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  • Susan Brown

Cold hands, Warm Hearts

Brrr.  It’s cold here in the tropics.  I know, I know, all our friends back in the States have been dealing with snow and ice and have more bad weather coming up.  Here, though, we are unprepared for temps in the upper 30s like we have had for the last couple of days.  Poor Paul is about frozen, and I hate to think of how our kids are feeling. They put on coats when it dips below 70 degrees!

When the weather first turned cool, I got out the scarves that Jean Mcdowell knitted for the kids. They were so happy to get them!  We had a few skirmishes, but overall, we dispersed them in an orderly fashion.

The weather has changed — and our life continues to change a bit.  I’m no longer going into Chiangmai for language school.  The daily trip was long and exhausting, so I had been praying for a different solution.  The Lord answered!  I am having private tutoring sessions with my new friend, Jeng. She is a retired teacher and now gives lessons in Thai and in English, as well as working in her daughter’s shop selling honey and doing washing and ironing.  Today I worked on telling time.  It’s very different and challenging!  Instead of saying “7 p.m.” for example, you say “1st hour of the evening.”

We are also using a unique method we devised. I write out a simple Bible story in English. Jeng translates it into Thai, then we work together on pronunciation and on any new words in the days’ story.  I think it will be a great way to learn grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary — all while building a file of stories I can use for teaching.

We are finished with Thanksgivings now.  However, New Year’s celebrations are coming up.  Paul has several preaching sessions scheduled. Between the preachers’ school, the many opportunities in the villages, and the Bible studies in the prisons, he is continually busy.

My beginning English students in the preachers’ school are progressing nicely.  It helps a lot that I know a few words in Thai.  It’s much easier to say the corresponding Thai word than do charades trying to get meanings across.  Paul’s advanced English students are coming along well, too.

For those who are wondering how to pray for us, here are a few requests:

We may be losing another set of houseparents and one of our most faithful workers is leaving to get married. We had a good meeting to portion out the responsibilities of caring for the children, but we see that we need more workers.  We particularly need someone who speaks Thai and is well educated enough to help with the children with their homework. (Our current houseparents are well educated, but are not fluent in Thai.)

We need the Lord’s hand smoothing out the wrinkles as we finish the land purchase in Burma.  I hope to go with Paul to see the land and take pictures soon. Stay tuned!

And in the blessing category:  We officially have two new grandchildren!  Madelyn and Cayden are now legally Browns.  The adoption went through Tuesday.  We are so thankful to God for answering our prayers and giving us these two precious children.  Our son Peter and his wife Stacie have been foster parents for them since they were tiny babies.  Now they are “keepers.”  God is good!

More blessings:  Several packages have come our way, filling some special needs.  I now have sewing patterns!  That was a big problem for me because they don’t have them here — even in Thai.  I’m thankful for friends and family who came to my rescue. I still need some in larger children’s sizes, but I have enough to get me started and busy for a while. (Thanks Mom and Doni Chambers!)

We also received nice tee shirts to go with the simple jumpers I’m making, thanks to a very sweet niece.  (Thank you, Rosemary!) Several friends from around the country have asked for suggestions of things to send. We so appreciate the giving hearts of our friends and family!

Blessings from Thailand,

Susan


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