the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

Filtering by Tag: truck

On the Road to Elephant Mountain...

A couple of weeks back we had the opportunity to accompany a missions team from Singapore to the Akha village of Doi Chang (Elephant Mountain) to attend the Christmas celebration there. We had a great time and even enjoyed the cold cold weather (temperatures in the 40s), but the trip was not without adventure! On the way to the village, after driving for about an hour up the dirt road, we heard a loud "clunk". A rod used to brace the frame had jiggled loose and simply fell off. Our poor truck, it has a hard life, driving on such rough village roads all the time! Luckily we were able to locate a couple of tools and Paul with his "MacGyver-like" skills was able to re-attach it. We finally made it to the village and finished the rest of the trip without incident. Needless to say, we got the truck into the mechanic as soon as we got back to the city. Luckily, he re-attached the the rod (with all the proper tools) for free! Here are a few pictures from our Singaporean friends! Thanks guys!

Truck driving through waterDriving up the mountain roadsThe broken partPaul underneath the truckThe men talking about a solutionPaul & Lori working on the truck togetherLori helping to fix the truckTalking by the truckElephant MountainPaul & friends eating dinnerPaul translatingPaul and Abi

Haven't We Already Been Through This??

So our truck is broken again. This time it's the gearbox - gears 1,2,3 & 5 are all a wreck. The great news is that it coincided with a loose wire that disconnected the starter, allowing our mechanic to catch it (and forcing us to stop and learn what was wrong). Best case scenario it will only cost us about $100, but the constant problems have us considering upgrading our vehicle again. So this week we will be in town, working with Aje on the new Akha reading primer. This book will be presented to all of the akha leaders (in the world!!) at the Hani-Akha conference in China around the new year.

Please pray for us!

Pray For Lori (and Abi, Esther & some Germans)

While I'm stuck in meetings discussing the new Akha orthography (actually, a really cool experience that I will fill you all in more on later) Lori is much more literally stuck in Mae Salong with a broken vehicle. You heard it right, our truck is broken again.

A very similar problem to all our other vehicle issues, actually, as there seems to be a crack in the feed from the radiator to the engine.

She has the baby, Esther and two German visitors - (one of whom is a doctor who just helped out with a free clinic in a local village, I'm sure that's another cool story that we will fill you all in more on later) - so her hands are full.

Please pray for peace for them, for safety and for a tow truck that actually can tow a vehicle (as opposed to the rope/bamboo contraption we dealt with before.)

Don't worry, we'll leave the vehicle in Mae Salong before we have Lori do anything dangerous.

Thanks for your prayers.

A New Truck

We have had some very interesting vehicle experiences over the last few months. And, although our Suzuki is back in our possession, she is on her last legs - stalling every time we tap the brakes. With a pregnant wife and a future child to care for, it has become obvious that our little Suzuki is no longer a reliable family or ministry vehicle. So we have been looking around for a "new" truck to fill our needs. Unfortunately, vehicles in Thailand (especially in Northern Thailand) are even more expensive than those in the US. The trucks we have looked at run around 470,000 baht. This number was incredibly discouraging to us, as we are just not comfortable spending that much money on a vehicle.

Fortunately, we have found a truck that will suit our needs that is much more reasonably priced. Our friends the Bazemore's are moving back to the U.S. to have their baby and have agreed to sell us their 1990 Nissan 4x4 for $7,250 (after they gave us a generous deduction in the price as a donation to our ministry). Even more incredibly, we had already received $2,500 in donations to help with this purchase before we asked for any help. God really takes wonderful care of us.

We have a little bit in savings, but if you would like to partner with us by donating towards this purchase it would be very much appreciated. You can print out a copy of our Partner Coupons or send your donations to:

Foursquare Missions International Attention: Paulette McCammon PO Box 26902 Los Angeles, CA 90026-0176

Please make checks out to Foursquare Missions International. Please include a note in the memo line which states “Support for Paul & Lori Vernon”.

