Thursday, January 29, 2009

Christmas 2008 Update

Christmas 2008 is turning out to be quite different. The first reason is obvious: we are not at home -- no extended family, no live Christmas tree dropping dead needles onto the floor, no seasonal snow/sleet/freezing rain! Secondly, for the first time in my entire life, I had all Christmas shopping completed and presents wrapped and under our fake tree by December 16! This organizational and shopping miracle is related to the third reason Christmas is different: on December 17 we hopped on the overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to then catch another train to the beach, where we are spending our Christmas holiday! All presents, plus little sprinklings of traditional Christmas cheer, came with us to Pran Buri, Thailand, a sleepy little fishing village that is growing into a quaint beach resort area. We were very blessed to find a wonderful and affordable beachside villa for our family of five. Needless to say, we are having a great time. On Christmas Day, we will take an early morning train back into Bangkok, where we will spend the day shopping before returning home to Chiang Mai on the overnight train. One of our friends in Indy joked with us when we saw where we are vacationing, “I remember you gave a CD that inspired you
to go on the mission field entitled, „Doing Missions When Dying is Gain.‟ I don‟t see a whole lot of dying going on there at that beach town!” Ha! We are creating wonderful family memories, however.

On December 29 we will be joining a team of local missionaries to present Christmas to a remote hilltribe village in the north. They have asked us to bring our instruments, so the kids will have a part in presenting the real meaning of Christmas to these villagers who have yet to accept Christ. It will be cold up there, so we‟ll probably have to borrow some warm clothes from friends (who have them…).

Everyone heads back to school on January 5. Tom is leaving his dear 6th graders in the hands of a new teacher and will be picking up a 9th grade Algebra I class and a statistics class for high schoolers. He‟s really excited about the new challenge. He‟ll continue coaching the U13 boys basketball team and leading the students in street evangelism on Saturday nights. Evan has committed himself to being a leader among his 8th grade peers in whatever way God prompts him. Kristen and Kendall are excited to continue their soccer season (wearing the jerseys of famous English “football” teams – easy to get cheaply here…). Robin will resume the 6th grade girls Bible study, hopefully picking up some new girls this semester. Our entire family continues to remind each other that we are here to encourage other missionaries, and we are praying for new ways to do that in our last six months here.

We will continue to update our blog as regularly as we can (look for a new link to a separate blog from Robin specifically). We love hearing from you and we thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf.

Many blessings to your family as you celebrate Christ, the fulfillment of God‟s covenant, planned even before the foundation of the world, to reconcile us to God for eternity!

Much love,
The Miyakawa Family

p.s. About the picture: no, this is not what we wear around Thailand! We had a traditional Thai photo shoot with all the trimmings! What fun. I will soon have a link to more photos from that day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nicolae Moldoveanu

Nicolae Moldoveanu went to be with the Lord in 2007.

Snippets from his personal autobiography -

Life continued on. 1959 was a year when my life was split in two – my life as well as the life of my family.

Daniela was five years old. The work of the Lord needed men who were tested. Gold and silver are purified through the fire of the furnace (Prov. 17:3, 27:21). In July I was arrested. Dorz was arrested earlier, in the month of March. It was a Monday morning and I was sitting at the table with my morning tea. Two officers of the secret police came to search the house. They confiscated all of the books of music (a large suitcase and briefcase). They took our first draft of Songs of the Bible. The investigation was five months long and took place with the secret police in Cluj. I was charged with art. 209 from the penal code: Working against the social order. The crime for which I was convicted was that I composed songs and psalms from which I’d made “propaganda”, this being “extremely grave”. Those in power then had all things under control except for the power of faith. They were unable to control the spirit of man. This made it difficult to introduce communist ideology and atheism.

