Hello from Asia! We hope your summer is going well. We keep hearing how hot or rainy it is where most of our friends and family live, but thankfully where we are is the most glorious weather we have ever lived in. July was normally in the 70s and a little overcast. There was some rain, but generally beautiful. It has been a blessing to miss the heat of summer!
The River is Rising!
Speaking of weather in our new home, there was one night when the rain and thunderstorms were the worst we have ever heard. It was one thunderstorm after another from 11pm until 7am. The river that runs through the city is right outside of our apartment, so that morning we looked out and realized it had gone from a dry river bed up to the top of the banks. It is probably about 7 feet deep and 20 feet wide! We couldn’t believe it.
As the day went on we began hearing that the city was flooded and 200 bridges were rendered unusable. One of the flooded areas was just about a 10 minute walk from our house where water was waist high as far as you could see! Thousands of cars and motorbikes were ruined, and many first floor apartments were flooded. We are so thankful that our neighborhood was okay but have been remembering those who lost their valuables.
July also brought some special friends into our lives. One lady used to live here for 6 years, returned back to the States a year ago, and is from our hometown, Winston-Salem, NC. We went to the same fellowship there and know many of the same people. It was such a blessing to connect with her twice on her brief visit to our city. She was so encouraging and helpful to us.
This lady also mentioned that she has felt for a few years like there would be a replacement raised up from our fellowship in Winston to take her place here in this city when she moved back to the US. Then she said after we had spent some time together that she felt like the replacement was us! That of course was an honor to hear. And even though we had never met before, it was nice to have so much in common… including a southern accent.
Another blessing is that we finally met a neighbor who speaks English! Because of the vastness of the city and not having a bike yet, it is hard to get around and make connections with people. But one lady just moved here from another city in country, and she is from Australia. So it’s been fun to get to know her. I have baked with her, we have eaten yummy meals together, and she brought her roller blades over to ride with the kids through our neighborhood, which they of course loved!
Finally there is a friend of mine who is from our city in this country, but we met in Redding. She came over the other night and cooked a delicious, authentic local meal for us, answered a lot of our questions, and brought news from Redding, which was delightful for us.
These three ladies have blessed us greatly this month. In America the above isn’t really news-worthy, but when you live overseas and don’t have much contact with people from home or other English speakers, it truly is the best news of our month. We feel loved on by these precious women who are answers to our prayers.
In family news, Kevin is on break from language school for July and August, so we have had a lot of family time. The kids are also doing school while we have more time to teach them. We will be taking our first trek out of the city since our arrival 4 months ago which we are excited for. It’s time for a change of scenery and will be a welcome escape out of the concrete jungle. It’s a seven-hour train ride, which I am sure will yield some interesting stories in itself. Then the destination is a more natural area with a lake, great Western food, and foreigners. Yeah for English speakers and rest in a beautiful place!
We Are Writing
Kevin and I are also beginning to write. We are working on separate material for our areas of interest, and Kevin is continuing his Prayer Coach blog, which has quite a following. I have enjoyed seeing how God gives us things to write about.
Please ask for a great, restful trip for all four us, as well as wisdom for Kevin and I as we write. Thanks so much for your support, encouragement, and remembering us!
Love to you all,