I'm thirty hours back in Houston and the fatigue is starting to set in. I slept about four hours last night and took a nap this afternoon. It's easy to see how the lure and desire for sleep could result in a dependency on drugs that make it possible. Today was my first day of in-service and I know it will be an exciting year. In the morning, we have to be at school at 4:45 AM to go to Abilene for the TCSA convention- long bus ride! Let me share a few things wrapping up my twenty-six day mission to Vietnam:
-One of the hardest things about the trip was that I missed the final episode ever of Friday Night Lights. I have not had the time to watch it on the computer. No more Riggins brothers, Buddy Garrity, Lyla, Landry, Smash, Tyra, Coach Taylor, etc. They will be missed.
-For a country with a communist government, Vietnam felt amazingly relaxed to me.
-The citizens are not allowed to own guns.
-People smoke inside buildings, something almost extinct in the US.
-While they are becoming wealthier, they are dealing with high inflation. I saw some incredibly luxurious stores and some gut wrenching poverty.
-If pho is not the National Food of Vietnam, it should be!
-I would never wear sandals while on a motor bike- seems like a good way to lose some toes.
-I've never been any place before where the whole country was surrounded by water.
-The Vietnamese are amazingly gracious hosts and hostesses. They take great joy in food and its presentation.
-Like China, if you hesitate, you are lost. People don't let you into a line. I was in the first seat of the bus and almost the last one to get off. In a mall, I offered to let a little old lady go ahead of me on an escalator but she just stood there. Her daughter told me in English that her mom was confused because that does not happen here.... and she thanked me, which I appreciated.
-Since Tom was sick, we watched quite a bit of television. Sabrina was a terrific movie with no sex/violence/profanity. Tom made me promise to watch Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? I liked the Discovery Channel!
-I learned alot about mission work firsthand. Everything costs money and it has to come from somewhere. Tom thinks this church can become self sufficient but it is not there yet.
-Ten dollars a month for public school and many families cannot afford it. He has sponsors for over one hundred kids with the funds coming from Christians in the US and Singapore.
-We take freedom of religion so much for granted. As they are completing their new church building and clinic, I heard Tom explain why they needed curtains over the windows and doors- so people cannot look in and tell the church building is a church building. They have grown to the point where they need to move around to avoid suspicion. American churches would/should envy their growth.
I'll be on the same subject for several days so bear with me! Thanks for all of your prayers!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org