Embedded below and available on Issuu.com you’ll find our latest newsletter! Thanks for your continued prayers, support and encouragement about the upcoming changes in our lives. Blessings, Ric and Sharon
Ric and Sharon Bruce On a journey with you to Thailand
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!
Sharon raced in the Chiang Mai mini marathon today (a 10 K) for fun and fellowship. There were 47 different nationalities represented and over 700 people in her race! She ran it in 70 minutes. Below are a few of the best pictures and you can see them all (plus a video) in our Picasa Web Album.
Sharon opened our mailbox just now and made a new friend who jumped out, hissed at her and ran back into the safety of the mailbox. He’s a tokay, a common lizard here in Thailand that has startled us on more than one occasion. But this one stayed long enough to take his portrait. Here’s his mug shot:
There are a lot of advantages to living in Chiang Mai. One is you don’t have to think long in order come up with a great Valentine’s day surprise for the little lady. The tourist business provides a plethora of choices. Sharon explains our day yesterday in a series of pictures with captions on our Picasa web albums. Enjoy.
We had a great time of fellowship, worship, prayer and encouragement with our Thai church this weekend. It made our first Easter in Thailand and away from family much easier. The best part was this weekend showed us that all our hard work is paying off as people around us began to notice our language ability growing. We’re slowly getting out of that awkward first stage of language learning where you’re no fun to be around because you don’t speak the language but you need to speak the language so you can get better. Below are some pictures but be sure to check out the YouTube video too. Enjoy.
This week we reached the 26th lesson in our Thai language program. We don’t go to a school to learn Thai. Our language helper comes to our house and we begin a complex lesson we’ve prepared for him to teach us. Each lesson takes about two hours and generally speaking involves us asking our language helper what is happening in a picture and him explaining it in Thai. After we can easily point to the appropriate pictures as he says their description in Thai we then record him saying the description and match those recordings with the pictures we printed for our session in the computer.
Although all this sounds complicated… it’s really not too bad. Anyways. Lesson 26 we added a new element: speaking. Imagine that. We’ve been here two months and we only know how to say a few simple survival phrases in Thai. That’s all changing. We’re beginning the long process of speaking after listening our language helper’s voice say these words and phrases many, many times. Check out the video embedded below on our website or at youtube.com of Sharon speaking and our helper correcting her pronunciation.
The biggest update on my knee is that tomorrow evening I will see the doctor for the first time since surgery. It feels fine although the regular post-surgical nuisances apply: atrophy of the muscles in my leg, bruising, soreness, numbness, etc. I am anticipating the doctor will remove my stitches tomorrow and get me on a therapy regimen at the hospital where the operation took place. We will update again with more details tomorrow night. In the meantime if you enjoy pictures of gross, atrophied knees or are curious about how it looks check out the pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/ricandsharon/ChangingTheBandages#
We’re out of the hospital! It was an amazing experience really… but we’re glad it’s over. Here are some pictures of our experiences. Enjoy.
If you’re reading this soon after we posted it we’re probably somewhere over the Atlantic on our way to Thailand. Since it’s half-way around the world you can really go either way. We picked the cheapest at the time.
Basically, here’s the deal for at least a few days. Please pray for us. We have a lot of adjustments: friends to meet, new foods to try, and a foreign language to pick up. We appreciate your comments, concern and notes. Please forgive us if we’re a bit tardy in replying to them while we get on our feet. We love you all! -Ric and Sharon
What is this mess of wires? Well, that’s our new home phone from Vonage! Some of you may have heard of this service and some haven’t.
It’s great: Free calls. To Thailand. To us. From you. OR Free calls. From Thailand. From us. To you.
It will be a great way to keep in touch, share our lives and keep you involved. The best part: It will be Ric’s cell phone number. Just keep it in your cell phone or address book and call us when you get the urge to hear our voices. Keep in mind that Thailand is exactly 12 hours from Eastern Standard time most of the year and that we won’t be answering during the middle of the night. Leave us a voice mail anytime, however, and we’ll be happy to call you back.
If you need our number send us an email at email@example.com
We spent a few days this past week saying goodbye to Sharon’s relatives in New York state and visiting my sister Sarah and her new husband Stephen in their apartment in Cleavland. Here are a few shots of Sharon enjoying our time with family:
This past weekend Sharon enjoyed a girl’s getaway weekend with my sister Sarah and several of her friends. Sarah is getting married this weekend to a very cool guy from Ohio so it was great to send her off in style. The ladies camped minutes from the lake and enjoyed running down the steep sand dunes, canoeing on the glassy lake, and tasting local cuisine. I’ve been trying to convince Sharon to write an article about her experience and fill you in on the details. If you’d like her to say so in the comments.
Sharon ran a race today. If you’d like to see pictures and her finish time head on over to our Picasa Web Albums.
The national language of Thailand, Thai is spoken by about 60 million people in Thailand. Learning Thai is going to be Ric and my full time job for the first two years of our time in Thailand. There are many things in Thai that will make it very tricky for us English speakers to learn!
A facet of Thai that is very difficult is the fact that it is a tonal language. In tonal languages, the meaning of a word is determined by the pitch at which it is pronounced. An example is the word kao which means “news”, “rice”, and “white”. The distinction is in the tone. Kao means “news” when pronounced with a low tone, “white” with a rising tone and “rice” with a falling tone. Learning the right way to say the tone on words will take much time and practice!
Another major area that will be complicated is learning to read and write. Thai is written in its own unique alphabetic script which has developed from a script found in India. There are 44 consonants and 28 vowels. It is written across the page from left to right without spaces between the words. Certain vowels occur above the consonants and some occur below. Ric and I have been told that it would be most helpful to get familiar with the Thai writing system before starting official Thai study in Thailand. So we bought a book and have found some good websites. Everyday we are learning how to write some symbols and memorizing the sound that goes with them. At first, to me the Thai script looked like a bunch of squiggly lines and circles. Now, it is so encouraging because I can look at a paragraph and recognize the symbols that I have studied! The squigglys are slowly coming to life! Pray for us as we continue on this endeavor!
Some material from Teach Yourself Thai
This Easter we spent some time with my Grandma and family in New York! During this time of partnership development before we move to Thailand we are enjoying some quality time with family. Although we are so excited to start our ministry overseas the fact that we will be moving half-way around the globe away from family and friends is daunting. I always have to remind myself of why it is so important to reach those people who live so far away with the good news of Jesus Christ. God desires all to have a relationship with Him and there are many peoples who do not have that opportunity. The chance of the people groups that we are planning to work with of hearing about Christ and what He did for them is little to none unless someone goes to them. So with my mind fixed on that purpose, I can cherish the time spent with family and pray for the unreached peoples who may someday join the family of God!
This weekend Sharon decided to take a trip to Ohio with a close friend and leave me in Michigan. Here is what I could have been doing while she was gone:
Deciding some urgent business in Florida couldn’t wait I opted instead to book a last-minute flight to stay with a friend and his family in central Florida. I have several objectives here in Florida. New Tribes Mission is headquartered in Sanford, Florida so I will be meeting with key leaders and friends there and networking with key individuals. I would like to get some good photos while I’m here and I’m meeting with members of our partnership team. Here is a sample of some of my photography so far:’