Hello friends & family! The last few weeks have flown by and realizing that we have less than a month left is kind of sad. We are so excited about the work that the Father is doing here, but know that there is still so much left to be done. I am reminded, though, that we are not the main characters in this story. I am reminded that Dad loves the people here much more than I do (and I love them a lot) and He will finish the work that is in progress here.
Last week we were slightly discouraged because many of the students who we had met in the beginning went back to their hometowns for summer break. We had expected to meet with a core group of students on a regular basis but Dad had other plans! This taught me that we need to be bold take advantage of every opportunity because we don't know if we will be able to see these people again.
After the initial discouragement of many of our friends leaving, Dad provided several other big opportunities to get to meet with groups on a more regular basis. One of my friends from my home university has a relative here who owns a company. He was looking for some native speakers to come help his employees practice English! We have gone there almost every morning for the past week and a half. We just go and hang out and talk with the ten employees there! Many of them are close to our age. We also get to eat lunch with them everyday and some days go out for coffee with them during their leisurely after lunch break. This has provided a way for some deeper conversations.
For 4th of July weekend, two friends from that company invited us to go on a motorbike trip with a group of their friends! We left very early Saturday morning and got back on Sunday evening. We were very excited because most of the group had excellent conversational English! After three hours on the back of a motor bike, many cows, and rice fields, we arrived at our beautiful destination. One of the first things we noticed at our hotel was a giant picture of Dad's son as a baby and words that read, "Happy New Year". I think they maybe got their holidays confused, but we knew that it was no coincidence because that is not a common picture to see in this country. It made for an extremely easy talking point with our new friends there.
We had an awesome 4th of July as our new friends surprised us with a BBQ/karaoke party! It was so much fun and so thoughtful of them to remember our country's holiday! The next day we visited a big temple which opened the door for more conversations. On the ride home, I ended up getting to share much of Dad's story with my motorbike driver. This definitely was not of my own doing because it was very windy and loud on the motorbike. My driver knew a lot of English but usually is very hard to understand. So between those two factors, I thought that communicating on the ride was going to be nearly impossible. I just kept asking Dad that He would provide some way for us to be able to understand each other. Dad answered that and we were able to understand each other and have a very good long talk on the way home! We talked more on that trip home than in the entire almost two weeks that I have known him.
Please be thinking about our new friends who heard Dad's story for the first time this weekend.