Hi, lovely to have you drop by…as you enjoyed my last reflection on the Leprosy community in Thailand… I thought I would share another inspiring adventure from the same period. An adventure that I still find astonishing in its timing…
To set the mood, I thought I would brew some black tea & accompany it with a delicious bowl of sweet & crispy coconut rolls for our theme…
The tea is a mellow blend, smooth on the tongue & the coconut rolls are so delicious that you can’t stop at just one! Mmmm…morish!
While working at Dalat School in Malaysia I had the privilege of meeting many visitors from all over the world, on one particular occasion I met an English family living & working in the Cameron Highlands at the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) school there, he was the principal & she a teacher.
I invited them over for dinner that night & we had a lovely time of fellowship together, their children were a little older than ours but all got on famously. On leaving they invited us to visit & share in their work in the Highlands.
So the next school break, we packed the car, took the car ferry from Penang across the Straits of Malacca to the mainland & headed for the Cameron Highlands…it was a picturesque trip through towns, passing Malay Kampongs (villages), Buddhist & Hindu temples, Mosques, farmland with water buffaloes, rice paddies, pigs, ducks & other animals.
We finally reached the foot of the mountains to start the ascent. The area was so interesting…with tea plantations blanketing the steep slopes of the mountainside. Tea pickers in their colorful Saris balancing baskets full of fresh green leaves from their heads scattered throughout the rows of tea bushes.
And little roadside stalls beckoning us to stop every so often, selling fresh produce & handmade crafts. The air became noticeably crisper & colder the higher we climbed, which was such a welcomed change after living in the humidity of the tropics…
We finally arrived at our destination which was a quaint old School Masters cottage from colonial days, complete with a wood heater in the living room & surrounded by the most beautiful English garden.
That night we enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal with our new friends & made plans to meet up a few days later for afternoon tea. We were given a warning to be very careful & watchful after dark, as Tigers roamed the surrounding forests!
Exploring Tiger Country
The next morning as we explored the area & its attractions, while driving I was sure I glimpsed a tiger amongst the bushes enjoying the sunshine!
Later that day we heard that a tea worker had been attacked by a Tiger the previous night, not far from the compound where we were staying (the worker had survived)! This news was rather sobering & a little unnerving!
It came time for the afternoon tea with our friends…while sitting around their cosy & warm fireplace, enjoying Devonshire tea together, my new friend started sharing their experience of the loss of their eldest child, who had died at birth…& retrieved a photo album from the shelf to share the photos of their child’s funeral.
Unexpected turn of Events
I’m a bit of a softy so I found this incredibly sad & a little overwhelming at the time. I felt incredibly privileged that they were comfortable to share this heart wrenching & deeply personal experience.
When the time came to say our farewells, my friend handed me a book called Angel Unaware by Dale Evans Rogers, saying she thought I would find it comforting. I thought this a very strange statement at the time but pushed it to one side thinking it had obviously been a comfort to them in their grief & that was what she had meant…
“He comes alongside us when we have hard times, & before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 Refer
I didn’t get to see these new friends again & sadly we lost contact over time but I can say without a doubt that this meeting was definitely God ordained!
It was a meeting over tea & treats that was a time of preparation for the coming events in my life as ten months later…
My daughter Candy passed away & then ten months later my son Benjamin also passed away. Full story shared HERE
I did find comfort in my friend’s experience & in Dale’s book, to know others had been through the death of their child & found strength in God’s love & grace was very comforting!
When you look back over your life dear friend…can you see definitive moments ordained by God? I would love to hear them in the comments section below…
Until next time…
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