The school break is finally here. In order to earn this break once exams and grad were over I had to endure another three days of enrollment promotion for Taylor’s. That is basically nine hours of non-stop talking for three days about the program to get parents to enroll their kids. There was no time for lunch. Education is a business in Asia, and there is stiff competition. Since our jobs depend upon enrollment, most of us take it pretty seriously. By the time we got on the bus Monday morning I was pretty close to exhaustion, I think I slept for about four of the five hours it took to get here.

Here is Singapore, the city state at the end of the peninsula. Singapore is everything Malaysia hopes it will be someday. At one point in their history they were part of the same country and shared the same government and the same currency. But in 1965 they went their separate ways. Both have enjoyed success, but Singapore’s dollar is now worth nearly three times what Malaysia’s ringgit is worth, and their standard of living is correspondingly higher. High enough that we could not afford to stay in a hotel here for any length of time. Fortunately, we don’t have to, since we have missionary friends in the city.

McDaniel and Blossom Phillips have been with Trans World Radio since 1984. At the time we were in the process of going to Bangladesh, they were leaving for Bonaire, and as TWR lay representatives we helped then Canadian director Carl Seyffert organize the fundraising dinner in London, Ontario on their behalf. They served for many years on Bonaire and in Cary then transferred to TWR’s Singapore office and it has been our joy to visit with them on our occasional trips south to this beautiful city. They rent a nice little apartment on the west side of town in a park-like setting that is peaceful and quiet. We like it here.

We especially like Blossom’s hospitality. She is a lovely hostess, and her place is always so nicely decorated at Christmas, with wreaths and angels everywhere. Her tree is just gorgeous! Pam and I work so darn hard that there just doesn’t seem to be much time to just relax and enjoy our surroundings. The only way we get any rest is to get away. This is a great place to get away to as Singapore is so lovely. The streets are wide and clean, parks and trees abound, buses are prompt and numerous. We can literally walk out of this apartment and within a minute or two be on a bus that will take us all the way downtown. And we won’t have to stand all the way! In KL they have instituted special pink buses and train cars for women so they don’t have to endure being groped while standing packed like sardines on the infrequent and crowded vehicles. Not sure how that is going to work.

We are not planning anything special; just do some reading and walking in the parks. Time to talk and refine our vision, time to reflect and be grateful for a life of purpose, even if that life is sometimes overwhelming in its demands. We hope that you also are taking some time for yourselves at the end of the year. We all need to step out of our busy lives once in a while. Happy reading.

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