Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Leaving for Oz

I'll be on my way to Australia in a few hours. I'm really nervous.

The plane will make 2 stops--Singapore and Bali. I'm quite excited about that and hope to get a taste of the two cultures even at the airports.

I'm too nervous to continue writing at the moment. Gotta go now...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Getting Ready for OZ

I'm leaving for Australia in five days!!! Whoa, the reality is beginning to sink in. I'm nervous and scared and excited. In a way, I've always desired to go somewhere where I don't know anything about the country. Come to think of it, Australia isn't so bad. At least they speak English. I wonder if my accent will change.

My time in Thailand has been a retreat to me. I got to reconnect with my parents and brother and other relatives. I've been back and forth between the US and Thailand for years, but this time, God's allowed our family to experience better peace. To Him be the glory. I came from a fractured home and understand the suffocation of being with parents who constantly fight. But God has been good to our family. My parents became Christian about five years ago, but it takes time for them to sort out the junk accumulated in their lives. I never thought that my parents would be together again after being separated my whole entire childhood. God has put us through pain, so he can be glorified through our lives. I have no doubt that God is the only thing that brought our family together. He deserves all the credit.

I'll start packing again. I've literally been packing every month since July, moving from house to house. The luxury that I can afford now.

I'm looking forward to meeting with disciples in Melbourne. There's a room for me in a household. Danae is one of my roommates. I can't wait to meet her. She seems like a total Aussie to me from her email. Don't know what kind of job I'll get. I may have to wash dishes but hope not.

I've spent a lot of my free time in Thailand reading Frank Viola's The Untold Story of the New Testament Church and has gained a ton of knowledge about first century churches and Paul's life. I'm seeing the NT again from a new perspective. The book has helped me to have greater respect for first century Christians. I'm a bookworm, I know. Can't help it, I'm an English teacher and have worked at HB library for nine years. I hope to always be a book advocate and one day have a personal library. Reading is an addiction I can't stop. If you come across this blog and know of a good book, let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Thai Market

Food is a big deal in Thailand. Thai people take pride in their cuisine. It's interesting how many of my American friends love Thai food, but they don't know much, if at all, about Thailand. But our food is world famous. When you walk into a Thai market, if you're like me, you get overwhelmed with food. And I'm not talking about processed food. I'm talking about food that's cooked right in front of you, fresh, and the aroma lingers in the air. You can see the passion in the food. The colors. The taste. Eating in Thailand is always a feast, a daily feast. About cleanliness, that's another story. I'm fortunate because my stomach has gotten used to the bacteria here. So enjoy the food if you make it out here, but stay close to a pharmacy...

This vendor sells every part of the chicken. There's no need to waste anything.

Meeting Disciples in Chonburi

Last Sunday, I met up with disciples in Chonburi. We are a small group at the moment. But disciples are alike everywhere from my experience. They are loving and it's always a joy to meet them. There's an instant bond between us. We really do have deep things in common. They are hoping to plant a church here in Chonburi, a total answered prayer from God. I've also been praying for this for years, since my parents live in the area. If you come across this blog, please pray for the church in Bangkok to send missionaries out into this area. There's much work to be done, and it can be discouraging when we look at the small number. Nonetheless, I'm super encouraged to see that God's moving in this direction. It's a big step from years ago when these disciples used to drive 2 hours to meet up with the church in Bangkok. Now they have small children and babies. It's getting harder to move around. There's something that small churches have that is so precious like the closeness among disciples. Everybody knows everybody and we have to stick together...

My New Home in Chonburi

I grew up in Bangkok, but my parents moved to Chonburi province ten years ago. It takes awhile for me to get used to this place since I'm a Bangkok girl. But one thing I can't complain is that the air is better and we're close to the ocean. There's something about me and the ocean--a secret passion perhaps. There aren't surfs here. That's what I miss about California, besides other things, of course...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bangkok 2006

I like to tell my friends in America that in Thailand, we ride buffalos everywhere. And my family owns five of them! Well, things are not always what they're told...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Ordinary Leaves 'Her' Comfort Zone"

My Big Dream to travel around the world is heavily inspired by Bruce Wilkinson's The Dream Giver. Much of my writing reflects the ideas and concepts from this book. This book is by no means the Bible but is definitely Bible based and the Dream Giver is no other but God himself. In a sense, I'm walking the walk of Ordinary, the main character. Amazingly I'm able to identify with the character every step of the way so far...

