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Sawadii, kak dela, ni shuo shen me?

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One of the best blessings about moving back to Thailand is that I can move right on into life and work with few language difficulties. The Thai is coming back like I haven’t been gone for six years. …mostly. Sometimes I’m moving right along in a conversation and bits of Chinese inserts itself into my sentences. I know what I’m saying inside my head, but what comes out is sometimes a confusing mix, depending on which word in Thai or Mandarin is most convenient to my brain. Sometimes I catch myself, other times… depends on the puzzling looks I get.

It was just a week or so after my arrival in Thailand that I got involved in a small group Bible study among Thai doctors and nurses; professors, residents, and students. How refreshing! I’ve also been attending a Thai church that is warm and welcoming. To be honest, I never expected to want to go to a local church. I reserve my Sundays as a pure Sabbath (perhaps more on this in a future post) and anything feeling like work (including operating in a foreign language) I easily eschew. Lately, however, I’ve been desiring this fellowship. Even though I’m a new outsider, I am very welcome there. The first time I attended a senior lady said that she and her group have been praying for me – that they pray for all the cross-cultural partners there. And this was before I even met them! I was so touched! This is the Body at work!

Since I don’t have to learn a new language for this international move, I decided to start learning Russian. Da! Just so happens that the Canadian from whom I bought my motorbike is married to a Kazakh who is willing to tutor me! So I hired her for about 4 hours a week.  I want to be prepared to speak with people trafficked to/from Russian-speaking countries – unfortunately more and more of them are showing up in Asia. Russian may also come in handy next time I’m running in Moldova.

I came to Thailand with an idea of how it was supposed to go (work, visa, friends, etc) and as usual, in some respects it is quite better than I thought and in others, slower. Notice that I didn’t say worse than I expected. For me, slow is usually tantamount to being worse, even though objectively – and this is what I try to tell myself – it really isn’t worse. All timing is in God’s hands and as I press and lean into him, I can rest in his timing, laying my anxiety down. What do I know anyway? I know the Father. That is all that counts.

Even as I started composing this post over the past week, I have had several key meetings and I’m meeting new people (in unplanned meetings) every day that are interested in partnering with me. The best news: I will travel to Cambodia on the 21st with a letter of invitation from a foundation here that will enable to me apply for a different kind of visa to start the process of living and working here on a long-term basis. I may even be able to launch Relentless as an official project here! Nothing is sure until I have the papers in hand so do continue to lift up this process to the Father that I may have favor with those that grant visas and all will go smoothly. Thank you!

The people in Cambodia, I think, are secretly happy that I have had to do back there so often. I do enjoy the work there and am learning a lot as well. However, I am looking forward to developing, solidifying, and integrating relationships in this country.

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5 thoughts on “Sawadii, kak dela, ni shuo shen me?

  1. Sometimes when I try to speak Mandarin I insert Spanish or german words into sentences. Before that it was spanish into german. My theory is that our brains store all of our non-native languages in the same area and so it is easy to mix them.

    I am happy to hear how things are working out there. Pretty neat how we are taken are of when we trust in the Father!

  2. слава бог!

  3. Katherine, I am so glad you wrote about your getting involved with a local Christian fellowship group. I had been concerned that it might not be part of your relocation “package”. Funny, I was mentally composing you an email on this very topic when you wrote of this. As for the comment about other languages popping up in conversation and getting puzzled looks from listeners, I have had the same experience. Neurologically, those languages are not in the same area as native speech (because they are acquired differently); studies of cerebro-vascular strokes in polyglots has mapped that out. So, girl, if you have a stroke, we still will be expecting you to blog away!!

  4. I’m so glad you have the encouragement of a local group of believers!

  5. Great post 🙂 Thailand, Cambodia, great places to be. Make the most of it and enjoy the Rusian ride 🙂

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