What a place! We have visited this unique city, the capital of Malaysia two times before with YPO and had loved what we learned and saw. Malaysia is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic but has been declared as an Islamic State with a declaration of Freedom of Religion (with some exceptions).
Just as we flew into the airport at Kuala Lumpur we realized that we had lost an hour of time coming from Jakarta and that we were due to speak at an EO meeting about ninety minutes after we landed. After our experience with traffic in Jakarta, we were a little panicked about getting there (at least I was, Rick never panics). But our EO friends were even more worried. We had told them that we would be staying at the Hilton Hotel so they could pick us up but what we didn’t know is that there are three Hiltons in KL. They had placed someone at each location to ensure getting us to our meeting on time! We did!
They introduced us with a creative video showing the dangers and pitfalls explained in The Entitlement Trap that was fun and funny and got the parenting juices rolling! The gifted creator of the video is on the right. The room was full of electricity as we talked about how to “unspoil” their kids”.
The next morning had an interview with a delightful young woman who seemed happy to do the interview as parenting is the next step in her and her husband’s future. Such a cute, competent young woman!
Next we headed for a Christian Fellowship meeting with a friend whom we had met in Bogata Colombia last year who was part of a very interesting, dedicated group of Christians in a Muslim world in Kuala Lumpur. When we had met her in Colombia, she had said that if we ever came to KL she would love to have us come to her Christian Fellowship meeting. At that moment I had thought, “There is no way that going to happen,” but there we were! You just never know! Terrific people!
The Weichers are based Kuala Lumpur and introduced us to some incredible people who are not members of our church but who love and appreciate what the church is doing for their country. Particularly delightful was a woman named Elle, a widow who has single-handedly established a home for 52 seriously disabled children whose parents can’t care for them during the day. Another dear friend of theirs was a doctor who is a columnist in the most widely read newspaper in KL. He and his wife as well as Elle and her adopted son joined us for a special event called Building Strong Families that night at a place called the Community of Churches.
I wish I had a picture of the three long rows of Muslim women who work as teachers and children’s aids at Elle’s school and the wonderful banquet that the full-time young missionaries in KL and sensational senior missionaries had prepared for the crowd that came. Simply remarkable!
Our meeting was so much fun! We were introduced by a former Miss Malaysia (who also had dinner with us the night before) who was fun to get acquainted with. We had a room packed with parents and prospective parents who seemed to like our message. One of the most fun things was seeing our darling little Mariani Abdullah whom we had known many many years ago when she was a student at the University of Utah. She was recently in Utah and missed seeing Rick so it was especially fun to have her with us that night:
What a grand time we had in this marvelous place!
I do have to add a PS to this post just to mention that we were traveling on Malaysia Air while we were jetting around South East Asia much of the time while the newspapers and airwaves were full of non-stop coverage of trying to find Malaysia Air Flight 370. That disappearance happened just before we left for Bali and if you think the coverage was intense in the US, you wouldn’t believe the concern we felt in Malaysia. I sat by a guy on one of the flights that I think was having a pretty serious panic attack because of the incident. He sat down by me, then left, then came back, ran his hands through his hair about 50 times, suddenly fell asleep and snored and then began talking in his sleep (in Malay) complete with hand movements. Then repeat and repeat again. Finally just before we landed he left and didn’t come back. We were hoping he wasn’t in the bathroom with a bomb (JK…sort of). People were pretty panicked about that crazy incident all over the world, but it was probably the worst in Malaysia (and China). So sad for those people and their families!