Old News for some, maybe new for some…
I thought I had posted this in June!!! I hope to do better at posting regularly…
June, summer is here – and it is over three months since we posted any news. We made it back to Canada, in time to celebrate her 150th birthday. This post is longer than I prefer so reserve a bit more time than usual for reading. 🙂
In between working, we have been traveling: Penang, Malaysia; Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon; and also within Vietnam, Andy went to Lao Cai, & we both visited Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, very close to Thai Binh, and Tuyen Quang. And we have traveled back to Okotoks, Canada, from Ha Noi, via Tokyo and Vancouver.
Our 90-day tourist visa for Vietnam expired Mar 18, so we had to leave Vietnam to re-enter and get issued a new visa. The process was a less complicated than we had anticipated, when planning this time in Vietnam, we decided to allocate a few days for visiting with friends. We thought we may go to Chiang Mai, Thailand or Penang, Malaysia to see people we had met during our first trip to YWAM Kona. As we prayed and sought opportunity, airplane tickets, and accommodation, Penang rose up as the place.
Glenda had a neck and shoulder problem throughout the trip that made the flights uncomfortable. You can see Debra providing a gentle massage, undoing some of the damage.
We flew from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur and then to Penang Island, and stayed for 4 nights. We visited with the Lindsay’s, a family who were part of our Crossroads Discipleship Training School in 2014, who are now serving full-time in Penang. We also took a drive across to the back of the island to Balik Pulau. Here we met up with Debra, a Malay, who was also a classmate. She works with children and is planting a church with a Korean pastor.
There are Chinese, Indian and Malay in Penang, and you can see and feel the British influence from the colonial days. English is the language we heard the most, sometimes we forgot that we could talk and be understood. Cars drive on the left and crossing the street, they stop at traffic lights and crosswalks and yet it seemed more dangerous. Coming from Hanoi where pedestrians, motorbikes, cars, buses and trucks (lorries) all chaotically mingle together on the streets, we thought Malaysia would be easier, but we found ourselves looking the wrong way, and stepping out in places we shouldn’t.
All in all, it was a great trip, the blue skies were a treat, the food was awesome, the time filled up with fellowship and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.
When we returned from Malaysia with our new 90 day visa we settled back into our routine for a week then flew to Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, in the south of Vietnam. We did this to take part in a seminar that was being held there. The meetings were in a Korean church, in a neighbourhood that had many Korean businesses, schools and BBQs. The seminar was called ‘Restoring The Foundations’ and it lasted for two weeks. While we were in Saigon we did get to visit the downtown area and saw the city panorama from the observation deck on the 65th floor of the of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in the south.
We added a new English Club at the Hanoi Medical University after we came back from Saigon. With the VTV/Helio Cafe English Club and two at the Mustard Seed we now had clubs every day of the week. Each of them were created to be safe-environments in which members would be encouraged to speak. Manu young Vietnamese have several years of learning english grammar in school but very few get a chance to practice speaking. The clubs are also a great place to share our stories, our cultural
Andy had an opportunity for a brief visit Lao Cai, a city in the mountains located on the border with China.
Our visit to Ninh Binh was a gift from the outreach team that we took to Ha Noi back in December of 2016. They left in February, without us, and we decided to wait for nice weather for our trip. It was a great blessing, we really enjoyed the time being rowed around the waterways, and were surprised to visit one of the locations used in the movie Kong: Skull Island.
A day trip to Nam Dinh, fulfilled a 2 year old promise to visit David’s hometown. We traveled by bus, it was full, very well, so we sat on small, very small red plastic stools almost all the way.