Saturday, June 14, 2008

His Way Is Perfect: God's answer to our water situation

If you haven't read the previous post about our water situation, you may want to scroll down a little bit ("Testimony is More Important Than Our Comfort") and read it first so you can understand and fully appreciate this blog post. Thanks!

It's funny sometimes how God allows us to pine and whine, and lets us realize on our own how bad our attitude is, and then answers our prayer. Well... the day after we wrote the previous blog, God answered our prayers. Long story short...

Our next door neighbors who had a special line piped straight into their house (... from the water tower. We'll spare you the details on how they got a special pipe) moved out on Sunday. Two weeks before they moved out they asked us if we were interested in getting their pipe but that we would have to ask "Uncle," the guy in charge of the water. So we prayed for "Uncle" and asked a few more people to pray as he is known to be a difficult person. The day we were going to talk to him, Darlene, went over to talk to Uncle's wife to ask for our water bill (they forgot to give us our bill - God's working!). While "Auntie" was complaining to Darlene about complaining neighbors, "Uncle" came out and asked if we were interested in getting the neighbor's pipe but that we would have to ask them. Darlene could barely contain her excitement! If you know Darlene well, that's pretty hard for her to do. We didn't even have to ask him!!!

So... thank you all for your prayers. WE HAVE WATER! It's still not 24 hours but it's from 6AM-6PM, instead of just 2 hours in the afternoon. Today we bought a thousand-liter tank and a pump so we can have water 24 hours! God is good!

God's ways are higher than our ways. We asked for city water but God didn't answer that. Instead, He gave us a better relationship with "Uncle & Auntie." They have been more kind and nicer to us since we gave them Darlene's Filipino spring rolls, sometimes other foods too. When we first moved in to this building five years ago, it was nothing more than a hi and a hello with them. Now, we can talk about their teenage children, about their health and about their day to day life. Maybe someday, they'll be open enough to allow us to share Christ's love with them not just in actions but in words from God's Word. Aren't we serving a GREAT GOD!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Testimony is more important than our comfort: Our Water Situation Story

Many of you have been asking about our water situation. It hasn’t gotten any better… yet. We would like to take this time to help you better understand how we came to this status with our water.

When we first moved into our building, our neighbor, a young Chinese man, was in charge of the water. We do not have public water but a well that is shared. The person in charge of the water makes sure that the water is pumped up into a tall water tank which maintains good water pressure. When that man was in charge of the water, we had water 24 hours a day with constant pressure.

He had to move so another neighbor, an older man volunteered to take charge of the water. Granted, the person in charge does get a small salary for doing so. But this man raised the price of water immediately and regulates that water.

When they constructed the new road in front of our house, this man had city water piped to his building from across the street. The city water official told him that if everyone wanted city water on our side of the street he should notify us and let us know so he would bring a main line across. He told no one. Now, he has public water and everyone else is at his mercy. We pay more for our God-given rain water than others pay for city water and he only turns the water on at 4pm for about an hour. Neighbors have complained to him not only about minimal water, (some days he leaves the house or leaves town and forgets to turn the water on) but also about the high price of water that we only get an hour a day. People who have public water pay less for water 24 hours a day than we pay for rain water one hour a day. He doesn’t understand why people are complaining. There are businesses on our side of the street that depend on water, i.e. a beauty shop and a restaurant. So, you can see the frustration our neighborhood is dealing with.

The Thai government has been notified about our water need and said they will get city water to us… someday. Please pray that the Thai government would get moving soon.

Some of you have asked, “How do you survive?” Well, for one, we thank God for the water we do have. We have four 30-gallon tubs that we keep full when the water comes on at 4 pm. Our whole lives revolve around 4 pm pretty much. If we are not home that day, we aren’t able to fill up our water tubs and our water filter. Hopefully, we haven’t run out of drinking water by then. We can always purchase bottled water if we have to. Since we got back from furlough in April 2007, we have scooper showers and pouring “faucet” for washing dishes. It was hard for the first several months not to complain to the guy in charge of the water, but we learned that our testimony is more important than our comfort. We have learned to adjust. We manage. God is good.

Monday, June 2, 2008

How many can you fit in an 11-passenger van?

For the past few months our numbers were down. Many of the kids in our student center were gone for their summer break. Now schools are back in session, and so are kids in our center. The past two weeks brought a lot more kids. Some are old, some are new. We had about 40 kids today. We praise the Lord! So... how many can you fit in an 11-passenger van? Well... one time, we were able to fit 17 Filipinos (mostly adults). Ed was able to fit between 22 and 25 kids before.
The number of kids in Jenni's route has increased so she and Ed traded vehicles on the weekends. See if you can count the number of kids in this picture. That's how many kids she had in the van today! I won't be surprised if there will be more kids next week. "Oy!" As Thais would say.
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