Morris G. - Southeast Asia - August 28, 2006

(Perm. Address:  222-3rd St. E., Saskatoon,  SK, S7H 1L3) 
Monday, August 28th,  2006

Dear friends and fellow-workers,

It is hard to imagine that harvest will be well on its way back home because in your last letters you were writing about the snow melting!!  February to June were very hot months here in the south, with the noon temperature at least 37oC or 100oF almost everyday.  I am gradually adjusting my routine to getting up at 5 in the morning and going for a walk before the sun comes up.  There are ‘throngs’ of people out walking at that time of day.  We like to have lunch out everyday with some of our contacts or friends; then the afternoon calls for an hour nap and some time to get ready for our evening plans.  Presently, Colin (Brodie) and I have a meeting every night of the week except Saturday.  This helps to keep our ‘sword’ from getting rusty!  Colin will move north in 2 weeks and will be there until his visa runs out in December.  He really loves this country and he has picked up quite a bit of the language in his short while here.

A young lady, Hope, recently made her choice here.  She stopped working last year in order to go back to University and get her masters degree.  There, she met one of our young sisters.  Hope had never held a Bible in her hand until about 3 months ago, but now she has embraced it with all her heart.  Last Wednesday, she went to her appointed Bible Study class in the afternoon.  Then she came to the evening class where Colin and I were, and took part again!  About 1 week after she decided, she told us her exciting discovery.  She said that for 9 years she had been having very bad dreams every night that really interfered with her rest.  This stopped the day she made her choice.  She said she didn’t think it would last so she didn’t tell us until 1 week later when it was still lasting.  Now she is bringing another classmate, Jewel, who is a micro-biologist. This girl was telling us what a butterfly wing looks like under a microscope.  She said it is made up of thousands of small scales like those on a fish, but each scale has its own color.  Thus, a white stripe on the wing would be a row of thousands of white scales running through the other colored scales.  I asked her who she thought it was that was the designer of all this.  Without hesitation, she said, "It must have been God."  That was the first night she ever read a Bible.  On Saturday, Hope, Jewel, Colin, I, and another friend were invited to Wanda’s (our American school teacher) for lunch.  Wanda always puts on quite a spread, and it left the kitchen in quite a mess.  These girls insisted after lunch to help her clean up.  Not only did they wash the dishes, but they gave the kitchen and the washroom an overhaul job!!  Jewel asked Hope later, "Why do you do this for Wanda when you don’t do it for your mother at home?"  Hope replied that there is something strange that has happened to her and she just loves to be with these people and loves to help them.  She was asking me today about the meaning of the word, ‘holy.’  After explaining a bit about God’s people being a separated people, she informed me that she used to be a TV addict and now she rarely looks at it!  It is wonderfully assuring to know that this IS the work of God’s Holy Spirit.  Hope’s father is divorced from her mother and he lives in the US.  However, he is good to send her mother help regularly.  Her Mom doesn’t believe in banks so hides her money around the house.  A year ago, Hope got the urge to clean out a cupboard that had collected a lot of junk.  In the process she threw out 1000USD of her mother’s.  That isn’t exactly the way to endear yourself to your mother!!! 

We are amazed with a little 9 year old neighbor girl (Pearl) of one of our old couples.  She loves the meetings.  She is a beautiful girl with hair that reaches almost to her knees, but if you comment, she’ll say “NO, I am beautiful on the inside.”  She had a bad tooth ache one evening, so it was suggested that maybe she wouldn’t be able to come to the meeting.  Her reply was, “I listen with my ears not my teeth!”  We spoke about God being our creator one evening.  Later our old friend asked her what she will do when they teach her at school that man came from a monkey.  “Well, I guess I’ll just have to fail.”  There is one married lady here who was a part of the Korean “Moonie” church who professed about a year ago.  She never stops smiling.  Now she brings another lady and a young man who got fed up with the Moonies, too.  They had several of us over for a meal one evening.  After the meal, they said they had a gift for us.  What it was is about 3 hymns in English that they had practiced over and over.  The ladies sang the first verses and the young man sang the last verse.  He really has a good singing voice.  They were so happy to be able to do this.

The other day, we had lunch with one of the local friends.  Some of the young college students here often accompany us on these visits so they can interpret for us.  This is good preparation for them!!   Our host had bought some barbequed chicken pieces.  We learned that the most expensive pieces of chicken to buy here are the feet!!   So I suggest that some entrepreneur over yonder start gathering up chicken feet that get discarded and start an export business!!! 

It is real exciting for about 30 of our friends from here to be able to attend Singapore convention in December.  Singapore has one of those budget airlines called Tiger Air.  If you book at the right time, you can get a ticket from here to there, a two hour flight, for 10USD!  (With taxes it turns out to be about 35USD.)  Anyway, we have been able to get return tickets for a little over 100USD for Dec.  No Visa is required from this country, so this falls within the budget of a few of our friends here.  We do appreciate the invitation from from our Singapore brethren.   They might have to get a bigger place for next year!

John Christiensen from Calgary just spent another 6 weeks here.  He brought over another huge container load of used wheel chairs from Alberta as gifts to the needy here.  Some would be worth a couple thousand dollars new!  While here, he discovered a wheel chair factory right in this city that makes new chairs for about $100.  As it is, his Charity Organization invests about 75$ in each used chair to get it here.  From now on, they will donate used chairs.  The owner of the factory is real enthused about this idea, too.  The young folks looked after John so well here that he hated to leave!  John is very happy to be back in fellowship.  He feels his health is slipping more and more, and thinks this may have been his last trip here. 

Another hopeful was asking us recently about our roots.  Colin asked her if she would recognize the roots of a Mango tree.  "No."  "The leaf?"  "No."  "The bark?"  "No."  "The fruit?"  "Yes."  So, that’s why Jesus told the people that His disciples would be known by their fruit and not by their roots!  “So you look for the right fruit."

With brotherly love in Christ,

Morris