Penang, Pearl of the Orient

We are going on a trip down memory lane today…

I’m so excited that you are joining me in this time of reflection together over a cuppa…

I thought we would have a tea that was introduced to me when I lived in Penang…

A fragrant Oolong tea & our treat is a local specialty there, a crisp sweet delicious peanut pancake, made with coconut milk & cane sugar.

I used to get this treat on market days from a food hawker also known as a Mukken cart, in the Pulau Tikus markets.

I do have coffee if you prefer, would you like to try a hazelnut blend?

We are reminiscing in the warm indoors today as it’s a very cold wintery day here in Australia…

Now we are seated & enjoying our treats, let’s get started on our journey through time…

Living on Penang Island

Malaysia was a 30 month posting on attachment, many years ago.

I absolutely loved the multi cultural experience of this time & immersed myself in learning about the different cultures & languages that surrounded me.

Bahasa Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese, Tamil but couldn’t quite master any of the dialects though did learn enough Hokkien for market days.

There was also a large expat community with a mixture of Australian, American & English young expats.

Our home was across the road from an American boarding school called Dalat.

This would become very pivotal in my spiritual journey….

My two daughter’s who were two & four years of age at this time, loved playing outdoors, having a large shaded, fully fenced & secure yard.

Being in the beautiful tropics, they did this most of their waking hours.

The house we lived in was located between two roads. The frontage was on the main arterial road to Batu Ferringi & the back was a smaller access road leading down to a Kampong (village) & a Hindu temple.

Life there was always so full of interesting activities, especially in this location with Hindu festivals going past our back gate with such vibrant colors in costumes, drums & cymbals.

And Chinese funerals going in the opposite direction past our front gate with full brass bands leading the way.

Being a Muslim country we often heard the call from the Mosques.

Yes life was full of interesting cultural festivals & fascinating practices.

On one of these hot tropical days…

On one of these hot tropical days, my daughters who had been playing in their cubby house ran excitedly inside, to tell me that a Clown was on the back road.

I thought this really odd & thought they may have mistaken a person in festival costume going past relating this to the clowns in their story books.

When we got out the back though I couldn’t see anyone at all, so didn’t think anymore on the subject, until..

God’s appointed meetings

A few weeks later, two older American ladies called out from the back gate.

I soon found out that there had indeed been a Clown visiting Dalat a few weeks earlier & that some of the neighboring children had had photos taken with the Clown.

And these were the photos being shown to me now…

The ladies thought they may have been my girls in the photo when they saw my girls playing in our yard.

I knew who the children were in the photos so pointed them in the right direction & invited them back for a cuppa once their photo delivery was complete.

aquatic beautiful bloom blooming

Let me introduce you to these two amazing women

Who became very dear friends & mentors, true pearls found in the Orient…

They have both passed now but their legacy & influence in my life & my children’s lives are forever an eternal blessing, Betty MitchellMary Lois Chandler whom I knew as Lois...

A beautiful time of community & friendship followed with Betty, Lois & the other international staff at Dalat.

After being invited to a Friday night potluck later that week…which led to My story

Well my tea & delicious peanut pancake are now finished.

I hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane & meeting these two amazing women.

Until next time dear friend,


You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


In Prayer

© 2018 Jennifer M. Ross, All Rights Reserved. Photo on

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31 thoughts on “Penang, Pearl of the Orient

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  1. Jennifer, this touched my heart this morning to read of these two women who faithfully served the Lord in hard places. I read what you wrote on the obit. How wonderful that God used Betty to lead you to Him. We have friends that are missionaries and they lived in Penang for several years! It was not a chance meeting in Penang for you and the two ladies, but God’s sovereignty to bring you to Him. Praise God for His grace and mercy. I am encouraged today as I read your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam,
      Yes, my meeting with Betty & Lois that day was definitely God’s appointment!
      So glad you were encouraged by Betty & Lois’ faithful lives as I have been all these years.
      They both were very encouraging in my journey as a Christian writer, to tell my unique experience & story as God led me too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it wonderful when God weaves our lives in the threads of friendship? I’m so glad that you were able to get to know those sweet ladies, Jennifer. It sounds like their friendships are still impacting you to this day. Thanks for sharing about this inspiring meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they’re influence & legacy is still there…passed on to my children & grandchildren. God’s working Tapestry is an exciting & colorful creation! Bringing threads of influence into our lives from unexpected sources.


  3. Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing Betty’s and Lois’s stories. Women who are still inspiring and lighting the way for those of us who remain here for awhile. ❤ I too have many spiritual Moms for whose lives and memories I am ever so grateful. Great is the Lord! Blessings and love. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First, thank you for your words that trickled deep – that I’m a writer for God. I know that.But I needed to KNOW that. Thank you ❤ I needed that. Sometimes I get caught up in the income parts of it and I trip.

    Also, Betty and Lois lived. Like REALLY lived. I find it fascinating that Betty accepted her sister's call as asked of God to be a missionary and therein met her husband and enjoyed the call and work of God.

    It's crazy wonderful this life God has us lead.

    And I'm just here dreaming along to your story. Those pancakes sound delish and I'm glad your kiddos will always have those beautiful memories with them.

    Thank you for the sweet tea. I'm finding myself take less coffee these days thanks to sweet teas but a mocha frappe will always floor me. Can't say no 🙂

    Thank you for your heart too Jen.

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome Koki, we all need salted caramel at times…especially good over a lovely cup of tea…with peanut pancakes too!

      Yes, Betty & Lois definitely lived their lives sold out for God & incredible witnesses.

      My girls have their own children now so the legacy has been passed on down the generations…& to many who knew them…♥

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lori,
      Lovely to have you over, yes lovely memories & such a legacy of God’s love & grace.

      It is a lot more commercial there now then it was back in the 70s/80s but still culturally rich.
      Blessings to you too.


  5. Oh, Jennifer, what an adventure you had, living in Malaysia! Your girls are so lucky to have been introduced to a multi-cultural experience at such a young age. Great memories for you to share with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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