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  • Susan Brown

An Emergency Trip to the Hospital

I knew it the moment I saw the truck creeping down the busy street in the market. Maybe it was the flashers. Maybe I’m a bit psychic. When Paul rolled down his window and shouted, “Hurry, get in!” I knew for sure we were headed for the hospital. The question was — who was injured?  I fumbled with the door handle, nearly dropping my armful of newly-purchased packages in my hurry and alarm. At last the door swung open. Danny. He crouched on the seat, shaking in pain and fear, clutching a bloody dishtowel around his hand.

As Paul threaded his way through the street thronged with shoppers, I heard the disjointed story. Danny had sped out of our gate on his bicycle without looking to see if a car was coming. One was. Just in time he swerved to miss the car, but smashed into Preston’s bicycle. In the process he mangled the last joint of his left index finger.

As I tried to comfort Danny I was surprised when he started sobbing, “Go home! Go home!” It turns out he has a morbid fear of needles. The thought of a shot was worse to him than the pain of the finger which was ripped open and bleeding profusely. He wanted to go back home. I learned that Paul had taken him to the local clinic, and he had refused to get out of the car, so Paul carried him in. When Paul set him down, he collapsed on the floor and refused to get up.The clinic sent him on to the ER.

At the hospital he again refused to get out of the car, and we drove for blocks to find a parking place. (No, they don’t have ER parking.) As we finally pulled into a parking spot, I prayed with Danny, asking God to calm his heart and give him courage. He stopped sobbing and got out of the car to walk to the hospital. We were thankful! Paul would have carried him, but he is a big kid. I hated to think of the backache that would be sure to follow.

The ER in Thailand is similar to those in the US, except that there are no curtains surrounding the patients.  The people are all on gurneys in a large room, and the neighbors watched in interest as the doctors and nurses worked on Danny’s finger.

The doctor was a lovely young lady, wearing a jacket trimmed in fur, a very short skirt, and four-inch heels. She was easily distinguishable from the nurses because they wore starched white dresses and nurses caps. I was reminded of the old “Tammy and the Doctor” movie from the fifties.

In spite of the doctor’s unprofessional appearance, she seemed both kind and capable. She checked Danny out to make sure he had no other injuries and supervised as the nurses cleaned the wound. An x-ray showed no fracture, so she turned Danny over to a man in scrubs. (Another doctor?)

Danny had suffered through all this with quiet sobs, but at the sight of the needle with local anesthetic, he lost it. “Go home!  Go home!” he screamed. He grabbed Paul around the neck and pulled him down until their cheeks were touching. The entire time the shots were applied and his finger was being stitched, he held Paul there in a vise-like grip. Paul murmured encouragement and comfort to Danny and endured the uncomfortable position without complaint.

The doctor says the finger should heal well, but the nail bed was destroyed. He won’t have a nail on that finger, or if he does it won’t be “su-ai” (beautiful.)

Paul’s comment on this harrowing experience? “I was hoping to spend some one-on-one time with the kids. This wasn’t what I planned, but it was a chance to show Danny that we love him and will stand with him when he has trouble.”

In another week the stitches will come out and we will see what the finger looks like.

Oh, and the cost of the ER, x-rays, stitching, anesthetic and medicine? About $30. What a blessing!

In other news — We had another good Lord’s day, in spite of unexpected bumps in the road. William is enrolled in the local vo-tech school. He’ll be studying tourism, focusing on English.  We hope he will be able to go on to the university when finished with that. BUT — they had orientation yesterday (Sunday). In a Buddhist country Sunday is usually the day chosen for meetings. Lek went with him, which meant that he couldn’t translate for the church service.

Jum wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t have a translator for Sunday School, either. Since William usually helps me when Jum isn’t there, Preston got the job. He isn’t sure of himself and was reluctant to try, but made a valiant effort and was a big help. I was surprised how much of it I was able to tell in Thai. The Thai classes are beginning to pay off!

We managed, with the help of a lot of charades, to get through the story of Moses and the burning bush, although I don’t think the visitor kids who have never heard it before got the finer points of the story.

We had visitors for church service. We met a missionary to Thailand from the Philippines at our Thai class. He came with his wife and his two adult children. We certainly enjoyed having them!  However, language became a problem. They speak English, but are also just learning Thai. The children don’t speak English well enough to follow a sermon. What to do? Flexible! That’s the key word, here. After the singing, we divided up and Paul preached to the English-speakers at our house while Joshua preached in Lahu to the kids and our regular Lahu attendees.

Not an ideal situation, but Paul really enjoyed preaching without an interpreter.  Afterwards we had a precious time of fellowship. It was a real blessing!

It’s Monday now and we face a busy week of school, paperwork and meetings for the foundation, and, yes, more meetings about the man who continues to cause trouble for the poor people in the mountains. Many are facing the loss of their homes and the churches endure persecution from this man and his followers. Please pray with us that the Lord will stop this guy.  He also has two children in his home, including a three-year-old. They need protection!

Other prayer requests:

*Please pray for Danny, that his finger will heal well.

*The kids are having testing this week. Please pray with us that they will do well and will be able to pass to the next grade.

*For our ability to learn Thai.

*For direction about areas of ministry.

Thanks for your prayers and your loving support!

Blessings from Thailand,

Susan

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