Grandma Delores’ Visit

Grandma Keller arrived mid-February and stayed with us for about 4 weeks. In Chiang Mai it was a mix of normal life and a few touristy things like Tiger Kingdom, the zoo, Bo Sang handicraft village, and Terra Cotta Garden Cafe. We then went on a road trip… Southeast through Thailand with a stop in Ayuthaya to see the ruins, Aranyaprathet to leave our car at the border, a van ride in Cambodia to Siem Reap (and back), then down to Koh Chang for a few nights on the Island. We wrapped up with a day in Bangkok including several hours at the Chatuchak market. Here’s some pictures from her time here.  ... read more

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

In early February Chiang Mai hosts a “flower festival” over a long weekend. Landmarks around the old city get decorated with flower displays. Different districts create floats for a flower parade. There is an orchid competition. Melanie and Chad went to the heart of the festival at the city park for a few hours on Sunday. The area around the park is shutdown to road traffic and filled with food and craft stalls. Check out some... read more

Mini-Bio 1

Sorry there have been no posts in a long time…  It feels like we’ve just been living “normal” life and haven’t had much of interest to share, but really we just haven’t taken the time. So… here is the first of a series of little biographies on people that we are meeting in our time here. This is the Garrett family: Paul, Simone, Porsche, and Reese. (take a look at the hats and I’ll give you one guess where they’re from) A few years back Paul was a young MTS grad recently returned to Melbourne from a rural assignment when he met a young pioneer sister named Simone…. They hit it off. They settled in a town a few hours north of the city called Wodonga. Not to be confused with other nearby locales, such as Yarrawonga, Tumbarumba, and of course the infamous city of Wagga Wagga. Paul spent many years as a network and systems administrator for a school district while Simone leveraged her years of life guarding and coaching to open her own swim school. Once their home was paid off Paul was able to quit his full time job to spend more time with the family, help run the business, and keep an eye on his aging father. Besides serving as an elder in his congregation, Paul has recently been given the privilege of overseeing the audio and video department of their regional conventions. Simone, being less lazy than Paul, has continued to pioneer while raising the kids and running the school. The entire family is slowly learning Chinese to expand their service. Each year during the school holidays the family... read more

The “sticky” waterfalls

Buathong is a set of small waterfalls in a national forest about an hour north of Chiang Mai. They are unique because the natural spring that supplies the water to the falls deposits a mineral over the stepped rocks that makes it so grippy you can climb up barefoot. The pictures also show the forest and river that the boys explored on a... read more

Small update

Chad went to the hospital for traction 3 times a week for 3-4 weeks; that plus lots of medication and stretching has got most of the feeling back into his right leg and foot and he’s walking with just a touch of a limp. We’ve been doing quite a bit with a family (the Garretts) visiting Chiang Mai from Australia. They have friends here in the Chinese group and the mom (Simone) is  just finishing up several weeks of early morning preaching in the Chinese territory here. As you already know the girls have arrived and have been out a bit (quarry, zoo, market). Unfortunately, the last couple of days has been each of us in turn (Aubrey’s turn right now) getting some crazy stomach bug and spending hours puking. Attached are some recent photos. service service Came in to a flooded hall a couple of weeks ago. kids table service India is an angry bird service blurry kingdom hall selfie one of the many malls Chad getting dressed for traction Out to dinner with the Garretts and a family from Arkansas service Taking home a mattress for the trundle... read more

Service and stories from the congregation

The greater Chiang Mai area has somewhere between 1 – 1.5 million people. Within that area are 5 (fairly small) Thai congregations, a Hmong congregation, and a Lahu congregation. There is also around 50 thousand foreigners living in the Chiang Mai area (as well as the constant flow of tourists) and they are the responsibility of the Chiang Mai English congregation and it’s attached Chinese group. Cart/table public witnessing is only legal for Thais to participate in, which means that other avenues have to be used by the congregation to reach foreigners. The search work involves taking a map (territory) and “searching”. Everyone seems to have a slightly different interpretation of the rules and process but it generally involves driving or walking through the area looking for homes/apartments/whatever that look like they house non-thais (some brothers go to every single house but we’re supposed to allow the Thai congregations to work their field). If you speak a little Thai you can ask anyone you see if they know of any “farang” living in the neighborhood. If you find any foreigners you mark and label the location on the map and add the notes to the back. Taking a door goes like this: Walk up to the gate (virtually every house is fenced and gated). Yell out (no ringing doorbells) “HELLO” (in Thai) then “Is there anyone home?!?!” (also in Thai). If there is no response you wait a minute and repeat. If a non-Thai comes out you go into your presentation. If a Thai comes out you pray silently. (walking back to the truck from a RV) A phrase we’ve heard repeatedly is... read more

panic attacks since decision

confirmed visitors

  • savings goal 110%
  • home preparation for rent 100%
  • stuff purge 90%

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