Hello again! It's been a couple of days since we updated, but we've done a lot!
On Thursday morning we had an orientation to the Old Folks' Home. It's a really nice place, and the 50 or so people living there seem to really enjoy themselves. After lunch, while the "old people" were napping, Madam Tong (she and her husband, Uncle Eddie, are in charge of the Home) took us out to see a Buddist temple in a cave. It was more of a shrine than a place of worship, but it was interesting. There were idols and writings everywhere. As Captain Augustine said, you have to know something about other religions if you want to witness more effectively to those people. The cave had over 500 steps up the mountain, and most of us climbed up. We were really hot and tired by the end of it, but the view of Ioph was worth it in the end. We returned at 3:00 to the Old Folks' Home and did a program for them - songs, a testimony, and a short devotion. (We've been doing most of the programs since we've been here, and we're getting pretty good at getting up and leading things.) Madam Tong translated for us, since they speak Chinese and hardly any English at all. Afterwards, Uncle Eddie took us to another Buddist cave/temple, and while this one was smaller, you could walk through the mountain to the other side where it opened up to a beautiful garden. We walked around the pond full of lotus flowers and saw some monkeys and even a komodo (komoto?) dragon.
Friday we took a day trip to Penang , a city about 2 hours away, with the old people. It is more tourist-y - we didn't stand out quite as much - and it has beautiful beaches, but we only saw one briefly. To get there we crossed one of the biggest bridges in southeast Asia. We had lunch at the Boys' Home there, visited a fort, a Buddist temple (with a large sleeping Buddah). The most exciting part of the day was going to a botanical garden full of monkeys. They were just walking around all over the place & we could get pretty close. One actually chased Annie, another charged at Vicki, and another growled at Ben. Once the initial scare was over, it was really quite funny - and we got some of it on film too. That night, back in Ipoh, Madam Tong took us to the night market, and we tried all sorts of food - Chinese pancakes, roasted chesnuts, various fruits - and everything was good.
Saturday was rainy, so we did a prayer drive instead of a prayer walk, but it was good because we got to see the entire area around the corps. We watched another Indian film (which is long, and we're finishing it today) at the Captains' home, did a bit of shopping, and then did the youth sports program that evening. Then, we all (us, the older youth fromt he homes, and Captains Ruth & Augustine) went to a fund raising banquet at a hotel, sponsered by a bunch of local churches. It was a lot like any banquet, except for the food. There were three courses with about 9 different plates, ranging from seafood to rice, to cabbage, to honeydew & bean curd soup for dessert. It was really good, but there was so much food we had trouble eating it all!
Today we did all of Sunday School (Lindsey did the lesson - David & Goliath) and most of the Holiness service (Kelsey led the songs, we all did praise & worship, Josh and Ben sang, Chauncy preached). We have the rest of today off because we don't have to do teh service at the Old Folks' Home, since the Baptist Church is doing their once-a-month service there today.
We're having a great time, and it's sad that this will be our last week in Ipoh (we go to Kota Kinabalu in a week), but we'll be too busy to think about it: we're spending several days painting and it sounds like we'll be able to go to Penang again for a day!
Well, that's all for now. We're all doing great - keep praying for us & for the people here!