2015 Year In Review

Hey You!!

Did you ever blank on someone’s name, and resort to calling them ”you”? Well, If you’re receiving this email, it means that you are not just a ”you” to us, but a special part of our lives, even if I (Rob) still can’t figure out how to merge a [NAME] field to make you feel even a little bit more special. Comfort Ye! We have not forgotten any of your names! Note to self: Learn how to merge fields in my email so people feel more special.

So, please do grab a cup of your favourite beverage and celebrate the end of 2015 together with us.

#1 This One Thing.. Family

One of the biggest parts of our lives is family. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family, friends, and supporters here in Chiang Mai, as well as during our trips to Sweden and the USA. It doesn’t matter how tired we are at the end of those visits; we are soon ready for more!

 

#2 Our Boys Our Joys

When Veronica and I see the way Rasmus and Lucas allow God to work in their lives, it is an inspiration to us. We mostly appreciate the way they enjoy each other’s company. And we also love taking them on Mommy and Daddy dates! See some more pictures of the boys here.

 

#3 Today’s Reader

Rasmus loves reading books. At age 1 1/2 he helped us win a year’s supply of diapers in a Pampers video contest when I once filmed him in his diaper, reading a book. It might be noteworthy that the book he was reading was upside down. Who knew he would be such an avid reader today? I am pretty sure he has already surpassed me in the number of pages he has read. For those of you who know me, I guess that doesn’t say much. But I’m still really impressed!

 

#4 Artist and Mathematician

Lucas’ favourite past-time is drawing and counting. He is rarely seen without a pencil or pen in his hand. We framed and hung one of his pictures on our wall to remind us of the creativity God has put into him. And he is also fond of making mathematical observations everywhere he turns. The other day he was explaining to Veronica how simple 10 + 6 is the same as 9 +7. Duh Mom!

#5 Grounding Our Connections

We believe that to stay grounded and know who you are, and where you come, from means making time to reconnect with good friends. Last summer, in Sweden, we carved out some calendar time to spend with our good friends, the Thiessen family, who work in Nepal. It’s so cool to see them all change and grow every time we meet. You can see a few more pictures here.


My Food Ebook FOR SALE!

Do you like eating food? Do you like supporting mission? Then how about buying my ebook called Food Portfolio? It’s full of foods and drinks I have enjoyed living overseas. You can feel good knowing your money is going to something bigger than food and drink! Note! It is only available on iPad. Sorry Android users 🙁
Buy it here.. Now


#6 The Age Of Travel

I think our boys have collected nearly 100 flights together since they were born. We are a family of travellers, and the boys have their own system down pretty well. They pack their own little carry-on bags with all the necessities. I imagine if they ever owned an airline together, Rasmus would prefer that all seats be First Class, and Lucas would make sure their flights were the fastest on earth!

#7 New Home

No, these guys are not our new roommates. They are the movers who helped us put our furniture into our new rental, in a really great neighbourhood close to work, school and friends. Thank you God for finding the perfect home for us! I love how relaxed Thais are, when they can plop themselves down into someone else’s furniture, as if it was their own, and light up a cigarette.

#8 Party Time For Al

Date nights are something we have missed since moving to Thailand. But now that we have developed some deeper friendships, the boys get to enjoy sleepovers, and Veronica and I get to spend some quality date nights together.

#9 Classical

One of Veronica’s passions is her violin. This autumn she got to perform in a beautiful theatre in Chiang Mai alongside some well known Asian pianists. What a classy event that was! I recorded the entire concert. You can listen to it here.

#10 Photography

One of my passions is photography. I get to do cool photo shoots like this one – a graduation photo of a missionary  ‘kid’ from Chiang Mai. And the cool thing is I get to do what I love and sometimes make a little extra money on the side. You can see more of my grad and family photos here.

#11 A Rare Treat

Usually, Veronica’s and my work schedules keep us separated. The romantic in me often laments how nice it would be if we could work together more often. Well, last spring we got to work together on part of a film I was involved in. I was directing a live animation scene in a green screen studio, and Veronica got to be my script advisor. The thing that made me most happy was when she said she actually really enjoyed the entire day! You can watch the film here & photos here.

#12 Clovis

A family newsletter just isn’t complete without the family dog. Clovis, our beautiful Thai dog has proven to be a real gem. She has gained control over her addiction to chewing up welcome mats and plant leaves, and instead has turned her hobbies towards killing snakes, cockroaches and rats around our graden. She still is clueless as to what the words ”Clovis! Come!” means, but other than that, she’s doing pretty darned well!

You can see Clovis kill a snake here!

