January 2009


Before Christmas Pam and I arranged to go to Cambodia during the week we get for Chinese New Year and do some ministry. Pam has a number of meetings scheduled regarding her responsibilities to TWR and health initiative she is developing. I agreed to do some teaching at a training center, freeing up the regular teacher to meet with Pam, and just generally keeping out of the way.

I was asked to teach on Eastern religions, a subject I knew something about in my youth, but have largely neglected ever since (I studied Tai Chi for two years, a practice of Taoism, and consulted the I Ching on occasion, revered in Confucian tradition). The Chinese stuff I got pretty quickly. It is remarkably straightforward, if a little arcane. But the older mythologies have really got my head in a knot.

Egyptian and Babylonian deities are mental miasma, shifting from one into another with dizzying and logic defying results; yet they are fundamental to the development of later Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. But Hindism itself will turn your mind to mush; with so many different and contradictory schools promoting their own interpretation of an amazing plethora of gods and incarnations.

I copied my results over to the laptop I am taking with me, and even I was surprised at the number – 90 – of documents I have cut, pasted, edited, paraphrased and rewritten in the last month. I estimate about 50 hours of work, Pam puts it closer to 100. Whichever it is, I am looking forward to opportunity to present it finally to these young students and hope it will be a blessing to them and to others as they seek to reach the community around them with an understanding of their beliefs, and the message of Truth.

Please pray for us both as we minister this week in His holy name.

We are most relieved to have Dad safely through this procedure.  Sounds like it was pretty unpleasant but he is a trooper.  Thanks for your prayers and kind thoughts.  Only time will tell how successful it has been.  For the moment he has some heavy duty pain killers for any post-op pain that are keeping him comfortable.

He will now begin to wean himself off the anti-convulsants and see how things are. I am praying that this will, at last, give him some much needed relief from this nasty condition.


Tomorrow, Dad will be undergoing a surgical procedure that we are all praying will relieve the excruciating attacks of pain that he has suffered through for  a number of years now.  Trigeminal Neuralgia has consumed his life for the last two winters and the effectiveness of medication has gradually decreased over time.  The procedure is a particularly nasty one, but please pray with us for protection and healing for dad.

So often we are reminded of  the fact that without the love and care that my brother Randy and his wife Sylvia provide, we would probably not have the peace of mind that we need in order to be so far away.  Sylvia has been a precious gift of God to our whole family, as well as to many other people that she has so lovingly served over the years.

We wish that we could be there with you Dad!

With Steve tied up with course development for teaching in Cambodia, I had the joy of spending the day Saturday helping with the introductory city tour for the new staff. It was great to be reminded of how beautiful KL is when seen through the eyes of a newcomer. It really is a privilege to live here, but I guess we have said that before.

Taylor’s College brings in new teachers in January and July, at the beginning of each semester. January tends to be the small group as they frequently recruit new graduates and new retirees who generally become available at the end of the school year in Canada. Sunday evening we hosted a BBQ to welcome the new Director and his wife as well a new couple who are both teachers. It was a very relaxing evening with a fine group of friends.

I never take my camera to school (which is one of the reasons that I don’t do a lot of posting on the kids I teach) because it is not safe to do so. Transparancy International recently conducted a survey in the world’s capital cities by leaving a cell phone in a public place and timing how long it took for somone to swipe it. They also left information in the phone so that whoever took it could return it. I forget who came in first (I think it was Helsinki) but I do know who came in last: Kuala Lumpur. Phones were swiped the fastest and returned the least right here where we live.
You know where this is going, don’t you? Last week I took the camera to work. I thought that I really should start to blog a bit more about what I do all day. I thought I had put the camera in my backpack, but when I got home I discovered it wasn’t there. I caught a cab and raced back to work, but by then it was gone. I felt like a fool, because I definitely do know better by now.

But here’s the upside. Tonight we bought its replacement: a Canon Sure Shot just like its predecessor. Like the one it replaces it has a 4X optical zoom, but it is about half the weight with twice the size of screen and fits easily into my phone pouch that I wear all the time now. Much nicer to handle, much harder to lose.

Now here’s the nice part about being in Asia. Three years ago I bought the Canon 620 for about 500 bucks. Today I bought the Canon 1000 for about 200 bucks. That included batteries, a case and a 2 gig card. We got personalized attention from a courteous and knowledgeable saleswoman and I feel much better, thank you!

lindsay-beth-and-nicoleKaraoke is a national pastime in many of the countries of Asia. Not genetically wired to make a fool of myself in front of total strangers, so far I have been able to avoid it.  This is harder than you might think, as it is available in restaurants, bars, outdoor functions and in many homes. Our neighbours in our last apartment were addicted to it! There are also elaborate facilities dedicated entirely to karaoke. Liz’s friend Chonie would be in heaven.

I finally broke down and went with Steve to one of these places, only because it was a staff get-together and because it was a birthday celebration. The Red Box is one of two karaoke businesses at our local mall where you can rent a room for an hour, or two, or an entire evening.  Rooms vary in size from those that accomodate 2-4 people up to rooms that will accomodate 20-30.  Each room is lined with tables and leather couches, and comes fully equipped with four remote mics and a great variety of videos.

I hate to admit it but it was great fun. There was a fabulous hot buffet meal as well as a salad bar, sushi bar, and dessert bar that was available for grazing throughout the evening. Of course, if you put twenty very gifted teachers – many of whom can not only sing, but are genetically wired to perform – in a room with four microphones and a captive audience, you have entertainment.  And all this for only about $15 Canadian. Should I sign up for singing lessons?

We are very proud of you and wish you great success in your new job.  It will undoubtably be a huge challenge to learn all that is required but we have every confidence in you.  You are a very gifted young lady and will rise to the challenge, even when  it is in Spanish.


Elizabeth Wise   


Development for

Saxon Drilling

Calgary, Alberta


Undoubtably, Phuket is a very lovely island with some amazingly beautiful sights to see.  However, it is also probably the most commercialized tourist destination that we have ever visited.  Although it was so recently decimated by the tsunami, there is very little evidence of that.  Hotels and restaurants are rebuilt and hopping with over weight and under dressed tourists.  The beautiful beaches are lined with chairs and umbrellas for rent.

chinese-lanternjThe highlight of New Years eve was watching the Chinese Lanterns,which are essentially four foot high hot air ballons made of rice paper. 

You light the wick and watch the balloons float out over the Andaman Sea until they burn out. 

With hundreds of them up in that air at any given time, floating gentlyand quietly, it really was spectular.







We spent one day on a boat trip to several islands in the Andaman Sea, which where very lovely. 

Phi Phi Island has gorgeous bays amongst giant outcroppings of rock and coral reefs, where we snorkelled and watched the dolphins romp.