Home Again

Good Morning from Sunny Australia!

We are happy to write that we’re safe and sound and home from a very enjoyable and productive trip.

Except for that slight debacle of “The Train” down from Thailand (see last week’s blog), everywhere we went and everything we did seemed to fall into place almost as if it was miraculous.

We always arrived safe and often early, we managed to communicate when necessary to a world of interesting people. We didn’t get even the sniffles and our joints fell in step allowing us to get LOTS of walking in (or maybe the walking aligned our joints, who knows).

Tony’s Anagaion course was well received in 4 different locations in two countries and we’re waiting to follow up on these churches as to whether they will need more help from us physically in order to move forward or can do as the course is intended and let it be lay-led by themselves.

We met more old friends than we could have imagined and made many more new ones.

We discovered a whole ethnic subculture (and their food!) called the “Peranakans”. Reminiscent of the Old Testament days, these were Chinese and a few other races who wandered over into the Malay peninsula and intermarried, creating a new society with a strong cultural history.

Out walking, we missed every rainstorm, sometimes just by minutes. The place we stayed in Singapore was one of the cheapest in the city and the building was really in need of repairs, but it didn’t produce any bedbugs and more importantly didn’t fall down on us or give us food poisoning at the (included) breakfast. Every morning we’d scrabble, elbows eschew, for a grab at the serving table while Tony hummed the tune to the old song, “At the boarding house where I lived, things were growing very old…..old grey hairs were in the butter and the bread had turned to mold.” I’m sure you remember this if you ever went to camp.

We shared with lots and lots of folks about God: who He is and what He’s done. And in every case, the responses were just amazing. One evening, we got to chatting with some fellow Aussies about our age. They invited us to join them at a little sidewalk café, even though we’d finished our dinner a few hours earlier. They were interesting and we related at a lot of levels as we talked about our shared love of the Australian bush and the adventures it offers. Then we got to talking at a deeper level and I mentioned how God had brought us back to Japan just in time for the earthquake/tsunami and how He’d protected us. The conversation continued and as people our age often do, we got on the subject of our beautiful children who were given to us when we most needed them.

That prompted her to point to the sky and say “Somebody up there is looking after you”. High praise from an Aussie, who for the most part is ‘unchurched’. We decided to be friends, although with them living in the far remote reaches of Western Australia, more than 1000 miles away, it will probably have to remain a “virtual” friendship

And then we got home, slept well in our own bed although I had to comment that it now seems a ‘bit soft’ after the Thai versions of what they call mattresses! And then this morning what a joy it was to be back at our own church. Tony got to preach, so he was, as he put it in his message, “Happier than a gopher in dirt”.

Now we’re looking a new week coming up, and getting excited about all the things on the horizon. I hope you’re doing well as well and enjoying spring or fall wherever you are.

No more travelogues, I promise! I’ve got some interesting projects rattling around in my head that I’ll let you in on soon, so don’t give up on me!

Always, Marsha

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