Mini-Bio 1

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
Service and stories from the congregation

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
What the what?

What the what?

Sorry everyone. Chad has been hurting quite a bit this last couple of weeks and it has been tough to sit and type. The image above shows off the lovely curve of Chad’s spine (scoliosis) which was not responsible for the problems. It started with his typical back spasming because he bent wrong or something but it didn’t ease over the next few days and go away as it usually does. This went on for over two weeks and was affecting everyones sleep and what activities we could do. It came to a head last night when pain started shooting down his right leg. It was painful when standing but excruciating when sitting or lying down so he paced the house all night. Heat, cold, stretching and ibuprofen did nothing so today he went to the best hospital in town and spent 5 hours with an orthopedist, xray techs, back to the orthopedist, waiting, MRI tech, waiting, orthopedist, physical therapist, and finally pharmacist. The upside is that 2 x-rays, an MRI, a session of pelvic traction, several medications, and 3 consultations with an orthopedic doctor cost a total of about $375, the downside is that Chad has a herniated disc between the L4 and L5 vertebrae that is compressing the nerve root on the right side. The MRI looked very similar to this: For the next week he will be taking very strong anti-inflamitories and doing some physical therapy. Even if that works for now the doctor is pretty sure he will need surgery at some point… so… not cool.   Other news – We’ve had a couple different... read more