Happy New Year from Asia! We hope you had a delightful Christmas season. Our family had a great Christmas in a nearby city. This was our main Christmas gift to each other, but we also searched for farmland while we were there, but more on that further down.
Our Christmas in Asia
We surprised the girls with the trip and didn’t tell them until it was time to pack that we were going. They were really excited as we have vacationed there once before and all had a wonderful and relaxing time. They were thrilled to ride the train again, eat Western food, and see a golden retriever at the hotel where we stay. We made the train ride more fun by opening our Christmas presents on the trip.
Surprise Traveling Companion
One other big surprise we didn’t tell the kids about was that our good friend, Carmel, was joining us. The kids couldn’t believe she was coming and had such a good time having an extra playmate. We shopped, played games, and ate… a lot… with her. It was great to have a friend along. She also translated for us while searching for farmland, which was wonderful and necessary! We are so thankful for the family we have met here. Dad is so good to always provide what we need.
Another highlight was riding a cable car up a beautiful mountain and seeing snow at the top. The kids enjoyed kicking ice chunks around for about 30 minutes while the adults soaked in the beauty and clean air. Yay for no pollution over Christmas!
Funny Fish Feet
This wasn’t a highlight, but it’s funny. In Asia they have these fish that eat dead skin off of your feet, and it is supposed to make your feet soft after 30 minutes or so. The girls decided they really wanted to try this, so we said okay. They chickened out in the end and left Carmel, Kevin and I sitting in a tank of nibbling fish. It was one of the grossest and most ticklish events of my life. I don’t recommend it. It was hilarious though, and I accidentally drew a crowd from outside of people coming in to see who was screaming. I am thankful Kevin didn’t think to catch this on video, because it was blackmail material for sure. What was I thinking to do this??? People do weird things on Christmas vacation I guess.
Searching for Our Farm
Another highlight was doing our first search for farmland. When I went to Redding last month, I received a lot of prophetic input about the location of potential farmland, and it all led to this one area where we went on vacation. So we rented a van for the day to explore. We started by telling the driver, “Go north,” and we didn’t know more than that. But as we went we just all felt to head behind this one set of mountains. As the crow flies, it’s about 20 minutes from the city. But since there is no road over the mountain, it took about 1.5 hours! (We could have taken a horse over, but opted out this time.)
Our driver was very confused with our adventure. Since we were exploring and learning as we went, he started to become discouraging of where we wanted to go, asking to take us back. He preferred having a known destination. Thankfully we were led to a man at our lunch stop who gave us good advice and encouragement in the direction we were all feeling. At that final location we also met several helpful villagers. I showed them a picture of a certain farmland we have in mind, and they all said some nearby land looked similar, about 30-60 minute walk from the town. We had run out of time and had to come back to the city, but we got enough information that we plan to go back in the next few months and spend several days in this area searching more specifically.
On the ride to this village, we all felt really good about this region. A lot of the land looked similar to what we have had in mind, except we never saw water, and we think water will be on (or near) our land. But we feel like we are on the right track and are looking forward to returning as soon as possible. We need a translator, time, and money to make it possible again, which we know will be provided when the time is right.
Thank You for Your Partnership
Thanks so much to those of you who have supported our journey so far through prayer and finances. The longer we are here, the more we gain added heart and vision for teen orphans and victims of sex trafficking. There is so much need here that it’s hard to articulate, and it’s hard for us to even comprehend after living here for nine months.
Please know that Josiah’s Covenant vision and implementation is needed here, and the more people we tell the more excited we become. Many people here are backing us and excited to see what He does. It’s still the beginning phases, but we feel even greater momentum and His pleasure as we move forward. We value your partnership in this amazing adventure!