God’s richest blessings & Merry Christmas to you!
Rob, Veronica, Rasmus and Lucas

Thai Noodles – februari 2013

thai_logo_sm
Nya tider, nya smaker, nytt land

These are the first Thai noodles I bought since arriving in Chiang Mai. They were delicious!Thai noodles! Det var faktiskt (passande) vad vi åt till lunch idag och de smakade bra. Jag cyklade till en restaurang en bit bort och beställde mat på min småbarns-thailändska. Mannen i restaurangen lyssnade tålmodigt på mina snavande försök att använda ”lätta” ord, som ”den”, ”ha” och ”innan”. Jag omvänder mig härmed från min brist på tålamod med andra som försökt lära sig ”engrish”. Lyckligtvis är de många thailändarna vi möter förvånansvärt hjälpsamma i vår strävan att lära oss deras vackra språk.

Det är svårt med den totala förändringen av livsstil, och allt vi behöver lära oss för att leva i en helt ny kultur. Sedan vi kom hit för en månad sedan har vi försökt att inte vara alltför beroende av andra utlänningar, som förvisso hjälpt oss oerhört mycket. Det är inte det att vi vill undvika dem, vi är ju också utlänningar :-), men vi vet hur lätt det är att bara relatera till dem och inte ha så mycket kontakt med lokalbefolkningen.

The woman on my right is the cafe owner. She and her employee (Ning) greet me with a friendly smile every time I stop by to

Så vi försöker göra saker som att hänga vid kaffestånden och gå till marknaden, där vi övar våra senaste thaifraser. Varje gång gläds vi över att människor är så generösa med sin tid för att hjälpa oss med språket. Jag har aldrig förr träffat på en kultur (läs människor) som är så vänliga och hjälpsamma mot sina utländska gäster.

Det är inte lika lätt för barnen att lära känna thailändska barn. Största delen av dagarna är Rasmus  i en internationell skola, där många kulturer blandas, bland annat den thailändska. När han väl  kommit hem, gjort sin läxa och ätit, är det mörkt ute och han utmattad av dagen. Lucas går på ett förskolekooperativ fyra dagar i veckan. De andra killarna i hans grupp är alla västerlänningar, så han träffar inte thailändska barn där. Däremot har han en thaifröken en dag i veckan som är toppen.

Veronica and I are finding our way around the area so we can practice our Thai at the local market.

Trots allt har vår första månad i Thailand gått väldigt bra. Vi har hört många historier om hur det kan vara, och är tacksamma för det första kapitlet av vår thailandshistoria. Vi fick flytta in i ett fint möblerat hus, som vi hyr i andrahand i sex månader. Vi har köpt en bil, öppnat ett thailändskt bankkonto och skaffat mobilnummer utan några större problem och ber att det kommer fortsätta på den vägen. De utmaningar vi mött hittills bleknar i jämförelse med alla välsignelser vi fått. Lite som det bibelord en vän skickade mig när hon hörde att jag hade det jobbigt: ”Men välsignad är den man som förtröstar på Herren, den som har Herren till sin förtröstan…” Jeremia 17:7-8. Tack Jesus för att du välsignar oss när vi följer dig!

Be med oss

1. Språk och kulturförståelse – Detta är vårt huvudfokus under de kommande månaderna. Veronicas språklektioner är väldigt intensiva och fullmatade med information, så det är svårt att tillgodogöra sig allt. Mina lektioner är mycket långsammare så jag måste pusha och hitta saker själv att studera. Be för oss båda att vi hittar balans i hur vi bäst kan lära oss så mycket som möjligt. Det som är bra är att man lätt får kontakt med många människor som man kan öva thailändska med. Att lära sig deras språk är ett bra sätt att dela Jesu kärlek.

bedtime Nabi2. Alla förändringar – De påverkar våra pojkar mer än oss. Be att Rasmus och Lucas får känna sig hemma här. De måste lära känna två nya kulturer; den thailändska och den nya skolkulturen, som båda är väldigt annorlunda mot vad de är vana vid.

3. Beskydd – En stor skillnad mellan Thailand och Sverige är bristen på säkerhet här. Chiang Mai har mest olyckor i hela landet. De många motorcyklar och bilar som delar på vägen, och trafikanternas egna tolkningar av trafikreglerna, gör att det är farligt att vara ute i trafiken. Bilar är dyra, men när jag ska börja köra till jobbet skulle jag helst vilja ha en bil att köra istället för en motorcykel som vi först planerat. Be gärna om beskydd för oss i trafiken.

Thai Noodles – November 2012

How do you prepare a move to Asia?

