Five Minute Friday: Adapt #FMF

One of the first things you may hear when you’re preparing to go to the mission field is to be ready to adapt.  Obviously, when you move to a different country and a different culture and a different language, you will NEED to adapt.  I’m not talking about that.  Yes, that’s important and yes, that will be something to work on but I’m talking about a different adapting.  I’m talking about adapting your expectations.

You’ll be faced with a barrage of situations where what you understood going into the situation will not be how things will turn out.  You’ll need to be flexible and – wait for it – adapt.

It will require you to be humble, take the position of a learner and listener and observer (because how often is communication something done instead of something said) and release your understanding and preconceived ideas.

Adapting in this way will require you to accept a level of ambiguity but it will allow you to receive opportunities to deepen relationships and cultural understanding that will only aid your ministry.

It’s a small thing with the potential for a big impact.

The Beginning of Our New Term

Jet lag is over, the suitcases are nearly unpacked, and we continue to ease back into life and ministry here in Chiang Rai.

Tawee had his first full week back at work this week.  Our work week (not the normal Thai work week) runs Tuesday to Saturday, so he still has one more day to go to finish off his first week.

While I’m happy that he’s back doing what he loves, I have to admit that Kate and I missed him an awful lot the first few days.  Now, towards the end of the week, we’ve been finding our groove at home.

I haven’t started learning Tai Yuan yet as I wanted to get unpacked and give Kate some more time this week since we’ve gone through such a major life transition.  Plus, we have a conference that starts on Monday and lasts for a week.  But once we get back, I’ll be learning my husband’s heart language (not to mention the heart language of the majority of those around us!).

Moving back to Thailand is familiar to us, but not to Kate.  She was just over a year when we left for Canada, and is now two years old.  She remembers Canada and everything there but not so much of our life here.  She’s doing really well though.  She has moments where I think she’s sad and misses Grandma, or various Aunties back in Canada.  But, for the most part, she been pretty happy.  She is thrilled with the food options that we put before her, although she relentlessly asks for strawberries nearly everyday (which are really only available in cold season and are definitely not as delicious as the ones in season right now in Ontario!).

I’ve been sick since arriving back in Chiang Rai, and am limited to a very small variety of food right now.  I’m discouraged by this and am praying it clears up soon.  Thankfully, Kate and Tawee are still healthy though!

Earlier this week, Kate and I took a walk with the stroller in our village and talked about the various things we saw, and prayed for the people in our village.  It’s interesting to explain to Kate about the belief systems and worldviews of the people around us, but it also helps me to have a fresh perspective on all that we see and experience and use these things as fuel for prayer.  We saw idols and spirit houses and Kate commented that they’re, “cute” (because a miniature elephant and horse (the idols in this case) to a two year old ARE cute).  But the meaning and purpose behind them aren’t.  Try explaining THAT to a toddler!

But it’s in all these things that I’m thankful.  Thankful that God has called us here, thankful that we are his witnesses in this region, thankful for the grace of Christ (present and future grace!) and thankful to teach our daughter to love others in such a way that they will hunger for the Lord of Lords and King of Kings alone.

Here’s to our new term on the field, to all that it holds, the good, the challenging and the grace of God that will sustain us through it all.  Here’s to the answers to prayers we’ll experience, the souls saved, the children and families encouraged and empowered to reach for more, the relationships built and Christ honoured and worshiped by more and more of the Tai Yuan around us.

Kateful 3.0 – "_____, where are you?"

“Susu, where are you?”

“Meemee, where are you?”

“Story, where are you?”

“Daddy, where are you?”

Kate has clearly got this searching question format down.  All day today, she was calling out to her missing items.  Her soother, her lovey/blankey, her story (?), and her little person toy/figure that Tawee named Daddy – just for fun.

It’s so fun to see her mind at work; understanding how to form the question and replace just the beginning part of the sentence with the item she’s searching for.

She really is doing this language learning thing really well and it reminds me so much of how I’ve been taught HOW to learn a language.  She does it not because someone taught her to do it this way, but just as she continues to develop, this part of her brain just does it.  I don’t know.  She’s amazing to me.  And God is much much MUCH more amazing that He would create us to learn like this!

Later in the day, as I was making dinner, Kate brought in Tawee’s snow pants and wanted me to put her in them.  I still don’t know how she managed to shuffle along as her feet only went down as far as the knees in them – maybe.  THEN she brought in Tawee’s hoodie and wanted help to put that on.  A little monkey with the sleeves rolled up, front zipped up and hood pulled up.  I just love her.

Kateful 3.0 – “_____, where are you?”

“Susu, where are you?”

“Meemee, where are you?”

“Story, where are you?”

“Daddy, where are you?”

Kate has clearly got this searching question format down.  All day today, she was calling out to her missing items.  Her soother, her lovey/blankey, her story (?), and her little person toy/figure that Tawee named Daddy – just for fun.

It’s so fun to see her mind at work; understanding how to form the question and replace just the beginning part of the sentence with the item she’s searching for.

She really is doing this language learning thing really well and it reminds me so much of how I’ve been taught HOW to learn a language.  She does it not because someone taught her to do it this way, but just as she continues to develop, this part of her brain just does it.  I don’t know.  She’s amazing to me.  And God is much much MUCH more amazing that He would create us to learn like this!

Later in the day, as I was making dinner, Kate brought in Tawee’s snow pants and wanted me to put her in them.  I still don’t know how she managed to shuffle along as her feet only went down as far as the knees in them – maybe.  THEN she brought in Tawee’s hoodie and wanted help to put that on.  A little monkey with the sleeves rolled up, front zipped up and hood pulled up.  I just love her.