For The First Time - Smaroiyod VBS & English Camp

What if you grew up in a home where you had never heard the gospel? 

Not only the gospel but you had never heard that God created the world, that He created you and that the God who created you loved you?  

Can you imagine? I can't! 


What if one day you came to school and they had an English camp along with Vacation Bible School and for the very first time you got to hear about God. 

The True God. The God that loves you and gave His Son for you. 

How life changing would that be?  

Last week there were 114 kids who got to hear the gospel and many of them for the 1st time. 

Last week Dave and I got to go with a group here to a town called Samroiyod to help with the VBS / English Camp. It is about 4 hours from Bangkok and was a lovely and quaint beach town.

Their is a local church that hosted the two day event.

The theme of the VBS was 'Digging for God's Word'. The day started with a group meeting where we would teach them English songs and then there was a short skit. After that we had English class for 1 1/2 hours. Then we all met together again for a Bible story followed by a store where they could buy snacks with fake money we gave them for behavior, participation, etc.

Hosting an event like this for a school really helps them out. They are able to report that English classes were held and it helps the schools ranking. I don't know exactly all the details of how it works but I do know that us being there was a help for them and will hopefully be a work that God can use to grow the church in that area. 

Dave and I can't speak Thai, other than hello and a few other words, and the kids didn't know a lot of English either but that is ok! I've mentioned before that a smile goes a long way and that is true with kids too. I also learned that I don't have to speak Thai to color with kids, to give them a high five or to sell them fun items from a little store we set up. Kindness is a language understood by many and it goes a long ways. 

Here are some pictures from the two days we were at the school. If you have any more questions about what we did there feel free to ask.

These four were such a blessing! They are some of the kids who have gotten saved in the area who attend the church and they are the church musicians! They have been taught the ukelele and they play so well. It was such an encouragement to see them serving God at a young age. They also were the actors for the skits. 

A snack the school provided us with. Isn't it pretty? It's green mangoes with salt / sugar / hot spices to dip it in. 

Please pray for these kids. Pray that God will grow the seeds that were planted and for those who will do follow up work with them.

Later this week I'll be sharing some more pictures from the beach and town where we stayed.

Happy Monday Friends!


We are 2! A recap of what our Anniversary Looked like in Asia.

We are two! Last year when we turned one I told Dave over and over again "We are 1!" He thought I was nuts but it's okay because over and over again I have been telling him "We are 2!" 

Today I thought I'd share what our 2nd anniversary looked like in Asia. It was crazy and it was good. 

Our major fun event to celebrate our anniversary was by going to the Myanmar Embassy here in Bangkok to renew our visas. Fun, right?  

Here was our day: 

Alarms went off at 6:00am so we could leave by 6:30am. We got up at 6:30am and didn't leave until 7. 

I tried to get a good picture of us that morning but .... 

Take 1 - NOPE! I told Dave he had to move his hand off my stomach because people will think we are having a baby ... or something along those lines. Which we aren't, because I know some of you are wondering. 

Take 2 - Do you see our 'morning smiles' and we each have a small eye going on.

Take 3 - We are 2, with 2 weird small eyes still.

We left the house and our commute went like this taxi --> train --> tuk tuk (cried after this tuk tuk ride, it was so scary plus we majorly got ripped off) --> EMBASSY! We arrived at 9am which means it took 2 1/2 hours to get there.  

We put our paperwork in and paid extra money to get it expedited so we could get the visa the same day. 

Then we hopped on another tuk tuk (who did not drive scary nor did the driver over charge us) --> train --> transfer to another train --> walked. 

Here is Dave's commuting face! He loves crowds.

We then went to visit Zama, Pam and the kids. They were still in town and we had a box of goodies from America to deliver to them. 

They were so nice and took us to an Italian Restaurant called The Wine Connection. 

Pam recommended the spinach cannelloni and I'm so glad she did! It was so so good! And I got to eat cheese. 

Oh and we arrived to the restaurant right as the rain started. While we were eating this happened. So much rain! 

After lunch they then took us to a really fun mall called Terminal 21. It's a mall designed to feel like an airport and each floor is a different country. Take notes America because Thailand has you beat on cool malls.

