- Susan Brown
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff! (Pun Intended.)
I wiped away the river of sweat running down my forehead. So much for make-up and curled bangs! The thermometer said 90 degrees – and it wasn’t even 8:30 in the morning. Would any of our crowd of visitors from last Sunday show up after being baked alive in the 100+ heat we had?
It’s been an unusually hot year, we’ve been told. Interesting, because last year we were told it was unusually cold. Maybe next year will be just right! Ah, but I know better than that. Whatever God sends is just right – regardless of how it might feel from our perspective.
Life for me personally has become a little easier as we made arrangements about air conditioning with our landlord before signing our new lease. The deal was that we would fix or replace the air in our two living houses and he would put air in our big meeting room. But first it has to have real windows. Right now it just has screens.
We had our air conditioners serviced right away, and Paul insisted on replacing the one in my workroom/office/medicine room. It is an upstairs room and totally un-usable since the air went out. I didn’t want to invest in improvements on a house that was just a rental, but he insisted that the small room would only need an inexpensive unit and that the money would be worth it to give me a room where I can work. So thankful for a husband who cares about my comfort and values my efforts!
But we are still waiting on windows and air conditioning in our meeting room, and Sunday proved to be another scorcher with high humidity. Two of the many children who visited last week returned, and we also had our regular two visitors from Buddhist families, as well as our own kids.
I was ready to start, but William was being pokey about showing up to interpret for me. I hammered on the gong again with a bit more energy than was strictly necessary. And then I remembered. It was the day William went to orientation for his new school. (In this Buddhist country, most school meetings are on Sunday mornings) I had a room full of over-heated kids looking up at me expectantly, if lethargically, and no way to talk to them.
We improvised and did English and songs while Paul called Lek’s wife, Jum, and she hurried to get here to help. The heat sapped the kids’ energy and they were snappish and uncooperative. I understood!
Finally we got to the lesson. And the lesson was called — “Don’t Complain!” How true it is that we focus on what we don’t have instead of on what God has given. The Israelites seem so stupid from our point of view. After seeing all the miracles God did for them and the deliverance He gave them, they still griped about little things. My heart smote me. Hadn’t I been doing the same thing? God has answered so many prayers for us and has made things comparatively easy. We are so blessed. Yet all I could think about was the heat and the way it made the kids act pesky and uninterested.
We survived the temperature, which climbed over 100 degrees in our meeting room again. I think it has to be much hotter before you actually expire. And we did have a return visitor for the church service.
Eve is a student teacher at the kids’ school where she teaches Chinese. She is a new Christian, saved just three months ago. She prayed for a church to attend, saw our sign and came for the first time last week. She doesn’t speak English, but has been coming over every evening and we are working together. I teach her English and she helps me with Thai. She wants to study the Bible with me, but first we have to get to the point where we can talk to each other. She was delighted with the Bible we gave her yesterday. She’s never had one before. Thank you to our supporters whose gifts provided the funds to buy it.
Then, this week, we had two new visitors. One is from Canada, here on an extended vacation. She is a messianic Jew and we had an interesting discussion on a number of topics. Ruby, the other young lady, is Thai, but speaks English. She also asked about studying the Bible with me, saying she wants to know more about God. I was delighted!
Then I learned that she is a he. Ladyboys are common and accepted here. I’m still delighted to be able to study God’s word with her-er-him. I’m going to need an extra infusion of wisdom, though. I do know this – sin is sin, and God is in the business of saving sinners. I’m going to start as I always do, with introducing him to Jesus. In the light of Christ, sins automatically show up for what they are.
After church and the lunch we always share as a group, I came home and took a long nap in my air-conditioned bedroom. (I thought I better confess to that in case you were inclined to feel sorry for me!) Paul and Lek, meanwhile, met with the pastor and church leader from a Lahu village where only one person was left who followed A. He told A. that he had to join with the others who now all loved each other. We are so thankful to see A.’s hold on the villages disintegrating and to see the churches functioning in obedience to Christ alone.
Paul did some traveling last week to distant churches to teach and encourage the people. He has more traveling ahead. Please pray for him and the others as they face the constant danger of this vindictive man.
Other prayer requests:
*For the children, particularly with their schoolwork.
*For our visitors, that the seed of the Gospel will take root in their hearts.
*For Eve and for Ruby, who want to study with me, and for me that the Lord will guide as I teach them.
*And – that the landlord will come through and we will actually get air conditioning this week!
Thanks for your prayers and your support.