All donations are tax deductible

No fees or administrative charges are deducted from your donation. One hundred percent of your donations are available to us for our personal and ministry needs.

It would also be helpful if you could contact us to let us know about your donation. This will help us to designate the funds correctly. To contact us, please Click here and choose "Partnership Info" in the Subject box.

Thank you all for your continued support.

The truck named Suzi

Our Suzuki jeep has had a major engine problem (read the whole story here). The truck is currently at the mechanic and we are awaiting the diagnosis. Pray for us, that we'll have wisdom about how to proceed once we learn the problem. God has already provided a loaner vehicle for us to use in the meantime, but even now, we ask that you begin praying for the provision of a permanent replacement vehicle in the case that Suzi has rolled her last mile.

Suzi is healed...

If you don't know who Suzi is, don't feel bad; there's really no reason that you should. You see, Suzi is what we affectionately call our little rough & tumble Suzuki Caribbean Jeep. Although, this is quite likely the "toughest" car either of us have ever had, the last week has been pretty hard on her.

About a week ago, the back left brake was broken and leaking oil (I hope all you mechanically minded people out there will pardon my inarticulate language. Since I'm not a mechanic and since our mechanic speaks only Thai, we never really heard the official diagnosis.) A friend of ours told us about an excellent mechanic here in Chiang Rai, so we took the poor girl in for a check up. The mechanic was able to repair and replace everything in a day's time, all for under $35. We were impressed and swore that he'd be our mechanic for life. Little did we know how soon we'd see him again.

On Sunday, we took a day trip to Mae Salong for Church in the village. On the way up, the jeep started stalling on some of the steeper inclines and there was a very unsettling "clunking" sound as we shifted gears. So on Monday it was back to the mechanic. By Tuesday afternoon, he had (1) replaced a part in the fuel line which was broken and allowing water & dirt to mix in with the gasoline (no wonder she was stalling!) and (2) replaced a pin in the four-wheel drive mechanism that had sheered. This time the total bill was about $40.

We just wanted to praise God for his hand in allowing everything to go so smoothly & painlessly. So often in Thailand, we tend to fall flat on our faces when we encounter a new problem. Quite honestly we're getting quite used to having our face in the mud, but it is kind of nice to remain upright for a change. All in all, we're so blessed to have our car in great working order (& purring like a kitten) for under $75!


Did you know that they drive on the left side of the road in Thailand? It was for this reason that I was rather surprised when Nancy asked me if I was ready for to try my hand at it this afternoon. Apparently everyone was away or busy and I was the only person available to pick up her two sons, Zion & Silas, from school. So, being the adventurous gal that I am, I agreed. And after finding a suitable co-pilot and some quick directions, we were on our way. Now, there are a few main differences aside from the obvious. For one, the driver sits on the right side. So, you must change gears with the left hand instead of the right (which requires extra attention if it's a stick shift.) Another difference, I figured out as we were pulling out of the driveway. I flipped on my turn signal on and my windshield wipers started going full speed. You guessed it, the turn signal and windshield wipers are opposite, too.

brokenmirror Other than those small adjustments everything seemed to be going well. After about 10 km on the same road it was time to make my first turn (really more of a "veer"). As I turned, I was really focusing on NOT hitting the cars on my right (it's quite an adjustment to have oncoming traffic to the right) and apparently I didn't pay enough attention to my left and well... I hit a pole on the side of the road! Now before you get scared, let me clarify. I really only nicked the pole with my side view mirror. But unfortunately, it was just hard enough to shatter the mirror! You'll be happy to know that the rest of the trip was quite uneventful. After we arrived at the school to pick up the boys, they thought my little mishap was quite funny and couldn't wait to tell on me. I ended up bribing them with candy to keep quiet until I had a chance to tell Nancy myself.

Everyone here had been very understanding and they all say, "Don't worry, it happens to everyone!" It doesn't seem to be a big deal, especially since the repair costs are so cheap out here. (It will probably only cost $25-50 to repair the damage). All in all, We've had some pretty good laughs about it and it's a great story, One that we'll tell for years to come.

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