At this moment, my journey is on chapter 2. The title is "Ordinary Leaves His Comfort Zone." At the end of chapter one, he is ecstatic about following his Big Dream. He makes some big sacrifices and so did I. He gives away his precious items and so did I. But as he continues on his journey, the further away, the more uncomfortable he feels. For the first time, he thinks about going back to the Familiar. I have been thinking about that for the past few days. Ordinary "look[s] longingly back toward Familiar. He fondly remember[s] all its comfort--his Usual Job, his Best Friend, his recliner, his box. There [is] something wonderful about nothing happening" (24).

This is exactly how I feel: "Forget about it!" I said to myself, " I'm going back to America next month, to the Iron Curtain of the OC. Forget about my Big Dream of seeing the world and visiting churches. I miss my friends too much. It's getting too uncomfortable, really uncomfortable. I want to run back to my Comfort Zone..." I was beginning to doubt if it even matters. What the heck am I doing? Nobody is doing what I'm doing. Why can't I just be like everybody else and live a comfortable and safe life? Why can't I just settle for a normal life?

I'm essentially hitting the Wall of Fear, a pretty thick one at that.

But then the Dream Giver says to Ordinary, "I made you to do this...Yes you can...take courage, Ordinary." (23,25)

Maybe God's teaching me to take courage inspite my fear.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Room Fiasco and Being Homesick

My parents gave me a room. It looked rather drab and nothing matched. My great plan was to exert some of my individuality in it. No problem. Just repaint the room and get some new furniture... Well, sometimes things just don't go as planned.

I chose 'yellow' for my room. Yeah, yellow. The other day I looked online and saw examples of tropical bedrooms and yellow was the color. Yellow became too yellow and everything was yellow. The original blinds were yellow and my eyes began to see yellow. "It was all yellow," like in a Coldplay's song. So I thought of offseting it with red, but red didn't look good with yellow. So I wasted the paint.

Yesterday, I spent hours fixing the curtains and the blinds. The new bamboo curtain was too small, so I tried to cut and paste. Yes, cut and paste and it still dint' work. And the new blue curtain was too pale and it made the room look pale and it just didn't go well with the yellow. So I did the 'Polluck' on it by dripping all the paint I had: yellow, red, and white. Another fiasco. So much for my attempt to be artistic. I got so frustrated that I felt demon possesed!

Thank God, Susan called me last night, right when I needed to talk to a trusted friend. I'm so grateful to have a friend like her. She shared with me 1Thessalonians 5:16. The scripture brought me some peace.

All in all, I'm coping with being homesick. I wanted my room to remind me of the comfort I had in the US, a place to escape. Funny how people find comfort in things like one's own bedroom. For a moment I felt far from God. Maybe he's trying to remind me not to put my comfort in physical things, but only in Him. I miss my friends in the US terribly, what a feast of fellowship we have in the OC, but it was my decision to follow my Big Dream. It's not easy. I'm suffering...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Breaking the Invisible Wall

The truth of the matter is that I tend to think of myself higher than I ought. Here's why...

In America, I see myself as belonging to a classless society. Not so in Thailand. There is this invisible wall between people of different social classess. I hate to admit that I can be a spoiled brat and conceited at times. It's hard to take a sober look at myself, but the process is required for growth.

So my parents own a medium-sized shipping and trucking company. They have lots of employees who fly in and out of the office like bees around a honey comb. The company is downstairs and my parents live upstairs. Yeah, Thailand has dual-purposed buildings, combining commercial and residential into one. In the US, I have to do all the chores like most Americans. But in Thailand, I was tranformed into a princess first thing when I got home. Literally, I don't have to lift a finger, although I try to. Believe me, I've washed a couple dishes since. And I'm a total daddy's girl. I love my dad because he spoils me rotten. I know that's not necessary a good thing, but allow me to bask in the love and attention just for a short time. My mom, on the other hand, is the sound of reasons. I also have a nanny who's been with our family since I was born. We also have another maid and so forth.... It's a common practice in this part of the world to have a maid or two.

My struggle with being here is that although I'm surrounded by people, I don't have friends yet in this part of town. I think it's mostly because I see myself as different from the rest of my parents' employees. Then one day, God moved in my heart to call Pat, Necie, Ana, and Jon. I'm forever grateful for godly friends in my life who encouraged me to reach out to "my people." Since my friends all said the same thing, I believe God was speaking through them. I can see that "my people" want to know me and yet afraid because I'm the boss' daughter. I caught them looking at me from the corner of their eyes.

I have been praying for ways to reach out to them. Thank God he opened the door after a week of being back. I started with just one person who's also a believer in the faith. We talked today about God and relationships. I feel better. I feel like I'm learning to be more like Christ who lowered himself and became a man. Also the scripture that said "Be all things to all men, so I can save some" has been on my heart.

My hope is that I can plant a seed in someone's heart through my example. I have much to work on, but I'm working on it. Through imitating Christ' and Paul's humility, I also hope to save some...