February 10, 2010

Volume 4, Issue 2

Thank you for your thoughts over the past month. We have experienced tremendous answers to each of your petitions. We received Corbin’s passport in time to attend our company’s annual conference in Thailand where we were blessed and encouraged by so many co-laborers teaching throughout Southeast Asia.

We realize this job is not done alone, but with the partnering of so many great warriors lifting up the Father’s work throughout the world. Many thanks for being one of our warriors!

Country Becomes City

We come from small country towns of 413 people. Somebody had to. But somewhere along the way, we’ve grown to love the city. We discovered this fact while staying in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

When did this transition happen? Was it during the 5 years of in a college town (population 200,000), or our first year living in Nanchang, China (population 3+ million), or our time back in the states in a city (population 100,000, which is actually a town or village by China standards), or possibly during our second stint in China living in Harbin (population 6+ million). We’re not sure, but we know that while we sit today surrounded by buzzing mopeds, taxis, cars, and abundant pedestrians as we casually drink Starbucks coffee.

It’s a good thing to like cities so much given that China is a country with 171 cities having a population greater than 1 million (for reference, the US has 9 of such cities). We feel right at home with our company’s new vision for reaching Chinese cities. We can’t believe we get to be a member in a family that loves the city.

While our love for the city may have grown over a number of years, the realization of this truth was discovered over a one night trek away from Chiang Mai. We traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand to attend the Annual Thailand Conference with other teachers from China, Mongolia, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The conference hotel is located downtown Chiang Mai next door to a Starbucks and around the corner from the night bazaar. So we grew quite accustom to heading out directly into the city.

On this one night trek outside the city, we stayed at The Juniper Tree, a getaway for expat workers throughout Southeast Asia. We hauled our bags across town and out of town (really just a 10 minute bike right back into town, but far enough away). Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff and toured around the facilities. We saw the swimming pool, kids playgrounds (the good metal kind of my childhood), dining hall, and huge yard for football. Then we found our cabin (or tree house because it was on stilts) and took our bags up the steps into our room.

We had lunch, swam some, had dinner, and then headed to our room. The room was just a room, albeit a bit short on the ceilings, especially in the bathroom. And the bed was a bit short for someone 2 meters tall. As we lay awake on our bed that night, we discussed what we thought we should do. Do we move back into the city or tough it out here in the jungle? We made some phone calls checking the rates of the city hotels and decided to get some sleep.

The next morning, we awoke, ate our breakfast, and chewed on our decision some more. We were really torn between the huge yard for Kanyon to play and our love for the city atmosphere. In the end, the city atmosphere drew us back and we packed up our bags and moved back into the same hotel we left the day before.

Now as we plan our next trip to Thailand (it’s a year away and M’Lynn is at the computer now checking out monthly rates for hotels in Chiang Mai) you know for sure where to find us, we'll be in the city!

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