Here is Rome

Poor Kyron! She got smashed. But isn't this bike fun? 

When in Rome try their cool bathrooms out. 

No toilet paper? No problems. The Roman bathrooms have you covered.

And, while you are sitting on the toilet they have this handy dandy poster on the back of the door explaining just how to use those buttons.

Here is a picture of the France terminal.

The movie theatre terminal

And San Francisco! 

After our visit to the mall we had to commute back to the Myanmar Embassy. We took a train and then took a motorcycle taxi. I've debated taking one of these and just could never bring myself to get on one, until this day.

The drivers weave through traffic and are super fast. They don't normally offer helmets either but ... they are fast and save you tons of time in traffic.

Dave took pictures while riding. I was holding on real tight. I'm sure my Dad is not loving this part of my blog post. Hi Dad!

We arrived and got our visas. The motorbike was a short ride and wasn't as scary as I thought.

Then we started commuting back home but made a stop for coffee, ice cream and we bought dinner to take back with us. By dinner I mean I purchased two large pastries from Au Bon Pain. ;)

We had a really different type of day but it was really fun and the important thing is that we are 2! God has blessed us with marriage and we are thankful He has given us two years and hopefully many more! 


YOU WANT EMBRYO? & other Asian foods we have been offered

Remember before I moved to Asia when I talked about the potential of eating dog meat? After living here a few months dog meat sounds pretty good compared to the other types of foods we have been offered.  

Before I dive into telling you about the foods here I want to say something: the foods here are very different than what we eat and that is ok! What is a delicacy to someone else might not be at all to me but honestly, I'm happy that they get to eat foods they love.

Something I really love is seeing people eat food from their own country. You can always tell when it's food from their home country because they eat a lot more and are just really excited about it. Me included! I mean mashed potatoes? YES!

Okay, so let's bite into these food differences shall we? 

"You Want Embryo?"

That is an exact question Dave and I were asked!

Ok, I gotta tell you the history behind this. A while back my friend itnroduced us to the show Idiot Abroad. We laugh and laugh until our stomachs hurt when we watch this. It's a documentary of a man that they place in a new culture and they film his reactions. This video is about Chinese food. It might be funnier if you lived abroad? I don't know, but it's entertaining. Anyways, we watched this clip about them eating egg fetus and I just kept thinking "NO WAY! There is no way!"

If you want to watch the two minute clip from the documentary I have it here for you. If you have a weak stomach you should just move right along....

I shared all that because Dave and I had to go to the Cambodia border for a visa run and while we were waiting for our papers to be processed they were eating these eggs. I started staring, unashamedly staring, and then I told Dave "Those are the eggs from Idiot abroad!" Well, apparently one of the guys heard me talking about the eggs because he looked at me, smiled really big and said "YOU WANT EMBRYO?" I politely declined but we did ask to take a picture. 


I won't describe how they ate them because I was gagging. And I will gag if I write it out. 

That food is a delicacy in the Philippines and although I hope I never have to eat that I'm glad others enjoy it and get to eat foods they love from back home. 

Fish Paste

Fish paste is a common dish in Myanmar. You can buy it in the markets and it is available in many restaurants. It also has a 'whiff' and there just are no words!  

What are the ingredients? I'm not 100% but I know it is a fermented fish or shrimp that is salted, ground up and then sun dried. It isn't eaten alone but often with rice and other dishes to accompany it. 

I have not eaten it here and when we walk buy it in the market place lets just say I use my scarf as a face covering to breathe because once again, I gag! 

Unmentionable Body Parts

Ok, this one does not come with a picture and you can just thank me now. 

Dave and I were eating with a group of people from Myanmar. They serve everything family style which is nice because I can pick and choose what I hope will not give me explosive diarrhea I want to eat. 

I had my rice, salad, potatoes and I kept looking at this bowl of meat. Like I kept looking and looking and thinking "Is that what I think it is?" After we ate and I was alone with Dave I said "Dave! Was that chicken anus?" and you guys, it was! 

Cultural Day

Sorry, no picture either. I tried to google for one but ... I started gagging. 

