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  • Susan Brown

Dangerous Escapades, Discomforts, and Blessings

“Paul, please don’t do it,” I begged.

“There’s no other way,” he insisted as he put the shaky ladder on top of the patio table.

“Let Moses go do it, then.”

“It’s too dangerous. He might fall and break his neck,” Paul answered, adjusting the ladder and obviously planning his ascent.

“If it’s too dangerous for him, it’s too dangerous for you,” I cried. I couldn’t decide which I felt more of — anger, despair, or fear.  Fear probably won the contest.

The adventure started Sunday afternoon. We had a great service that morning. Since we were hoping to reserve Bro. Ai Donkham’s strength for preachers’ training this week, we had another service here in Chiang Mai. Paul preached about Lazarus and the rich man from Luke 16:19-31, and about living a life without regrets.   As usual, it touched my heart. Looking back on my life I do have regrets and see ways I could have been a better wife and mother – a better servant of Christ. Looking back doesn’t change anything, though. I have to look forward and work to make these final years of mine count. And I pray that the kids heard his message from the heart and will live a life without regrets.

I was thinking on those things when I went up to our room to change after church. And the door wouldn’t open. We figured it must have accidentally locked, but Paul tracked down a key and the door was still stuck fast, even though the doorknob turned.

The door has a security latch on it like you find in hotel rooms. We never use it but it must have someway flipped shut, although it was hard to see how. The only way in was through a window – and our bedroom is on the second floor.

That led to the scene with Paul insisting he was going to climb onto the roof and across the slippery roof tiles to break into the room and me begging him not to be crazy.

“Look, Grandpa,” Moses said. “I can do it.” He effortlessly scampered up the wall like a monkey and onto the roof. He did it with such obvious ease that even Paul was silenced. After all, Moses and our other mountain boys spent years climbing trees and up cliffs.  The roof presented no challenge to him.

Moses was in the window before I had time to find my phone and record his feats. We stampeded back up the stairs, only to discover that the security latch wasn’t the trouble. It was the doorknob. Paul got it off and we had access to the room at last. Of course, we also had a door that wouldn’t close and Paul would be leaving for preachers’ training early the next morning. He left with Rusty to track down a doorknob, which made me sad. I knew he had a lot of things to do before he left without adding an extra errand and a doorknob installation to the list.

While they were gone, Denise and I got the medicine ready for the trip. We always take some for the preachers, who usually seem to come with ailments. Whatever is left we send home with the preachers from Myanmar.

We do just simple over-the-counter meds and buy them in bulk. We bagged them in smaller bags for distribution and got them ready for Rusty to give out. He’s the “doctor” when I’m not there.

And I’m not there this week, but here at home in Chiang Mai. I’m so thankful for Denise. It makes such a difference to have another adult here to help ride herd on the kids and to share the teaching responsibilities.

I heard from Paul a bit earlier. They arrived safely in Mae Chan. It poured rain all the way and is still pouring there. That means an uncomfortable session with rain splashing into the open-sided pavilion where Paul teaches – and it means sitting with their feet in mud and water on the soaked ground. The guys don’t complain, and Paul forgets everything else when he teaches the Bible. Still, we will all be so happy when we are able to move to our new location and build better facilities. They won’t be fancy, but having a solid floor above ground level a bit will be a priority!

Please continue to pray that the purchase will go through smoothly, without glitches and delays. Also, please pray with us about the funds we need to build. We plan to rent in the area and begin serving there while we are building. The preachers’ training facilities will be first on the agenda.

And that’s my major prayer request this week – that the Lord bless the training of these eager men. Paul can’t go into all the villages every week and can’t go into the Myanmar villages at all, but these men can. Teaching, training, and encouraging them is what brought us here and is our main purpose. Please pray for strength for Paul and for God’s work in the lives of the preachers.

May the Lord richly bless you this week!

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