- Susan Brown
Back from the Twilight Zone
They call it the Twilight Zone — or at least, I call it that. The place where you feel suspended between cultures and time zones. Neither East nor West seems real.
I was there for a week or two when we came back to Thailand from our trip to America. A body clock set in the west and a heart yearning for those we left – but a life in the east with a calling from God and children to raise.
Life is approaching normal. By now we are adjusting — sleeping and waking up at the right times. Our palates are becoming accustomed to Thai food again.
They all grew while we were gone, and one in particular came back with a square jaw that had lost the soft roundness of childhood. Although not much taller, his shoulders look broader and he has the indefinable look of one who has taken a physical leap from a child toward adulthood. It was a sudden reminder that we won’t be having these kids forever. In another few blinks of the eye they will be grown.
We are also back to work with the churches. Paul spent several days in meetings with pastors and groups. They saved all their knotty troubles for him to unravel and set straight. He dealt with them patiently and faithfully.
Answered prayer – or rather, two of them. Transportation has been a problem here. With only one vehicle, Paul has had to drive everyone wherever they needed to go. When Paul is gone to preachers’ training, we have no other means of transportation than the expensive Grab (which took over from Uber here in Asia) or the steamy, packed song taus.
Thanks to several special donations, we were able to buy another motorcycle and another truck. Both were unusually good deals. We were particularly wanting a motorcycle for Kimmy to drive when she comes back to Thailand in November and were delighted to find one at a price we could afford.
Are you wondering why I didn’t mention driving myself? There’s a good reason for that! I’m terrified of driving here in Thailand. Perhaps if we move out to a small town or a more rural setting, I will attempt it. Here in Chiang Mai the traffic is just too crazy! Neither William nor Kimmy share my fear, so Paul will be relieved of much of the carting and fetching duties.
And another prayer request: We have another student who will be schooling at home with me this year. Andy earned his sixth grade certificate and will turn 15 in a few weeks. Those two things enabled us to enroll him at the Thai informal school for classes one day a week to work toward his twelfth grade certificate. We’ve also scheduled him for tutoring in Thai and math at Kumon with Moses and Nora. I will teach him in English with them the rest of the time, using the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum.
It will be a major help to us and will make schooling easier if he likes it. Also, if he is positive, the two promoting into our school next year, Molly and Jay, will more likely be coming with a good attitude. Would you pray with me that he would be happy with the arrangement?
Thank you to all of you who pray for us faithfully. God hears, and we see the results. And a big thank you for those who give so that we can carry on the work here! It was your gifts that bought school clothes and supplies today. You invested in the lives of kids who otherwise would have no future. God bless you for it!
For the youth group at The Door in Three Rivers, Oregon, who raised the funds for the motorcycle and for those donors who gave toward the truck – we give you an especially enthusiastic “thank you!”
We are happy to be here in Thailand, and we know it is those who are “holding the ropes” who make it possible. We appreciate each of you!