Hi friends! We’re now in the pre-launch phase of our move to Thailand. In just a little less than three weeks we will be pulling a trailer out the gates of beautiful Restenäs where Veronica and I have served the Lord for 13 good years of our lives. We’ll spend the Christmas holiday with Veronica’s parents in the north and then fly out to Thailand in the beginning of January. There are a lot of emotions swimming in our hearts these days. After 13 years, a place can do that to you! We’ll miss Restenäs, its people, and the memories that we’ve created together.

moving boxes
Moving boxes wait in our guest room, ready to be shipped to the north

Heading into the great unknown

This is the first time our family has ‘really’ moved. And so far it’s been a bit like herding cats, with many things to consider. Here are just a few: applying for school for the boys, getting vaccinations, finding a house to rent, choosing a language school, raising more support, deciding what is and isn’t available in another land, like cheese slicers? But, so far, it’s gone pretty well. My last day of work in the media office went so smoothly, I had to pinch myself to see if I was only dreaming. And I wonder how many lessons we’ll take with us into this new culture. I moved to Sweden 13 years ago, and I feel I’m only still a baby when it comes to understanding the culture that has become my home! And what about the spiritual stuff? What sorts of challenges will we confront in the coming years? At least after reading this entry, you’ll have a small idea of how to pray for us!

Three weeks & 3,000 miles

Private ranch road on J59 road to Merced
J59 is one of my all-time favorite roads in California. And this is one of my favorite views facing the Sierra Neveda foothills.
View pictures from my trip!

I just returned from the USA after three weeks of non-stop meetings in preparation for our move to Thailand. As usual, my parents graciously loaned me one of their cars so I could travel up and down the Golden State and touch bases with family, friends and supporters. The car was not the only one in overdrive! I set up appointments, meals and coffee meetings with as many people as possible. One of the reasons was to raise money for our upcoming move. And of course the other reason was simply to spend some time, if only a few hours, with friends. Looking back, I can say that I had an excellent time! I only wish I had more of it. So a big ‘Thank you!’ to everybody for freeing up your busy schedules to meet with me. Mostly, thank you Mom and Dad for allowing me to use most of my visit to do what a volunteer worker needs to do to keep doing what he does. Your sacrifice of not having your son around as much as you would have liked did not go unseen. I love and appreciate you both!
More pictures from my trip!

A really awesome Christmas gift!

Waiting for Spring book coverHave you checked out my photo book called Waiting for Spring? I made it this summer and it’s for sale now at blurb.com. I hope you’ll order a few copies and pass them out to your family and friends for Christmas 🙂 FYI I’m not making a bundle of profit on this book, it being my first and all. I just want to see it get into peoples’ hands who might need an encouragement, or who might enjoy some pretty landscape pictures.
Blurb thumbnailAnd don’t forget, if you don’t want to spend the money on the paper version, there’s always the eBook for $4.99!
Waiting For Spring would make a nice stocking or iPad stuffer, just in time for Christmas!
Note! Only currently available for iPad, iPhone or iTouch

Pray with us

Darby Family

Preparing for our move to Thailand – We have lots of details to sort out before our departure. We found a house and health insurance! Thank you God! But we still need to: buy a car and a motorcycle, choose a language school, pack our things and move to the north, and raise more funds for our move.

Family health – Please pray for good health during this super-busy time. Especially for the boys during cold and flu season.

Heart surgery news – Just think; It’s already been a year since my surgery! My back is doing much better, but it still has a way to go. I continue to have tight muscles in my back and shoulders and between my shoulder blades. The good news, I no longer need to take Metoprolol! The medicine I was told I have to take for the rest of my life.

CAUTION! DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE EASILY SWAYED!

Now, if you chose the dangerous path to keep on reading, we invite you to consider helping us in our move to Thailand by either joining our support team (by donating regularly to our ministry), or by giving a one-time donation towards our move. The cost of our move is approximately $20,000US. That sounds like a lot and it is. But before you gulp too loudly, let me explain that some of that raw cost is already covered by things like potentially selling our car before we leave Sweden, and some gifts that have already come in.

Here’s how you can help support our ministry:

We love what we do, serving God with our gifts and talents as volunteers in YWAM. But we can’t do it alone.

PayPal donate button

Would you consider making a donation to our ministry?
$10, $50, $100 or another amount

Here are some things we need to raise money for:
car
A car and motorcycle
for getting around town, going to work and transporting the boys to a from school
plane
Flight tickets
We’ll be doing travel for work and furlough trips on regular intervals.
plane
PAID!! Boys’ school fees

Do you have questions?
We’ll be happy to share with you if you’re interested. Just drop us an email.
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