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  • Susan Brown

Daily Challenges and Blessings

The dragonfly-sized bug fluttered near the desk lamp, it’s stiff wings rustling as it buzzed near the light.

With lightening-quick hands, Andy grabbed it and, just as quickly, popped it into his mouth. I wanted to believe he was teasing me, just pretending to eat it as he has pretended to eat a live baby gecko last week. Nope. There was a leg stuck between his front teeth. And a distinctive crunching sound.

I kept my face expressionless. Any show of distaste will prompt teasing with whatever creature grossed me out. They still bring any outsized cockroach they find and show it to me with uproarious laughter.

Not good enough. Danny saw my instinctive recoil and caught another bug.

“Look, Grandma,” he said. He bit it in two. “On the mountain we can eat.”

I’ve become accustomed to the kids snacking on things which aren’t food. After all, they spent their early years in mountain villages where protein is hard to come by. Bugs, frogs, and worms are all free nourishment.   But seeing them chow down on LIVING critters still gives me the shivers.

Then again, we don’t know that John the Baptist fried his locusts before dousing them with honey and dining….

While my teenagers have eating habits a tad more omnivorous than my American kids had, many things are the same the world over. Wrestling boys and drama queen girls and reluctant learners – as well as hugs and flowers and thoughtful gestures at times. I wouldn’t part with one of them!

Our homeschool is settling into a routine now. Mornings are Scripture memory and Bible stories followed by PACE work and tutoring assignments with laundry squeezed into the breaks. After lunch they finish up their lessons and do computer typing and reading speed and comprehension training. Twice a week they attend tutoring in Thai reading and math. Once a week they attend Thai informal school to earn their Thai dip


Andy is still not enthused about school, but does his work. Not cheerfully, but it gets done. For now, that will do.

In the evening we start teaching again for the second round. The kids who attend the Thai school are home at about 4:30. After dinner I work with one of the kids who has some learning problems. I suspect dyslexia. Then English at 7 o’clock for the whole group, followed by one subject of PACE work for the part-time students. That part of schooling Andy enjoys – when I announce, “Homeschool students are dismissed. The rest of you get out your PACEs.”

At 8:30 it’s time for family devotions and then off to bed. And I’m always ready!

Paul is gone this week for preachers’ training. It’s rainy season and has been particularly wet and muggy lately.  Mosquitos are a problem. (Instead of the guys eating bugs, these bugs eat our guys!) Please continue to pray with us that we find a permanent place to meet that is more conducive to study.

So far things have gone well here on the home front. Rusty’s wife Jemelle has been a great help with the kids as well as company for me while the guys are gone. Nothing has been seriously broken or destroyed and no major dramas have livened up our lives this week. I’m still eager for Paul to arrive back home tonight!

I’m not sure which village church we will be visiting on Sunday. Last week we planned to go to Hoe Dua – the least accessible of all the mountain villages we work with. It rained, though, and was just too dangerous to attempt. The roads are twisty and narrow and the bridges scary at the best of times. When they are as slick as glass, the danger of sliding off down the mountain greatly increases.

Instead we went to nearby Long Khoad. With the 20 people we brought and the 25 or so already gathered, we overflowed the building. People sat outside the doors and windows to hear the Gospel clearly preached.

The church members have been working on their new church building as they collect enough offerings for each new

project. This time there were lovely, insulating ceiling tiles newly installed. The ceramic tile roofs absorb the heat and make the building a sauna when the weather is hot. The ceiling tiles make a big difference in the heat level as well as the appearance. We also noted the new fans mounted on the walls. The service was great – and much more comfortable than previous ones.

We gave out bags of over-the-counter medicines and gave antibiotics and ointments to a few with special problems. Sincethere were so many of us – requiring both of our vehicles to transport us all – we didn’t stay for lunch, but traveled on home.

Many of our weeks are like this one. Nothing outstanding occurs and we do more of the same things we always do. But that’s what serving the Lord on the mission field is like. Days aren’t always filled with glamour and danger and thrills. Our lives are usually made up of consistent, daily service. But that service is for our glorious God, and it’s our privilege to offer it to Him. He is good!

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