Learning to Read and Write
We continue to make steady progress in language learning and are enjoying getting to know our language teachers better. We are just beginning our fourth module, which is the beginning of reading and writing.
The Thai language has its own alphabet and symbols. So, we are learning to shape our letters and trace figures, much like we did in kindergarten many years ago. When around town, we are looking at signs and trying to figure out what we can understand. The other day, we saw a simple sign outside the pharmacy it said ÂÒ Heidi got excited, “Hey, I know that word. It says medicine.” We look forward to understanding many more signs and eventually some books in the coming months. Please pray with us for good understanding and sharp memories for the many rules and exceptions related to reading.
As with anyone learning language, the mistakes continue. I (Ryan) was recently looking for water after just finishing a marathon, but could only find the table with Gatorade. I tried to ask for water, but confused one word. Instead of asking for water, I asked for fish sauce, a sauce added to most foods here for flavoring. I received a rather puzzled look, a slight smile, a firm correction, and then was pointed to the water table.
Ministry in the Region
We are starting to learn more about the ministries in our region. We will be doing this, when possible, during our language learning time. Last week, there was a gathering of SIM’s Sports Friends ministry leaders from around the world. We were able to catch a couple of sessions to hear first-hand reports of how this impacting ministry is affecting so many. Next week, Ryan will have opportunity to travel to one of the Karen Hill Tribe (a minority group in the North of Thailand) villages to see how the ministry is working there.
Next week, the China team will also be meeting in Chiang Mai. This is the first time for them to meet together like this. Because the country is so large and the work is sensitive, some of them have never met each other. Please pray that it is a good conference bringing unity and encouragement to the team. We will have the opportunity to learn more about the work there and meet many of the team members we will be working with in the future.
Running and more running
In addition to school and related activities, the kids recently joined Ryan in running. They are following a regular schedule and have run in a few local races, including a couple 10 kilometer races. Ryan ran in three marathons in the last couple of months building up to a 50 kilometer (31 miles) North Face Challenge race this coming weekend.
The whole family with some friends at a recent race
Thanks so much for your part in our ministry, we could not be here without you,
Ryan, Heidi, Caleb, Ben & Faith Hannah
· Please continue to pray for our language learning progress. Praise that we are learning, but also pray as we have a long way to go. Pray for relationships and opportunities to improve our language skills.
· Pray as we learn more about the region and meet the workers from the countries around us. Pray as we have much to learn and many people to get to know.
· Please pray for our financial support as end of year giving was not as good in 2011 as in years past.
· Pray for us as a family to be salt and light in the community we live in