The house where we are staying is lovely. Our hosts, Steven and Eileen, are very gracious and accommodating. And last night when we returned, I felt a bit like the farmer who took the wise man's advice to move all the animals in his house in order to appreciate his original situation.
In this case, I had been rooming with about 867 (estimate, of course!) action figures that belong to the two sons of the household, now 13 and 18. They ranged in theme from Ninja Turtles to Star Wars figures to Toy Story figures and anything possible in between, plus dinosaurs. The upside was that Knox loved to visit my room all the time! His imagination went wild with all the possibilities.
While we were on our two days off, Steven and Eileen had removed the toys and replaced them with a bed, possibly for Steve when he comes. What a change! Wide open spaces in which to put things, just as I'd adjusted to keeping most stuff in my (broken) suitcase. It was a delightful surprise. I should add here how much I appreciate 13-year-old Isaac for giving up his room for me.
One morning I awoke to the patter of little feet in my room and I assumed it was Knox. "What do you think you're doing in here?" I asked playfully. When Isaac timidly said, "I'm getting my clothes for school," I was mortified. I hope he understood my explanation that I thought it was Knox!
So now the real test of Knox's loyalty to me will be if he keeps coming to visit in my room....
And about my broken suitcase: The journey to Malaysia was its maiden voyage, and it arrived with a split seam of about 10 inches. As far as I could tell, nothing had fallen out, so it obviously held through most of the trip.
Last night I put all my clothes on the new bed and today took the suitcase to a place called "Minit Cobbler," near the church building. The man examined it carefully and decided he can sew it back up, but may have to remove and then replace the wheel base. He said it would take 3 hours, so I hesitantly asked the cost. He said 35 Ringits, which is roughly $11 US. I am delighted that it can be repaired rather than replaced, though it is a duffel bag and not one I'd chose to carry again. I used it because it was the lightest wheeled suitcase we own. And I'm sure I'll appreciate that aspect when I pack it to return home.
Church today was wonderful and inspiring. Some of the teens had taken so seriously Josh's prompting to use encouraging words that they made up several postcards with encouraging words on the front that the members can send to each other. What a great response to a sermon! It's also a reminder to me to be more encouraging to my teammates. I am so used to their doing a great job that I may forget to affirm them as much as I should. The announcement-giver at church this morning said Thursday's party was the best they had EVER had here, so we are pleased. God is so good and we have so much to be grateful for (such as taking our laundry in this morning and picking it up this afternoon, all folded and ready to wear tomorrow!)