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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Talking about pollution and fleas... wanna read?


So {yeah} it's David's birthday today.  
I see that he got some Facebook messages!  
I'll be sure to pass them on to him tonight as he doesn't log on to check his page very often {unlike some of us LOL}.

He's actually gone to Chiang Rai today to attend a training session taking place at another NGO.

Here in Thailand we have three seasons. 
We are now in summer (approx. March- May).  
I'm not sure if you've seen any news reports but the air pollution in Chiang Mai has been above the safe levels lately but where David has gone today, the levels are even higher!! Yikes.  
I hope he remembered his face mask.
In the period between March-April, a continual environmental problem faces Chiang Mai in relation to air pollution. 
It is currently shrouded in smoke during this period leading up to the rainy season.  
The Air Quality Index shows that a moderate level of pollution is between the range of 51-100.  Obviously below this though is best!  Here in Chiangmai, it can rise between 190 and 300 at this time of year.



Whilst there are several causes of air pollution, the main one in Chiang Mai is the age-old practice of burning-off undergrowth in forests in the mountainous regions, especially along the Thai-Myanmar border. 
This problem is made worse by the location of the city which is located in a natural geographic bowl surrounded by mountains (which we currently can not see).  
There are many people we know who are suffering respiratory problems right now.  
Spencer has also been a bit unwell today so I have kept him home.  Thankfully tomorrow is a public holiday so another day inside at home should help him to feel a bit better.  
As we are unsure what time Dave will be home tonight, we will celebrate his birthday tomorrow at dinner time.  
It will be fun having the kids home tomorrow to get things ready.

On Thursday, ZOE has a short-term team arriving.  I am looking forward to meeting them on Saturday when we all head out to ZOE for some activities that both the ZOE children and missionary kids will be involved in together.

And this week, as I feel tempted to complain about the air, I remind myself of a snippet of a conversation between Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, after arriving at the barracks of the Ravensbruck extermination camp in Germany during WWII.

'Give thanks in all circumstances!" That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks." .......

"Thank You," Betsie went on serenely, "for the fleas and for--"

The fleas! This was too much. "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea."

"Give thanks in all circumstances," she quoted. "It doesn't say, 'in pleasant circumstances.' Fleas are a part of this place where God has put us." 


And as you read on further in the book "The Hiding Place", you come to learn that Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, were able to hold massive Bible studies in the sleeping quarters of their barracks without being discovered because the guards were too afraid of the fleas to enter. 

The fleas were what God used to allow the gospel of eternal hope to reach hundreds of women, many of whom lost their lives shortly thereafter.
This always helps me to keep things in perspective! 
How about you? 

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