Saturday was jammed packed with excitement. We started out early in order to make it to the market, which was enormous. Andy, the boys, and Susan stayed behind while Isaac, Caleb, Hillary, and I went to the market with Jen. When wandering about it, you rarely came across the same stand twice. There was an abundance of things to do here and a marvelous aroma filled the area as vendors sold a variety of foods. It was wonderful fun but over quickly because we had many other plans for the day that we would not dream of missing.
After returning to meet up with the rest of our group we loaded up into the truck with snacks and drinks and began our travel a distance to have a New Years Eve lunch with some member of the Muang Thai Church. It was great fun with incredible food, intriguing conversation, and kindly people. There was a copious amount of menu options at this gathering and we ate our fill. Even when our bellies were filled we were fed more and then more. And darn be it all if we did not indulge in the delectable foods they pushed our way. Food, while in variance to specific cultures, seems to have the sensational ability to bring so many together despite language or nationality.
My most beloved memory from this time of celebration with these people was while we were in song. There is something about a strum of a guitar and the unity in voices that brings me great joy. While we may have sang in different languages at times, the praise was all the same. We lifted our voices together and shared love for our God.
With some goodbyes and gratitude shared we made our way back to the apartment to get some much needed rest and began to pack up some of our belongings. Just before the boys went to bed we had a disco party. It was great fun. We danced, laughed, and enjoyed this time emmensly. After, we said our goodnights to the boys with big hugs and kisses. The time spent here is been fleeting. We are all so grateful for the friendships we have made and the memories we have shared. But lets not get ahead of ourselves...the New Year is still to be brought in.
Life, a friend of Andy and Jen and son of the Pastors, asked us to join him for fireworks. Innocent enough, yes? Mm. Well, one would hope. You see, Life can be interesing. And at times, Life can throw you a curve. We began by driving to a condo building, close to downtown Bangkok, and parked behind the parking garage. At this time we had to jump over a cement wall. Yes, all of us, including Susan. Gee whiz, the shenanigans we get into. From there we entered the building and ascended thirty floors by elevator. After exiting the elevator we climbed a few flights of stairs. At one point, we came to a stairway that had a red light on the wall. Life informed that this was a sensor and that we needed to stealthily climb underneath it. And so we did. After we had done so a few of Life's friends casually walked passed the light. Life can be crafty. He was pulling our leg. With a good laugh we eventually made it to a portion of the roof. Here we took a ladder only to be faced with a much larger cement wall that we had to scale by climbing and pulling each other up. Yes, all of us. And finally we were on the roof of a forty story building. Oh...also, there was no barrier to prevent us falling over the edge. Did I mention that?
While the journey to get to the roof was taxing, the view we received there was much appreciated it. After we shared some laughter, pizza, and song, we counted down the seconds and brought in the new year together and we were then surrounded by fireworks. For when it is time to celebrate all of Bangkok seemed to celebrate.
It was now that we returned to Andy and Jen's. We promptly went to bed only to awake early in the morning to catch our flight. Saying goodbye is always bittersweet. We all are so thankful for our time here and the ability to celebrate Christ with each other but it is time we return. We will miss the May family but the truly beautiful thing is that we know we will all meet again. If not in this life, which I am sure it will be, but certainly in eternal life with our Lord.
P.S. We will each be taking some time to post a blog of a our own personal reflections. I suspect they will be full of revelation and emotion.