It’s been an amazing welcome to Klong Toey! Five days in and we are happy to be finally calling this place home. Our team did a wonderful job preparing the house for us and helping us find our feet. Today after a frustrating day of registering at the Embassy and the hospital we felt relieved to turn onto the main street of the slum and feel we were close to home! Getting a taxi driver willing to bring us here was a bonus, they usually refuse! We had a moment of disbelief hanging out washing under our upstairs canopy this evening; lightning was flashing across the sky and illuminating the maze of rooftops stretching all around. What a privilege to see life from this viewpoint! There is definitely relief at having arrived but also the uncertainty of starting out on a journey.
We are desperate to be speaking Thai and communicating with our neighbours. Its so painful not being able to say stuff! Everyone is very patient with us. On day two we sat in a Buddhist house blessing ceremony telling Elliot not to point his feet at the monks and Sammy to stop picking his nose! It was such an honour to be made welcome there. We have been trying to make our home welcoming too though everyone is still a bit unsure of us. We were so pleased when one of the neighbourhood children stayed and shared the very British cheesy omelette we were having for tea! Its been a comfort having our team leader Lish on the doorstep with answers to all our questions (and a kettle!)
Thankyou for praying for Elliot and Sam; they have been superstars! Somehow they seem unfazed by their surroundings and are loving having lots of company. Elliot was counting how many times he got pinched on the arm (a friendly gesture!) but he lost count very quickly! Riding on the back of motorbikes has opened up a whole new world to them and they are less bothered by the Bangkok traffic than us. Following us around doing admin tasks has been more fun with the prospect of riding to the next place! They have also enjoyed gecko spotting, eating copious amounts of fried chicken, having long showers and playing with their pet duang beetles (while Jon freaks out!). They will start school on 27th Oct and we start language school on 29th.
For your prayers, please think of us as we try to enter more deeply into the culture and rhythms of our neighbourhood. We are realising already that wherever we are there is an option to stay at a safe distance and remain unchanged by the struggles of our neighbours. We need to keep reminding ourselves of why we are here and that we choose to serve Jesus rather than ourselves. At the same time please pray for patience as we know that building deep relationships takes time as does language learning! Please pray that our bodies will begin to adjust and stay well too; we are struggling to sleep as the nights are very noisy. Otherwise praise God for his care and protection so far.
We love hearing your updates too, please keep in touch and we will try to keep updating this blog. xxxxx