Day 86:
Life in Vientiane

April 24, 1998    Late Friday Evening, Almost Day 86

Dear Family,

We met Bill & Marie Claire McDonough at the Laos border on Lao time, about thirty minutes late.  The Laotians always told us that their time was elastic, it could stretch if needed and sure enough the buses were running late. Have you ever spent ten hours nonstop with Bill McDonough? For the past two months he and Marie Claire have been in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Thailand and Israel.  He had wonderful news to share and we rejoiced with the victories in many places.  The best news was that the Laos situation is in good hands with Tommy and Mary Alice.  The Allisons have a good grasp on what they need to do and are already digging in for the long haul. Part of Mary Alice's message to her family today is attached.  Bill has a wonderful vision for the Gospel to reach all parts of the world and is organizing a worldwide evangelism conference in Jerusalem for the year 2000. We put them on the 7:30 P.M. flight to Bangkok tonight knowing that we had a much better picture of how we need to plan Burma and Laos for the balance of this year.

Here is part of Mary Alice's family news today:

From: Tommy Allison
Subject: Settling in
Dear Family,
We came over to the house after nine this morning.  Of course, we didn't have much to put up except what we had in our suitcases.  We also went to the little store across the street and spent 120,000 kip.  It was quite a wad since the biggest bill they have is worth 1,000 kip and it takes 2,500 kip to spend a dollar.  It was still expensive as it was close to $50 and we only got a little box full.  When we have time we are going to the market and get us some fresh vegetables and fruit.   

Thursday, we had 5 different meetings.  The last one lasted until 9 last night.  We also toured the well sites where PIP has drilled wells and built potties.  We also visited a hospital.  We went first class.  They picked us up in a Land Rover of quite ancient vintage.  We sat on a bench along the side in the back.  It was a rough, hot and dirty ride.  They are real proud of their wells though and are anxious to get started again.  We told them that we are too, but you know what our willingness to complete depends on. The ambassador is working with us on this also.  They are anxious to get the English classes started again.  I will teach in my very best Texan!  Each day when we returned to our hotel room, we could turn a washrag brown just washing our faces and arms.  Conditions aren't too nice, but the people are the same sweet gentle people we know so well from Thailand.  We didn't have water at the house until 3 this afternoon.  Ken and Jean were kind enough to let us use their washer.  We brought it over from their house in the back on a tuktuk with us.  It's just a baby.  Anyway, your daddy didn't have the tools to finish hooking it up so had to wait until Vien's husband, Lom or Log or something got off work and brought his tools. We have the first load in now.  Hopefully, soon we will have some clean clothes.  I asked Davalee to work for us for 3 days a week like she did for Jerry & Meg. She seems like a sweet girl.  Her husband is one of the ten. She will start Monday. 

We had a great time with Bill and Marie Clair McDonough.  They are fun to be with, and he really has good experience dealing with governments. We really liked the ambassador.  She spent about an hour with us yesterday and then the head of the humanitarian department came to the hotel and visited with us again last night.  They just want everyone to be very patient as they are working hard on this situation.  They don't want us to jeopardize any steps they have made.

We do love and miss each one of you.  I am sure your daddy has missed me as he is continuing to get things hooked up and ready to go.

Love and kisses,
Mother and Daddy

The above report is just a portion of the activity revolving around the Laos Ten and the Phon Kheng Church of Christ.  Other contacts have and are being made this week to encourage the body of Christ that has experienced arrest, jail, trial, prison, and ridicule.  Your prayers are being answered for faith and patience among the persecuted Laotian Christians in Vientiane. Phonsawan brought John David when she visited the Allisons this afternoon. She hasn't lost her sparkle or smile after 86 days! How are you doing in your situation?

God bless,
Ken & Jean Fox
Udorn, Thailand

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