I was unable to eat breakfast the morning that they came to arrest me and so I left home hungry. I asked that I be allowed to pray with my wife before I left. They allowed me to do this, but the door was left ajar so that they could hear. This is how we separated! I didn’t have clothes with me. My wife forgot, due to the shock she suffered, to put some food in a package for me. I was taken and presented to the commander of the secret police; all of the police had been called to the office. Before this time, the secret police had requested that I collaborate with them, that I serve them. I refused to do this. Now they said to me, “You didn’t want to help us, now you won’t find mercy, understanding or patience here! Take him and put him in the cell.” After I arrived in the cell, the sky covered in clouds and it started to rain torrentially. I prayed to the Lord and I thanked Him for the grace that He had given me to suffer for Him. After about an hour, another inmate asked me why I’d been arrested. “For my faith” I answered. “For your faith?!” He was amazed. “Oh, they’re going to let you go.” I asked him why he’d been arrested. “Because they found some gold coins at my house,” he said. They let him go soon afterwards and I never saw him again.

I sat on the bed and I prayed to the Lord. All of the sudden, a guard flew into the cell, furious, and grabbed me asking why I was sitting on the bed. “Why haven’t you read the rules?” he asked. He told me to stand. I stood there until the evening crying for joy because I had the grace to suffer for His name’s sake. I was hungry because I’d not eaten since the day before, but I wasn’t given food in prison on my first day because I had yet to be numbered among the prisoners. The next day, I had been rushed and I didn’t have an opportunity to eat because a guard came and took me. “Come with me! Take out your shoelaces! Don’t say anything!” – he demanded. Then he asked for my handkerchief with which he blindfolded me. I got in the car in which there were already two men. I was taken to Brasov. I still hadn’t eaten anything. We were each taken into different cells and I was at interrogated until the evening. That evening I arrived in a cell where there were three men standing with their backs toward the entrance into the cell. This was the rule when someone entered the cell. After the door was closed, they turned around and asked why I was imprisoned. I told them the reason. One was a lawyer from an opposing political party, the second had been arrested for participating in a meeting of the Legionnaires, and the last – a young man – had tried to cross the border and leave the country.


In the month of April they called me and told me to pack my bags. It was raining. I was taken into another cellblock. In the first room, there was a light on and two civilians at a desk. I told them who I was. They asked what sentence I’d received. I told them twelve years. “What for?” they said. “For faith.” “For faith?! Here we don’t sentence people for their faith. How many years of your sentence have you served?” “Five.” “Look, the party and the government acquit you of the rest of your sentence, but don’t continue to do what you’ve done in the past or we’ll bring you right back here.” I said, “Well you know, I’m just as I was five years ago. I haven’t changed. Rather than me having to come back and start all over again with interrogations, it’s better for me just to stay here and not leave.” “Forget it. Take your bags and leave.” My clothes were very wrinkled. I met Brother Chisu from Cluj in the waiting room for those who were leaving the prison. He ironed my clothes and the brim of my hat and I left for home. We were talking about how we would get home because we didn’t have any money to get from the train station to our homes. A baron with whom I’d been a cellmate gave me some money. I changed it and called my neighbor to see how everyone was doing at my house. Everyone was waiting for me. It was a wonderful homecoming!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Miyakawa Update - 10/24/08

Reflecting on Our First Four Months in Thailand


In some ways, it seems like just yesterday when we stepped off of the plane and into our new life here in Chiang Mai. In other ways, it feels like we have been here a long time. I guess that reflects a sense of being settled and in a routine, and that is a good thing! Here is a summary of our doings and goings, plus a look toward the future.

