Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Our Time In Malaysia

Having only gotten back this morning at 10 AM, our trip to Malaysia is still very clear in my mind. After two weeks away, from the tenth to the twenty-fourth of July, it’s nice to be back in Chiang Mai, and good to rest after all of that traveling.

The entirety of our stay there can easily be summed up in one word: Blessing. From the beginning of our stay in Kuala Lumpur to the point of unpacking here in Chiang Mai it’s been one blessing after another.

Originally the plan had been to stay a week at my dad’s friend’s house in KL, but Uncle Ravi decided that it would be more convenient to book us into the Peninsula Residence, a service apartment, fully paid for. Our suite consisted of a kitchen, a sort of living room, and two bedrooms each with a double bed and its own bathroom. In each of the bedrooms and the living room was a television. All of the rooms were air conditioned, and we were even able to enjoy the swimming pool and weight room they had on the top floor.

From there we were able to get around, which included shopping at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which is located underneath the Petronas Twin Towers (which can be seen in the background of the picture above). While there we also visited Aquaria, an aquarium where we got to see a lot of fish (in front, above, and all around us!). We were also able to enjoy swimming and playing at Sunway Lagoon, a water/theme park courtesy once again of Uncle Ravi. His driver took us around KL in a very spacious air-conditioned van, which was really good considering how much taxis cost there. We spent some time with him and his family, especially his two children, Liyanna, fourteen, and Qalif, thirteen, who seemed to really enjoy our company.

After taking a bus from KL to Ipoh we moved into my uncle’s house for a week, which was vacant since he and his wife are living in Australia for two years. Although only he and his wife live there, it was easily large enough to accommodate our entire family. To get around we used his car, which he let us use while he’s away. While we were there we visited a lot of family and often spent time at my other uncle’s house with my grandmother.

We were further blessed by a visit to my dad’s old classmate, Joseph, in his hometown of Sri Manjung. He took it upon himself to take us to what he called ‘the best restaurants in town’, and practically begged us to stay for an extra night. He, along with his wife and daughter, took us to Pangkor Island, where we were treated to a thrilling motor boat ride around the islands and a chance to snorkel and see beautiful rainbow-coloured fish (some ate right off our hands while we swam with them!). Our boat driver hand caught some of the fish which we later ate for supper, along with sea snails (yum!)

The way everything lined up so perfectly we spent very little on the trip. The most we spent on while we were there was the entrance fee to Aquaria, which was amazing. The food courts in Malaysia were filled with foods from all sorts of different countries, and I personally enjoyed the Chinese food the most.

Everyone had something they enjoyed doing, whether it was shopping in KL, or playing at Sunway Lagoon, or simply enjoying the food and the company of others. For my father I’m sure it was reconnecting with old high school friends, most of whom he hasn’t seen since their last reunion almost three years ago (and for some, close to 30 years ago). Being with family was a lot of fun, and I felt a closeness I hadn’t felt before being around them.

We thank God for all that He’s done for us, in blessing us through so many people in so many ways.

The picture on the right was taken at Aquaria. Eric, Eli, and myself have live scorpions on our arms (Ethan was too scared to try it) It was literally creepy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tai Kaos (White Thai)

This week's UPG are southwestern animists. They are the Tai Kaos. There are 225,000 of them living in Laos and Vietnam. Unfortunately, out of that number, not one believe in our Lord. Worse, no one works with them. How on earth can they be saved? Thank God that with all our prayers, nothing is impossible and it can and will happen. Let's please pray for them. Thanks!