Joe, the Sloan’s daughter-in-law’s brother who is also one of the leaders of the village congregation, said the evening couldn’t have been more perfect; great food, family, new friends and precious old friends and the music of heaven!

Steve instructs Joe on the harp
Steve instructs Joe on the harp

We sang some songs together and then I had a spontaneous ministry opportunity with a young man stilled plagued with remnants of his old life, even though now a believer in our precious Savior he still from time to time comes under thoughts of condemnation and temptations of suicide.  I pray the seeds were dropped in fertile ground and will produce much fruit for YHVH’s glorious kingdom!

Where we are staying in the village with the Sloans
Where we are staying in the village with the Sloans
Water buffalo in the back yard rice paddy!
Water buffalo in the back yard rice paddy!

We slept deep and sweet last night – the sleep of the contented, but exhausted!  Tonight is Shabbat for us; so a day early we say SHABBAT SHALOM to all of you our dear friends!