Monday, May 23, 2011


There are so many times when I feel completely powerless... to help, to make it right, to fix, to change situations.  

And strangely enough, the past week’s challenges have not only left me feeling powerless again... but also, literally, powerless!  Let me explain.

Last weekend we had some friends over in the afternoon.  The children were all playing nicely and so the four of us adults sat down with a coffee to catch up on each other’s lives.
It began raining outside (not unusual) and then suddenly the power went out (also not unusual).  It was a stinking hot day so we laughed as we all sat around sweating with no fan to circulate the air in our lounge room (ten people in one room on a hot afternoon... you get the picture).

It was not until later when the power came back on that we realised that not all the power had returned to our house.  Throughout that evening and then next morning we began to notice the extent of the problem we were faced with...

Power points not working, fridge not working plus air conditioner, fan, washing machine, air purifier, phone charger, printer... funnily enough (I like to thank God’s sense of humor for this) our coffee machine and home computer were okay!!  Thankfully the power board that our home computer was plugged in to had a circuit breaker and whilst the power board now does not work, it did save our computer... and this very blog!

Our landlord has been really helpful and on Monday he had organised several electricians to come and begin surveying the damage.  They spread out, soldering circuit boards on the floor in our lounge room but by the end of the day we had both air-conditioning and a fridge that worked (minus all the food we’d lost).   

Our fan was taken away, our washing machine will be gone for a few weeks and we’re still not sure about our air purifier and printer.

On Tuesday night, it began raining again and AGAIN our power went out.  Dave called our landlord to explain what was happening (by now we were realising that not everyone’s power was going out every time it rained- just ours!)  The landlord told Dave to flick the switch on the fuse board but as he did, my laptop’s power-cord (plugged in to my laptop) blew up!

We went and checked a few other things and realised that we’d lost the use of some of the power-points and the refrigerator has gone off again... this time thankfully it still worked when we plugged it in to another point.

So on Wednesday the electricians were back again and they seem to have fixed the power points again.  We have since had to buy new power-boards with circuit breakers for the computers, I got a new power cord and we are still waiting on the other items.

The highlight of the week was doing a whole bunch of hand washing with our kids.  After school one day we set up some buckets and got stuck in to it.  Eli had so much fun that she suggested we did it like this every night until our washing machine came back but, truthfully, after wringing out all the towels and bulky items- I was exhausted.  I have new-found gratefulness for my washing machine and its spin-dry function!!  As well as for the ZOE family who do not have washing machines and wash this way every week!!

Please join with us in praying that this “power” issue is completely fixed by the one who is all-powerful!  We thank God for the speed at which we have received help and for the appliances that were not affected but we would also like a permanent fix to the cause of all this so that every time it rains we’re not having to call the electricians back.

On a more positive note, the NEW and “official” ZOE Children’s Home blog is now live.

I encourage you to check it out and become a follower.

I am so looking forward to our upcoming trip back to Australia and sharing a bit more ‘life’ with you.

Love Andie :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Diary of a Saturday morning, not so long ago.

6.30 AM  Wake-up to the sound of our three children asking excitedly if we can go and get ‘mu-ping’ (pork skewers) and sticky rice for breakfast ... of course we can!



7.30 AM Stop by the side of the road and pick up breakfast. YUM!

8.30 AM Family time!  Off to ride bikes and feed animals for the morning.

9.30 AM First stop- the deer.

Spencer is VERY generous!  Reminds me a bit of the goodie bags!!  LOL

10 AM  Feeding camels!
Sometimes I stop myself and wonder when and how did this start feeling “normal”.

10.30 AM  This ostrich was a little bit feisty.
Quick Eliana... let’s feed it and go!

11 AM  Time to take a short rest beside this man-made waterfall before riding back.

12 PM Arrive back at the car.

12.30 PM Begin driving home.  
It’s suddenly very quiet.  
You know it’s been a good morning when 
everyone falls asleep!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing Hairdressers

Source: goodbyefuturehellopast, via bowsxblueeyes

I remember as a little girl getting out all the hair accessories, brushes and combs and playing hairdressers with my mum. How funny it was one night when the pastor of our church called around to our house unexpectedly and my mum had to answer the door with a very strange looking hair-do!

Our daughter Eli also loves to play hairdressers and very much enjoys trying to do plaits and piggy-tails in my hair.

The girls at ZOE are no different and it was with great excitement that they planned their hair-styles for last week’s headshot- hairstyle photo shoot. We were attempting to get some good photographs to frame and hang on the walls of the newly established hairdressing salon.

