We’re all set to move in at the end of May. The casa should be ready after a short cultural ceremony that will likely be performed on our behalf. This is great news as it will give us time to put some important things in place before we go home for the summer: burglar bars, air conditioner, water system, etc. Of course we’ll be excited to paint the baby’s room and get acquainted with our new surroundings. Thanks for the prayers for speed! The house is coming together.
Here are some shots inside and outside our new house! Enjoy seeing God at work preparing a place for us to stay. Thanks for your ongoing prayers that it will be completed in a timely manner.
-Ric and Sharon
Above you’ll see the latest picture snapped at our future love shack/ baby Rye playground/ cat castle. It’s coming along! Our April newsletter (available here) mentions a couple projects that will help our house in the village feel more like a home. We’re asking for your help in putting these couple of finishing touches on the house that will help us live there in comfort:
- Burglar bars/ screens on the windows.
- A backup water system
- An air conditioner (that tin roof will be HOT).
Please check out the newsletter (page 3) for all hot, sticky details. Thanks!
News flash to me: We’re moving in just a couple weeks. I’m hyperventilating as I think about it. Paper bag. Okay.
11 hours, 48 minutes. That’s the time, according to Google Maps, without potty breaks.* No potty breaks! No, we can have potty breaks but there will be no service plazas with Cinnabon and Starbucks. Just for “fun” I did some comparison travel times. That’s like moving from Lansing, Michigan to Boston, Massachusetts (driving through Canada). It takes 11 hours, 45 minutes to drive from Lansing to Montgomery, Alabama. If you’re headed west you’ll get to Lincoln, Nebraska in 11 hours and 45 minutes.
Let’s sum up: we’re about to make a really big change. I’m not even sure we’re aware of how big it will be and the profound impact it will have on our lives and ministry.
*not our exact ministry location
Little Richard Kenneth Bruce, IV is scheduled to make an appearance in August in Lansing, MI. We appreciate your prayers for the momma-to-be and baby Rye, as we’ll call him. What else is left? Dick, Rich and Ric are taken.
Sharon had a 20 week ultrasound yesterday. They checked things over really thoroughly: counting fingers, toes, checking the brain, looking for cleft palate, looking at all the organs and taking really careful measurements to determine the exact due date. To us, each of the appointments is special as we get a chance to see our son before he is even born.
So far so good. Keep praying!
This screen capture from a video I took at our monthly checkup yesterday shows Richard Kenneth Bruce, IV’s face. Sharon and our baby boy are doing well. He continues to grow, measuring a full week ahead of schedule. Definitely one of the perks of having our checkups here in Thailand is that we get to see and measure the baby’s progress every single month!
Yesterday we were also able to hear and see his heartbeat, see his his face and watch him shake a little shake, do a little dance and get down. He’s still too small for Sharon to feel but we’re anticipating that will happen soon. We appreciate your ongoing prayers for safety and health for Sharon and little Richard.
When you reach a certain point in life you think that you’re done getting new nicknames. Apparently not for us missionary types. Our Phu Thai friends decided this month that our names are too hard for them to pronounce so they gave us the names
Sharon: เมย์ (Maeh) – May, as in the month of the year or English equivalent nickname.
Ric: เอก (Aehk) Ehk, a Thai nickname for a firstborn son
It’s funny. Though the names were given to us by villagers living 12 hours from Chiang Mai the few friends that we’ve shared our new names with have taken to calling us by them immediately. Maybe it’s a good sign they’ll stick.
This week we were able to meet twice with our co-workers Mike and Sandy to talk more in depth about some of the important issues we will face as a team in the coming months and years. We’re excited to work with them more and more as we continue to hammer out team formation questions like, “What will teaching the people to read and write their own language look like?” Or, “How often do we want to meet as a team?”, “What will we talk about during these meetings?”, and “How accountable will we be to one another?” These issues can be hard for a new team, particularly when one couple has a head start of a few years in language and culture study.
We’re so thankful that Mike and Sandy have been patient with us as we ask a lot of questions and still know very, very little about what we’re getting ourselves into. We still have a long ways to go in hammering out some of these issues so that we’re all on the same page. In addition to some Skype meetings before we move to the village in a couple months we’re anticipating that we will continue to work through these questions as we begin to work together in a very, very small village in Northeast Thailand.
Sharon and I are proud to announce an August addition to our family! Baby Bruce is currently 5.4 centimeters (2.1 inches) long and weighs half an ounce. Sharon is 12 weeks along and doing well (minus a bit of morning sickness). The baby is due August 20th and we anticipate returning to the United States on maternity leave for the birth. We appreciate your prayers that mother and baby will continue to be healthy!
This is a fun little video that shows you how I put gas in my little moped/scooter/minibike thing that I tool around in. What’s cool about it? I use a vending machine! You’ve likely never filled up using an automated vending machine but I do it every week. Enjoy the video embedded below or see it on YouTube.
Embedded below and on YouTube you’ll find a video of a bus trip we took last week while on our way out to the village where we’ll be working. Hopefully it gives you a glimpse of what public transportation is like! Enjoy.
Nothing says February like the Superbowl, college basketball and snow on the ground. Or, in our case, Chiang Mai’s annual flower festival, the MK home-school conference and the English Premier League. However you mark the season we’re excited to be able to report progress toward our goals in several key areas:
- God provided a place for us to stay in the village we’ll be working in. It will be newly constructed just for us! This is a huge answer to prayer
- Just 30 lessons to go in our language program in Chiang Mai! Having completing 370 lessons so far 30 more feels like a breeze.
- We’ve enjoyed great team-building activities with our future co-workers and are currently hammering out the purpose, vision and strategy statements that will guide our partnership.
Thank-you for your continued prayers!
Encouraged in the Lord, Ric and Sharon
Last week we went house hunting in our soon-to-be new home out in Northeast Thailand. Great news! Lord willing, we’ll be moving into a brand new house that should be ready just as we finish up our language study in Chiang Mai. God definitely went before us on this trip, allowing us to get a lot accomplished in our short four days. We hammered out more details of our team strategy with co-workers Mike and Sandy, we participated in a village activity and looked at housing options. More details about the house will follow in our February Newsletter. Please take a second to view our pictures at Picasa Web Albums!