Tom – Quote, “I’m certainly never bored! There’s always something to do.” That typifies Tom’s daily life. He is having a great time teaching 3 sections of 6th grade math and 2 sections of 8th grade Algebra I. He keeps it interesting by having a trivia question each day and by sharing with them his heart for Christ. He just finished playing on two Ultimate Frisbee teams (a 7th grade team and a faculty team), and he also coached Kristen and Kendall’s rec. basketball team. Tom manages to find time to play basketball, run, and bike regularly, keeping him very fit and thin. He has been faithfully taking a growing group of students to Chiang Mai’s version of Broad Ripple, called the Night Bazaar, where sellers of everything under the sun set up stalls along the streets from 6 pm to 11 pm every night. It’s very safe and is a great place to meet people from all over the world. Several 8th graders are finding that God has called them to this type of evangelism, which, of course, Tom finds very rewarding. He has also led a small faculty men’s accountability group and a “Don’t Waste Your Life“ group on Saturday mornings. He plans to start a similar group with high school students very soon. Tom is working with Grace’s spiritual life director on a father’s panel discussion in November, similar to the ones we’ve had at College Park in the past (“5 Begat 41”).

Robin – My life seems to get more full every week, but still a manageable load that allows me time for peace and quiet, something I’m not terribly used to! I am involved in an aerobics class 3 days/week in our neighborhood, a Christian workout with wonderful ladies. It’s been good for me. On Thursday mornings I am in a Community Bible Study International (CBSI) group studying the book of Deuteronomy. This has been a refreshing time, and I love the goal of CBSI (similar to Bible Study Fellowship), which is “Everyone in the world in the Word.” They hope to start Bible studies among the Thais of Chiang Mai very soon. They already have four of their studies translated. As we know, there’s nothing like being in the Word to change hearts for the Lord’s kingdom! With that in mind, I determined that the Lord would have me lead a 6th grade girls Bible study. Besides Kristen, there are 10 other girls who join us weekly to discuss “The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ,” based on a book by Jerry Ross. I have also volunteered on the playground and in the cafeteria at school. My latest volunteer assignment at Grace is middle school and high school choir director while their regular director is recovering from earlier-than-expected hip replacement surgery. This is a lot of fun for me. Of course, there is a considerable amount of time each week spent shopping, cooking, washing dishes, and just being there for the kids when they get home from school. My goal each day is to have nothing on my schedule from 3 to 5 so I can totally focus on them.

Evan – I think his recent comment as we were driving in the car explains it all: “I really fit in well here.” That is definitely true! He is enjoying all of his teachers and classes at Grace and has a really nice group of friends. He was elected Spiritual Life Coordinator for the 8th grade, which has given him a platform to talk about what is most important to him. He and Tom led chapel last week on the subject of personal street evangelism, along with a handful of other boys who have been regulars at the Night Bazaar. As a result, about 15 kids went witnessing last Saturday night, with more promising to come in the future. Highlights of this first quarter for Evan have included science class, chapel band, PE class (they’ve been having team Olympics – many sports),Thai food, ultimate Frisbee football, encouraging his siblings on the basketball sideline, and leading worship for the eighth grade lock-in. He is really enjoying his violin and piano teachers, although managing daily practice and lessons is a lot harder here than in Indy (for all 3 kids). He brought home a great report card for first quarter.

Kristen – Here is a recent quote from our socialite: “Mom, for my birthday, I HAVE to invite all 31 sixth grade girls for a party. They are all my friends and I can’t leave anyone out!” I’m still not sure how we are going to solve this issue, but we have another four weeks to figure it out! Kristen is having a great year on every level. She is doing very well in school, she is mixing well with the other kids, and she is finding opportunities to stand up for truth and lead others. After a bit of a struggle, we found a cello teacher for her whom she likes. Her favorite activities have included trips to the “Sticky Falls” and “House Boats”, biking, playing with friends, learning the flute (all 6th graders take up a band instrument), playing basketball, art class, having her dad as math teacher, handing out tracks at the Night Bazaar, and rearranging her room (she is still sore at me that she can’t paint her room lime green while we are here….). She also brought home an excellent report card.

