February 26, 2008


Hello Friends and Family,

The last couple of days have been a lot of fun. Now that I have some time off with no work, we've just been hanging out together and with the great family we're staying with! Its been a lot of fun, having nothing to do. We are still getting some things done; Kealy is still subbing and I'm looking for some part time stuff, we had a great time with the college students last night and we are spending some time with fellow orient travelers tonight looking at pictures from Thailand. We are so thankful and grateful that we have a place to stay while we look for apartments and we have decided that Salem is the place where God is calling us to be. We are excited to begin to settle down here and continue to serve in ministry at Salem EC. Right now we're playing a crazy game of Battleship with Grace and Shelby Jamison...they've already sunk one of my ships :( Hope you guys have a great day. Here's some pictures of wild and crazy moments at the Jamison house!

Ryan and Kealy Thorson

February 23, 2008

Sine Die--Unemployed!--Learning MahJong

Hello Friends and Family,

Friday a surprising thing happened. I had know idea that when I went to work in the morning that it would be my last day at the capital. The legislative session that I have been working for was scheduled to continue until next Friday, and at that point I (Ryan) would be searching for further employment somewhere. But Friday, after a fourteen hour work day, full of running around, with short breaks to run to Subway and get dinner, we officially ended the legislative session a week early. It was a fun, but busy day. But now, my job is finished at the capital a bit earlier than I thought, but no worries, I guess I'll take a bit of a vactaion before seeing what's next. Actually, we've still got lots of stuff going on. Right now we are hanging out enjoying a quiet sunday night with nothing to do. We had a great weekend hanging out her in Keizer and yesterday we had a party celebrating the end of the legislative session at our friend Qin's house who worked at the capital with me. She is also from China, so we were able to share stories about our experiences and we had a great time together. She also taught us how to play the ancient Chinese game of MahJong. It was a complicated game to learn, but once we got the hang of it, it is quite fun. We enjoyed being back at worship in Salem this morning and are looking forward to doing bible study with college students tomorrow night at the church. Kealy is continuing to sub and I am going to begin looking for jobs and figure out where God wants me/us to be while here in Salem. We feel like we are getting settled in here in Salem and it is so much fun seeing everyone and spending time together. We do miss each of you in China that might be reading this blog, too, we think of you and lift you up often! We hope each of you have a great week experiencing God's goodness and faithfulness! Talk to you soon.

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

Watch out for lamp poles this week!

February 19, 2008

Up and Running!!!

Hello Friends and Family,

Hope you are having a great week. Like the title said, another week is up and running! This week is flying by, things are over halfway done at the capital and we will probably finish sometime next week. Although I don't really mind, every day is one more day making money. We are really thankful that I have been able to work there during the month of February. It hasn't been too stressful, with time to think and read while still working and bringing in the dough. On another exciting piece of job news, Kealy got her first call tonight to sub tomorrow in the Salem-Keizer School District. She is going to sub at Waldo Middle School teaching at an ESL class for 7.5 hours. So we're pretty excited about that.

We're having a great time staying with friends here in Salem and seeing people that are so special to us. I'm also excited to fill in for Randy with the college group the next couple weeks and share about some of our experiences in China and look at Scripture together.

We feel like we're getting settled into America again, although sometimes there are memory gaps or I get stressed out over little stuff but we're getting better. Hope you all have a great week. Talk to you soon.

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Oregon!!! (and happy valentines day)

Hello Friends and Family,

That's right, for those of you Oregonians who don't know (and for others who aren't Oregonians that don't care) today Oregon turned the big 149!!! Working at the capital turned Oregon's birthday into quite the event. Cake, lots of people, and a speech by the Governor at the capital all made the day a lot of fun. Not to mention, oh yeah, its Valentine's day. Hopefully you are all enjoying your families or spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. during this day. Don't forgot the One that loved you the most too. We are enjoying Valentines with of course, each other, but also with one of our adopted families/landlords of our bedroom in Keizer, the Jamisons. We had heartshaped pizza and an incredible heartshaped cake that was delicious. My stomach is the biggest its been since we left for China, but every bite was delicious. Kealy and I are going to see a late movie just the two of us tonight, but it is fun celebrating Valentine's day with a family too. I forgot how crazy Valentine's day is at school and with kids.

Kealy goes to her substitute orientation tomorrow so she can begin teaching next Tuesday in the salem-keizer area and the 'special' legislative session is winding down. We are still praying earnestly for God's direction in our life right now, but we are really enjoying see friends throughout the state and here in Salem and getting back involved with some of the ministries we were a part of before we left as well as some new ministries that are evolving. We are excited to try and apply what we learned in China to our experiences/ministry here, but sometimes it feels like we never left. Still though, we definitely get fuller faster when we eat, which is probably a good thing! Enjoy celebrating Oregon's birthday and this special day of Love! Happy Valentines Day!

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

February 10, 2008

A Week On Our Feet and Thailand Pictures

Hello Friends and Family,

Just checking in. We have been here in Salem for a week and it has gone by really fast. We have kept pretty busy and we are having a great time here, staying with a great family that has been so willing to let us invade their home so that we have a place to stay. This week was my first week back at the capital, which was exciting and busy. It has been fun being back at the capital, where there are a lot of different things going on.

One of the best parts of this week was the chance we had to tag along this weekend with the junior high group from Salem EC and have a weekend of fun in Sandy, visiting the snow and swimming at the athletic club. I have never seen as much snow at Government Camp as we did this weekend. We climbed on the snow drifts and went down the hill on intertubes. It was a great time of being with a group that we love so much and seeing such great maturity and growth in the group since we've been gone.

We are continuing to try and see everyone and spend as much time with people as possible. It is so great to come home to so many people who are genuinely excited to see us and hear about God's faithfulness to us during our time in China. Sometimes it feels like we were never gone, because we feel so welcomed home. Enjoy our pictures from our time in Thailand. Have a great week, relying on God's faithfulness as you believe and trust in Him!

Ryan and Kealy Thorson

Kealy rocking the moped!

Some of the beautiful scenery around our resort. We were next to a Nature Reserve so the scenery was beautiful.

One of the highlights of our trip, we got to ride an elephant together one day in Thailand.

Riding through the jungle!

After the ride, we got to reward our elephant with full, unpeeled bananas that he ate whole

My beautiful wife with a beautiful flower

Another exciting outing was when we hired a local fisherman to take us out to an island in the middle of the bay where our resort was. Here's Kealy, ready for the ride!

Ryan loved the water too.

On the island there were monkeys waiting for us, or for the bananas we had brought.

One happy monkey

A mama monkey with her baby.

Ryan's new friend

What a cute couple

Aye, Aye Captain!

On our next adventure, we took a canoe ride at sunset through the largest freshwater marsh in Thailand.

Our 'driver'

A picture full of beauty!

Overlooking the march, the border with the country of Myanmar is across the marsh.

The moon was bright that night

Boat ride number two, the fisherman showed us around the bay and took us to his fishing village.

The fishing village we visited.

More of the fishing village