The salon was provided by ‘Life Outreach International’ and will be used to encourage and develop vocational skills in girls who have an interest and gift in this area.

Even in the short space of time since the studio has been set up, numerous new hairstyles have emerged on the ZOE parents, staff and children!

Checkout some of the photos from this fun photo-shoot!
Andie :)

Want to see more photos from the hair shoot?  Click here!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants pain, but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain." -Zion Lee

Like many places around the world recently, we seem to be having a lot of heavy rain.  I think the housing around here is built to cope rather well with wet weather.  We seem to only have a couple of spots in our house that get wet, so thankfully, considering the amount of rain we’ve had, we’ve stayed remarkable dry.

This past weekend, during one such downpour, we headed out in our car and down our street to see how everyone else was coping with the rising water levels.  There were a few parts near us that we couldn’t even drive though! 

What was so great though was that, just as the rain was starting to lessen, out came the most beautiful double rainbow!

And as we gasped and “ooohhhhed” and “ahhhhed” at how wonderfully colourful it was in the sky... and as our three little ones broke out in “I can sing a rainbow”...

It reminded me a lot of our journey here.

The very “rain” that took us out of our comfort zone, that soaked us with heart ache, homesickness and so many other challenges has also brought us the blessings of a clear and beautiful rainbow in the sky.  

As we look around at the projects going on at ZOE, the smiling faces of the rescued children and the promises of a better future with a hope in God, we realise that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  

We can trust his faithfulness and we can be assured that as we look up to Him after the heaviest of downpours; their will be a rainbow- a reminder of His promises, right there in the sky!

Stay dry!  And have a great week,


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Pictured here are my mum and my grandma.  It’s days like today that I wish I could be in Australia to give them both a big hug and express to them how much I love them and how much they mean to me.
I feel so blessed that both these women are still alive and a part of my life, but days like today make me realise just how far away from them that I am.

I think, for me, Mother’s Day brought new meaning once I become a parent myself.  There’s something about having a personal experience of motherhood that helps you really appreciate the sweat, tears, patience and unconditional love that your own mother went through when she raised you to adulthood and beyond!

I reflect so fondly on the ZOE house mothers who have given up a large part of their lives to help raise children that are not ‘biologically’ theirs.  I remember last year attending the ZOE Mother’s Day service and being so moved as child after child stood and thanked these precious women who daily commit to filling the role of “mum” to them.

Some of the younger ZOE houseparents have not even started a family of their own yet and are already taking on a mothering role, whilst others have their biological children right along beside them and just add a few more kids to their existing family.  Others still, have older children and grandchildren of their own but now dedicate their time to being a mum all over again to the ones who need one right now. 
The parents at ZOE are just so amazing!

I don’t know your story, maybe your own mother has passed away making Mother's Day a time to remember her and reflect upon her life, maybe you’re like me and the physical distance between you means that it’s just not possible to see each other today ... or maybe you were cared for by someone who was not biologically your mother, but who filled that role in your life.

Whatever your story, I do hope and pray that you have someone in your life as special as a mother.  
I found this little poem that I’d like to share, but firstly I want to acknowledge, once again, my own mum... one of my dearest friends, a comfort, strength, confidant, supporter and cheerleader.  
I love you so much Mum, and Happy Mother's Day.
Andie x

Friday, May 6, 2011

The New Boy

Tuesday and Thursday mornings David and I study Thai at a local language school.  It’s our time in the week to be students again and we nervously share our concerns about upcoming vocabulary tests, tones, sentence structure etc.
When we arrive at school, Dave goes to his classroom, I go to mine and sometimes…when our break-times align…we even get to chat briefly and giggle by the water fountain like two little school kids!
In my class is an Austrian girl named Anna who lives here in Chiangmai with her German boyfriend.  Up until recently we had been having a hoot in our class and learning Thai had actually become, well… FUN!
But then three weeks ago her sister came to visit her and she took a week off class to go to the beach and she never came back!  We just found out that she has since gone back to Austria and is not sure when she/if she will return.
Well after feeling kind-of sad because, honestly, I really liked having someone else in class with me, Khun Nita (who owns the school) announced that there would be a new boy in my class.  Turns out, it’s none other than Dave himself!! Hahahaha.
So, not there’s no more need for longing glances through the classroom windows or little catch-ups at the water fountain- we’re in class together!  I couldn’t be more excited that we’ve finally aligned in our language studying and we can actually practice the same vocabulary together for a while (at least until Dave returns to learning how to read and write anyway).  
Now if only I could take a course on speaking Thai boldly like Dave and I’d be all set!