Kendall – “Mommy, I miss homeschooling.” Even though this is true for Kendall, he has done a great job adjusting to being in school all day. We miss each other a lot, but now he gets to share his joyful personality with many other people, as well! We have been thrilled to see how he has handled each new challenge. He is very conscientious about his school work, and it showed in his excellent first quarter report card. Kendall also enjoys riding his bike, learning to skateboard (who knew!?!), playing with friends, snuggling with Mommy, eating 5 bowls of rice for school lunch each day (he won’t touch the main dish), weekly computer time with his big brother, takeout pizza from The Pizza Company, and any time I cook American food at home !

What We Are Learning

There are so many amazing ministries that are based in Chiang Mai. Many mission organizations have their regional base here, which means that many people living here are involved in administration. It is also very common for a dad to leave his family for several weeks at a time to travel to an area where his ministry is strong but his family could not live. We are learning that missionary families are really just like any other Christian family anywhere else: they have triumphs and struggles in their work, their marriages and their families. Even in such a “luxurious” place as Chiang Mai, with so many missionaries in residence, they don’t have the same resources for Christian encouragement that we have in the States (or elsewhere), so some people have a very rich experience of Christian community and fellowship, and some struggle with a continuing sense of loneliness. This hits missionaries of all ages, especially the children, as they struggle with the reality of the being “third culture kids” – their passport says one country, their home is in another country, and they are continually torn between the two. There is a tremendous opportunity here to reach out to and encourage those that are discouraged and confused, as well as the opportunity to rejoice with those whose lives and ministries are bearing much fruit for the Kingdom.

A Look to the Future

Well, given how late this update is, the future is now! We are currently on vacation for a few days and then we are visiting a children’s home near the Burma border called Kids Life (I will post on this after we return). Our break will end with a visit from Nate Irwin and Josh Harber from our church, College Park! When school starts again next week, Tom will be coaching the school’s U13 boys basketball team. His high school “Don’t Waste Your Life” class will also begin. Kristen and Kendall will be playing recreational soccer at school, and Evan will be refereeing. Tom will be preparing for the parenting panel in November. I will continue teaching one choir class per day until Mrs. Eckerle can return to the classroom. It looks as if the Saturday Night Bazaar evangelism team will continue to grow, which means finding more adults to come out, as well. Tom and I may have the opportunity to address the northern Thailand home schooling community in February at their yearly conference, which will be fun. During the Christmas break, we will be taking a beach vacation, after which we hope to join a YWAM team visiting villages in the northern hills of Thailand. Apparently it can be “freezing cold” there at night. That sounds great!

Prayer Requests

  • That we all continue to be sensitive to God’s leading concerning ministry to the missionary community and beyond.
  • That teenage hearts become more sold out for Christ through small group studies and street evangelism.
  • That Tom continues to learn and grow as an effective teacher in the classroom.
  • That the Miyakawa kids continue to do well in school – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • That seeds of the Gospel planted in people at the Night Bazaar would grow into desire to live for Jesus.
  • That our time in the Word, individually and as a family, will yield much fruit.
  • For protection for the many missionary families here in Chiang Mai. The devil only wants to destroy…

Thank you so much for your support, both financially and through prayer. We are very blessed. Please feel free to contact us through this website.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Media Updates

For Higher Quality versions visit The Gallery

Mae Sot Trip

Choir and Ensemble Part 1

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!

After 7 weeks of settling in to our new surroundings in Chiang Mai, we are ready for school to begin on Wednesday!

Here is an update on everyone:

Tom -- He now has laser-focus on his number one goal for the year: encouraging and supporting Grace students, teachers and families in both academics and spiritual growth (i.e. Heb. 3:13). He also can't wait for his razor cord to arrive from the States!

Robin -- She will attend a celebration party on Wednesday with other moms sending their kids (and husbands, in some cases) to school. New experience! The home is now running fairly smoothly and she is driving pretty much everywhere. She is waiting patiently for the Lord to show her how best to use her time this year. Many opportunities....

Evan -- A little anxious about starting school, but mostly excited. Keeps asking, "I have another dumb question. How will I know when it's time to, or how to get to....?" We keep reassuring him that everyone there will be really helpful. He already has very nice friends. We are thrilled with the Core teacher he has been assigned. The new violin and piano teachers are working out very well. We are anticipating a great year for Evan.