I was subbing at school for a whole week. One day I was teaching and two nice ladies came in. I was asked if I knew that it was a cultural day, which I had no idea it was. I told them to go ahead and come on in and share. 

Well, they started talking about a really special dish they had made for all the students. As soon as they started talking big huge red flags started waving in my brain! 

The ladies said they had soup...intestine soup. They knew the intestine was too long for the kids to eat on their own so they had cut it into little pieces. They also had a hot chile salad the kids could add into it. 

Then they turned to me and said "and Teacher Beka! We have a bowl for you too!" 

Guys, I just couldn't do it! I try, I really do but there is no way and I was scared of getting sick. So what did I do? Well as soon as I dismissed the kids for lunch I ran to Dave and said "Dave, you have to go get a bowl of that soup!" and he did. Isn't that nice of him? 

One of the Moms later asked me if I had tried it and I had to be honest and tell her I was just too scared but I told her Dave had. 

I honestly felt bad because the Mom really did spend time making it but I don't think she was offended that I didn't eat it. The kids enjoyed it so I'm glad that they had that opportunity. 

PS - Dave had an upset stomach. I laughed. and felt bad and grateful for him at the same time. 

Mexican Food

Let me tell you something my friend Pam told me. It goes like this: 

"You can tell how long a missionary has been on the field by how they handle bugs. First year missionaries, upon finding a bug in their food refuse to eat it! Second year missionaries think it isn't a big deal and just remove the bug and finish their food. Third year missionaries see a bug and just eat it. Fourth year missionaries look at their food and if there is not a bug in there they go, find a bug and add it in." 

I think I'm in between year one and year two. 

Dave and I found a new Mexican restaurant! WAHOO! I ordered a burrito and was super excited. Well, I was 3/4 done with that thing and saw a large black spot in my burrito. I then had a conversation with myself. In my head of course because I would have sounded crazy...

Voice 1: "Is that a bug?"
Voice 2: "No! No surely it isn't. It's just a black spot" 
Voice 1: "I don't think it is a black spot. It is a bug. You should look closely." 
Voice 2: "I don't want to look closely because then I'll know for sure but I have to know." 
Voice 1: "Yes! Yes. That is a bug. However, it looks like it somehow crawled into just the tortilla which means bugs aren't completely rampant in this restaurant so it is ok." 

I was grossed out. I know in America we would demand a full refund for something like that but that isn't the case here. People work hard to make a living and bugs are just more common in the tropics. So it was ok. 

Don't worry! I didn't eat the bug. I just took out the rest of the filling and didn't eat the tortilla. It wasn't the end of the world but I don't plan on going back to that particular restaurant. 

Has anyone else found bugs or weird things in their food? How do you react to that? 

Marrying Food

Do you know what that means? I didn't until I worked as a banquet server for the Hyatt. Basically if there is a buffet and only 1/4 of the big dish of mashed potatoes from the buffet line gets eaten you can add it to another pot of mashed potatoes. That way you aren't wasting but it is still safe. 

Here is how they marry food in Myanmar. 

Food here is often served family style. After everyone is done eating, whatever food is left, that has been on the tables and picked through by various utensils, gets put back into the master pot of food to be served to the next table. 

I don't think that is sanitary and personally it grosses me out but on the other hand I know they do things differently here. I also think it is a way for them to save on cost and make the most of the food they purchased to serve. It is a commonly accepted thing here though so it is just a part of their culinary experience. 

What do you think about marrying foods? 

Now, after I posted all that you probably wonder what in the world we eat? Let me just say we eat really well! I'm amazed at how God has blessed us with food. We have fresh produce literally across the street. There is also a grocery store that is very western which allows me to cook at home. And I cook a lot, which I really really love! 

This is where I'm supposed to ask questions but come on! I'm not asking "Would you eat embryo?" ha! 

If you have more questions for me about food please ask away! You can comment or if you have more questions our 'ask us anything' forum is still open.  I also have written some posts about what grocery shopping looks like for us and some of the specific foods we eat here along with the prices of foods here versus foods in America. I'll just give you a spoiler now ... cheese is way way more expensive here. Like $6 for a small package of it.