WOW! What a fabulous week we just had! Some kind and generous souls from Christian Hospitality Network provided our family with a wonderful 3-night getaway in Thailand. We had to pay for plane tickets, but they paid for a beautiful resort with meals provided.
Because of lack of finances, we haven’t travelled in a year as a family. And this is our first vacation outside of our province since we arrived in Asia a year and a half ago… and it was so needed! So thank you to our brothers and sisters in Tennessee who we have never met who allowed us this luxury! God is so good to us, and we love how He uses extended family to bless us. (Here are some thoughts of how you help.)
The pools in our country are rather dirty and very cold, so I never get in with the kids, and the kids have only gone twice since we moved here. So I was excited to make memories with them splashing and swimming in warm water. CHN also provided swim lessons for the girls, which was a great refresher course for them. The time in the pool was so relaxing, and did I mention warm?
We all love elephants in our family, so we went to Elephant Camp in the city where we stayed. This was another highlight of our time. We got to feed them, ride them, and see an elephant performance. Watching an elephant paint is one of the most amazing things we have ever seen! They make it looks so easy.
There were also animals in our resort, which we got to feed and watch. This was really fun for all of us as well.
One other perk of getting out of our country was being able to enjoy more of a Western style of living. We ate amazing western food, saw the blue sky without tall buildings blocking our view, and we got to speak English wherever we wanted to… and everyone understood us! Now that’s culture shock!
Other sidelights were going to a 3D art museum, the Cat Café (the kids loved petting the cats while eating a smoothie), seeing waterfalls, and just enjoying rest together. I had a manicure and foot/leg massage, and the kids had swim lessons. They kept giving us gifts, snacks, games, stuffed animals for the kids, and it was just over the top.
The team also brought American doctors, so we all had a check up, and I saw a physical therapist for my knee. Kevin has had a rash on his leg that’s gotten worse here. The doctor prescribed him some lotion, which we found in Chiang Mai. He has used the lotion for four days now, and the rash appears to be all gone.
Words cannot express how thankful we are to have had this getaway, to be recharged, to be with other foreigners living and working in SE Asia, and to be spoiled and pampered in a way that we have never been. We hope our pictures and stories encourage you (there are more pictures on Flickr). We spent about two months of our support to get there and some of the extra activities, but it was well-worth it to be refreshed. Elizabeth is already forgetting America, so the trip gave her pseudo-memories of life in the West. 🙂
I will head back to the States the end of January to recruit interns for the next year and to meet with our board. I will split my time between Redding and San Francisco. I hope to see many of you if I can. There are two things I will need for the trip: 1. a car to borrow to get around and 2. an international phone to use while there. If you can provide either of these two things, please contact us. Thank you for your prayers and support.