Kristen -- Found out that her best friend here, also a new student, will be in her 6th grade class. She has created a schedule for when to where what color uniform shirt (there are five). I hate to break it to her that laundry issues MIGHT get in the way. Her bronchitis is slowly going away, we are prayerful that by the time basketball practice starts next Monday, she won't really be coughing any more. The 6th grade classes will be meeting in the squash courts for the first few weeks of school while a building is being finished.

Kendall -- Found out that HIS best friend here (Kristen's best friend's brother) is NOT in his class, but he's taking it very well. 4th grade will be meeting in rooms above the coffee shop across the street for the first few weeks for the same reason above. He is very excited about visiting the library and the computer lab -- and riding his bike to school every day.

Please pray for a good first week of school -- for all of us. God has been so good to us this summer. It has been a sweet time for our family. Now the fun really begins! We have had some evangelism opportunities as well, some with potential to develop over time. Thanks for your support and prayers!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our first week in Thailand

Dearest Friends,

We have now been in Thailand for 8.5 days, and it has been a fun
adventure. I thought I'd send you a stream of consciousness to give you some idea of what our life has been like. A lot of this will
eventually end up on the blog, once I have enough time to learn how to do it myself! Chad Purviance has provided invaluable help in making our blog a fun site.

Our Trip

The trip was more or less uneventful. Getting out of the country and out of our house was EXTREMELY exhausting for not only us, but for my parents and sister, who provided hours and hours of help packing up and cleaning the house. We are so grateful! We ended up checking 3 extra suitcases (so 13 checked bags/boxes in all -- including a cello), which cost us an extra $530 in fees. That was somewhat unexpected. Our longest flight was 17.5 hours, from LA to Bangkok, and the kids had fun playing video games on their individual screens and controllers. I mostly slept!

Our Arrival

Our good friends, the Allens, were there to greet us and transport us and all of our stuff to our new house, which had been freshly painted and prepared by our landlord. We had developed a relationship with the previous renters, who sold us all of the furnishings and household goods they were not taking back to the states. We basically walked into a fully furnished, ready to live in home, with food in the pantry and refrigerator, to boot! The Allens immediately took us grocery and cell phone shopping. Kendall's first day was a little rough, due to severe coughing from bronchitis, but he was quite the trooper. All three kids immediately hopped on bikes with the Allen girls and
started learning the neighborhood, which is very safe and bike friendly.


We are finally getting over the jetlag, which causes us to crave naps in the afternoon, crash by 9 or 10 pm, and wake up by 4 or so. We are getting normalized now.

New Friends

We have all had a very warm welcome from the "farangs" (white
foreigners) who live here. Many in the missionary community are gone during the summer, but those who are here (Grace families) have really gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. Our first week, we were so busy going out to eat and to other people's homes that I hardly had time to unpack! We have new friends from all over the US and the UK, which has been fun. Most have 2-4 kids and have been excited to include our kids in their circle.

Driving in Chiang Mai

We bought the car belonging to the previous renters. It is a 4-door Honda sedan, stick-shift, with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car! Driving here can be quite scary, because there are a bizillion motorbikes zipping along on BOTH sides of you, passing and weaving in and out. And most motorbikes have multiple passengers on them, including babies and toddlers! It's crazy! So, you're driving on the wrong side of the road, using a stickshift with the opposite hand, watching in all directions for suicide bikers, looking for streets that have no names, with everything written in Thai (which is mostly unintelligible swirls). So....Tom is driving and I am not yet. I think I'll start putzing around our safe neighborhood this week to get the hang of it. Pray for me! All of that said, Tom is doing a great job, and we have managed to venture out quite a bit for shopping and visiting. I'm very thankful for his skill. He is now officially my chauffeur.

