It’s the reason we came to Thailand and it is our most important ministry. Paul teaches about 35 pastors and evangelists from the Lahu and Lisu tribes. These men have a heart for God, but had never been taught. They have no books or commentaries in their language and most had never been under the teaching of a godly leader.
Paul takes these men and pours himself into them for one week each month. They gather from Myanmar and northern Thailand and hungrily absorb the solid teaching Paul gives them for hours each day.
Paul can only be in one place at a time, and can only preach to one group at a time. By teaching men who can go out to places he can’t go, he doesn’t just add to his ministry. He multiplies it. (II Timothy 2:2; Mark 3:13,14)
Please pray that God would continue to bless this ministry and raise up many great preachers among the hill tri
For a long time the hill tribes churches have struggled on alone. Often they have been prey to unscrupulous groups who have manipulated them for gain. We are here to help and encourage them.
Paul teaches that the churches are autonomous. He isn’t the head – Christ is the head. Each church is responsible for making her own decisions, but Paul is available to help and to counsel when asked.
Two or three Sundays a month find us on the road to remote villages. Paul preaches and we spend time visiting the church people and giving practical help when needed. We love these folks and are doing all we can to encourage strong churches.
Paul often has opportunity to preach in villages where there is no church and no Gospel witness.
Nine young people live with us in our home. We aren’t an orphanage, but a family. The kids call us “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” Most of the children have been abandoned by one or both parents. Many came from a children’s home where they were abused and neglected. Others came because there were no educational opportunities in their home village. We love them all and do our best to provide a happy home and the opportunities they have never had before. Our prayer is that the Lord will save each one and use them in a great way to help their people in the future.
The young people in the village face a life of poverty and discrimination. Many villages don’t have schools. Those who do have a school only have classes to the sixth, or at most, the ninth grade. They have only a future of hard manual labor ahead of them.
We want to give them a hand up out of hardship and need. People are always trying to give us their children so they will have a chance at life. We hope, instead, to provide an education for these kids near their own villages.
We are in the beginning stages of this ministry. Last year we took in two students who attended the local informal school one day a week. This school is similar to a GED course in the US, but is expanded over several years. The other days they studied at home with us, using the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum. They did well, learning to converse in English and to read and write on a third grade level in less than a year.
A third student joined them this year. Until the other children in our home reach 15 years old, Susan teaches them for an hour to an hour and a half each evening in preparation for the time they will join our learning center. Our new property is near twenty Lahu villages. The teenagers there will be able to come in to our learning center each day for educational opportunity that will help them out of poverty. We look forward to building our new facility and beginning this new outreach.
We had our first high school graduate last year. With help from our special education fund, he is now studying at Payap University in Chiang Mai. We hope to see many more young people attend the university and go back one day to help their people as doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers and other professional people.
The people in the remote mountain villages are poor and isolated. Many don’t have access to medical help. Often they don’t speak Thai, so they can’t communicate their needs to a doctor when a clinic is available to them. Lack of funds keeps many from getting even basic care.
Susan has no formal medical training, but with the help of medical mission teams and other helpful resources, has taken on the task of dispensing basic, over-the-counter medicines. Simple things like a cream for aching joints and treatment for worms and stomach ailments make a big difference in the lives of these beloved brethren.
A gift of a “baby bag” with an outfit of clothing, a hand-made hat and booties, and a blanket makes a difference for a mother with little or no resources. We keep these on hand to give to families with new babies.
It’s hot in Thailand, but a few weeks in December and January are uncomfortably cool in the mountains. The people live in bamboo huts with no heat and have little warm clothing, so those weeks are hard, especially for the children. Susan and friends in America make hats all year long to distribute to the children when the weather turns cold.
The lack of clean water is a big problem. We have distributed dozens of water filters to villages to help with this need.
Helping needy families
We often encounter special needs in the villages. The mother with HIV who needed money for baby formula, the woman whose husband abandoned her and their five children, the family whose house and possessions burned, the elderly pastor who suffered a stroke – all these applied to us for help. How can we say, “Go your way, be warm and filled?” We can’t solve all the problems of the hill tribes people, but we can help in small ways when confronted with severe situations. We believe the Lord would have us do no less.