Friday, January 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!

My friend, Jennifer, and I met on a home school support group online. She was home schooling two little girls with her pastor husband, high in the remote hills in a tiny village in northern Thailand. Jennifer was the community nurse with her clinic set up on the front porch of the cement block home she and David built. Although adequate, it was far from fancy compared to the homes we have here. Several times she complained of the open gaps between ceiling and roof (designed to let smoke out of a house, in village fashion). These gaps would bring the smells of the village into their home, and those smells frequently included opium and smoke. Dogs, chickens, children, and people would flock to Jennifer. The village people came, not only for her medical skills, but to taste her delicious cooking and to have long conversations with her. Jennifer learned their language and spent time translating the Bible into a language they could read and understand. But with all the activity around her, Jennifer was still lonely for a friend who understood her and all that she was going through. Jennifer had a laptop computer and a cell phone, although other things, like adequate heat and a modern bathroom were missing from their mountain home. Through the Internet, Jennifer and I connected and had many wonderful hours of visiting together. I learned so much from her --- she shared stories, culture, and yummy recipes with me. I connected her to her home country and listened to her heart-felt need to connect with someone who understood her and the lonlieness she felt at times. We discussed educational techniques and resources by the hour and share a common love of books and reading. One day when Jennifer was feeing low, I mailed her a pretty invitation to tea. It said that although she was too far away for now, maybe when she was on furlough some day, she could come by my part of the USA and I would take her to tea. And you know what? She did! This picture is of Jennifer that I took at my favorite tea room, Countryside Cottage. What fun we had connecting in person --- enjoying sandwiches, scones, and a pot of hot tea. And we connected in the spirit of friendship in person, just as much as we did from afar. Jennifer and her family lived in their mountain home for ten years. Recently they have moved back to the USA and Jennifer is working full-time as a busy, intensive care nurse. She and her husband still home school those little girls, although they are not so little any more! Happy birthday, dear friend!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. What a nice story of friendship. The world seems to small thanks to modern technology


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