Realities of Living Here

OK, so what is my daily life like now? Well, we're really not in any
kind of routine yet. Obviously, basic survival needs top the list of
priorities, like "what will we eat today?" and "how long will it be
before the landlord delivers the bunk beds so Kendall doesn't have to sleep on the floor anymore?" "Our helper didn't show up when we thought she would, so how do I use this washing machine?" And "I know takeout Thai food is very cheap ($1.00 - 1.50 per person), but how many meals can we eat out and still stay within our monthly food budget"? I am having to completely reevaluate the way we eat. Breakfast cereals cost $6-8 per box!!!! And you thought YOU were paying a lot for Corn Flakes! Miyakawa staples like cheddar cheese and hamburger are also extremely high, and sour cream is sold in containers the size of individual yogurt cups. So, how much money can we spend on these American things each month? Good question. My new
friend Marcia commented on how you throw out everything you learned about reading food labels and good nutrition because .... you CAN'T READ the food labels! Thankfully there are several very large grocery stores in town that cater to farangs and have at least the price tags labeled in English, so that helps.

It is very hot here, but we have great air conditioners. However,
electricity is very expensive, so we are learning how to live with
indoor temperatures in the high 70s, low 80s so we keep the bill in check. This is the hottest season, so this next month or so will be the worst. Our bill should still be somewhat less than the States, but relative to other costs, it is high.

I have a part-time maid, which we call "helpers" over here. There is a lot of important etiquette around this house help. As Americans, we are not used to people being put into "classes", but we can not treat our helper like a member of the family, or the helper will expect things that are not right. Our helper, Lani, is from the Karen tribe, and she is a Christian. She came yesterday for the first time. She washed the dishes and started a load of laundry (we have a nice, large washer, which takes about 1.5 - 2 hours for one load), then started sweeping and dusting the house. She went upstairs and cleaned the bathrooms, tidied up, then came down and put laundry outside to dry, mopped the floors, ironed some shirts, did more dishes, more laundry, etc. I think I'm going to like her. :) She didn't come last week like she was supposed to, because she was nervous about our inability to communicate. We worked it out with our wonderful translators, the Allens. She will come Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 - 2.

We have a nice kitchen by Thai standards, but it lacks storage space, and the counters are low, even for me! There is one smallish sink and no dishwasher. I learned a lot of tips watching Lani efficiently handwash the dishes yesterday. I think I will adopt her method. Thai homes don't have many, if any, closets. They use wardrobes instead, and they don't really have many drawers. So we use a lot of extra plastic storage containers, etc. We bought a used dresser for our bedroom.

The Kids

All three of them are having a ton of fun. They've all joined baseball teams that are playing this summer in our neighborhood. They can bike to many friends' homes in the neighborhood. We can go swimming at the school any afternoon. There is a big soccer field nearby for them all to enjoy. They are getting their bedrooms set up the way they want and are enjoying the special things we brought over with us. Just yesterday we started imposing more of a morning routine of quiet time, instrument practice and math. The boys are being treated for bronchitis after a visit to the favorite local pediatrician who is also a pastor. (!!!) He charged us $60 for two office visits and six medications. Kristen had her first orthodontic appointment to prepare for braces next month. Office visit, x-rays and impressions of her mouth: 2000 baht, or $60. Yes, medical care is cheap and good here.

Lists of Things to Do

Just like a move in the States, there are many little things we need to take care of. The only problem is that some of them involving speaking with Thai people, which is more difficult to do. We rely heavily on the Allens for help, so we are trying to be patient so that we don't tax them too much. Our internet connection is not working properly (thankfully there is someone nearby with an open network, so we are currently "borrowing" a connection). We have pay-as-you-go cell phones but don't know how to refill the minutes. We had to go to the US consulate today to have a bunch of papers notarized that are part of the packet for Tom to get his Thai teaching certificate. We have to figure out how to pay our neighborhood fees, our water bill, our electric bill, etc. We need to finish registering kids for school. We need to learn how to order water refills. We need to place orders at DaCheeso's for milk, cheese, etc. I need Tom to take me to THE PLACE for buying good ground beef. Again, though, this is NOTHING compared to what most missionaries go through.

Ministry Opportunities

It has been great for both of us to have time just to begin getting to know people. The Allens have been dear friends since grad school, so just catching up with them and better understanding their 15 years here has been great. One of their team members is helping Tom understand evangelism in Thailand. Another new friend is the head of sports at Grace and is also running many sports camps that reach out to local kids. We will be participating in one in July. Tom can already see an opportunity to involve men, particularly teachers and staff at Grace, in a men's accountability group. He will be starting a "Don't Waste Your Life" study next week. We have visited one church so far and plan to visit two or three more before we settle in to one. Summer is atypical because of so many people being gone, but we can still begin to understand the spirit of each place. The more we learn about both the pleasures and the challenges of living here for most missionaries, Tom and I really see our roles as encouragers of others while we are here. In keeping with typical Miyakawa
activities, I think we're going to have a summer concert at our home and invite area kids to be part of a little choir (I know, I can't help it.) A couple of ideas are brewing for us to actually visit one of the tribal groups in northern Thailand before school starts.
Please pray about that. We'll keep you posted as God reveals more to us about how to minister to others.

Prayer Needs

It has been brought to our attention just how real fleshly temptation is here in Chiang Mai, apparently worse here than even perhaps Bangkok. It is not uncommon for married missionaries who come here to experience difficulties that never even existed in the States. This came as something of a surprise to us, but it is crucial for us to know this. We do not know what God has in store for either of us as we work with others more closely, but we would covet your prayers, specifically a hedge of protection around our marriage. This is a topic that we have discussed openly and in depth over the years, but, if indeed there is serious spiritual warfare here, we cannot have enough Saints praying for our faithfulness to Him and to each other. Please also pray for the 3000+ missionaries who make Chiang Mai their home, that they would stay strong and resist temptation.

In Summary

We can already tell that this is a very special group of people here. Chiang Mai is so unique because of the unprecedented concentration of missionaries who are working literally all over Asia. We know we will enjoy living here. We hope to have a Thai tutor in the next week or so, to help us as a family before things get really busy. You should have seen me trying to buy a mattress today on "furniture street". Lots of sign language! Ha! But it arrived at our house 2 hours later.

Thanks again for your encouragement and prayers. We are so thankful to God for a very smooth transition so far. We really have it so easy compared to most missionaries. This truth is not lost on us. Be watching the blog for updates very soon. You can sign up for our RSS feed, so you will know when new material is added.

Many blessings to you all! We'd love to hear from you, as well!
Robin for the family

Photo Fun with Family

1. What fun getting around Chiang Mai this week!

2. I took this near Chiang Mai University ... famous Buddhist temples in the mountain behind.


3. Starbucks in the US is good, but it ONLY has caffeine. :o)


Our Top 10 "Yep, this is Thailand" Experiences This Week

1. Found a lizard climbing our upstairs bathroom wall the first night.
2. Passed a motorscooter at 35mph with 2 year old in front of a dad, 3 year old clinging on in back.

3. We've been paying $6 or $7 for our whole family for Thai dinners!
4. Motorscooters driving at us in our lane in the WRONG direction if it's convenient for them.
5. We take our shoes off outside houses - - to give honor to the helper who cleans the floor.
6. I made the terrible mistake in public tonight of stopping a rolling coin with my foot (has the King's picture on it). I didn't dare look up to see who might have witnessed.
7. Peering out our back window to see the first foothills of the Himalayas, leading eventually to Mt. Everest.
8. Looking out into forest which has pythons that can be 13-14 feet long.
9. While Evan was trying to kill a fly during dinner, he was told to stop. Thais don't kill bugs due to reincarnation.
10. Two doctor visits and 6 medications for Evan and Kendall's bronchitis: $60