For Those Who Promised to Pray….
It’s getting closer! Our deputation journeys are almost over and the departure time for Thailand is drawing near. We leave from Oklahoma City on October 7.
Our travels have been wonderful. Paul and I sat side-by-side for more than 20,000 miles. The earth is 24,000 miles around at the equator — so we already have driven almost the equivalent of a trip around the world. And we still like each other! I guess that’s a sign of true love.
Everywhere we have gone on our journeys we have met friends. So many of you have promised to pray for us and have asked us to keep you posted about prayer needs. I’m taking you at your word — and here is the first of the posts with prayer requests.
Anond had some good news and bad news for us the other day. The good news is that we have three new little girls at the children’s home. He says they are five and six — he thinks. No one keeps up much with age there and no one seems to know exactly how old they are. The La Hu folks don’t even have a word for “birthday.” Sometimes I personally think that is not such a bad idea — especially when approaching a milestone birthday like some of us are!
The bad news, though, is a huge concern for us. Three of our boys are no longer at the home. Here is one.
Kittipong was nearly abducted last March. His mother is feeble and in poor health. Anond says she has great difficulty walking. While she was in the hospital, a relative stole his ID card and sold him for drugs. The buyer came to the children’s home to pick him up, saying that she had permission from his mother and had his ID card to prove it. We are so thankful that Anond was there to intervene. He called the police to check her out. She was wanted by the police and quickly left before they arrived. Why did she want him? We have to assume it was for the sex-slave trade that is so prevalent in southeast Asia.
Naturally, his mother wanted him back under her eye, but we are concerned that she may not be able to protect him if this woman, who has money invested in him, tries again to abduct him. Kittipong is one of the brightest of the boys his age, with a sweet personality. Our hearts break at the thought of the danger he may be in. Please pray that the Lord would protect this child and, if it is His will, that Kittipong may be back with us soon.
This is Supucket. Paul and I call him “Smiley.” He has such a sunny disposition. He is from the Yeo tribe (pronounced yow), one with which we haven’t much contact. Anond told me that Supucket’s father had brought him to the home, saying there wasn’t enough food for him. Recently his mother came and picked him up. Is this good or bad? Is the situation improved and the family restored, or is this another impostor? We don’t know. Will he be cared for, and will he have an opportunity for education? We don’t know that, either. Please pray for God’s best for Supucket.
It is a great disgrace to fail in school in the Asian culture. When Nu Pa Chi was not promoted, he was ashamed and afraid. He ran away, and no one knows where he is. We have great fear for the danger he could be in.
Nu Pa Chi, who is from the Mhong tribe, is not at all slow. He picked up English quickly and was able to communicate as well as learn words — a big step ahead of the others. When we needed to tell the kids something, Nu Pa Chi would often be able to translate for us. He frequently helped the younger children with their homework. I don’t know why he had trouble in school. Perhaps he is dyslexic, or has some other learning problem. Please pray that he would come back and that our God who watches over even the sparrows would watch over Nu Pa Chi.
As for me — I have been asking friends to pray the Serenity Prayer with me. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. There are many things at the children’s home that are not done the way I would do them. Many of those things don’t need to change. It is a difference of culture, and we are not there to make them Americans, but to share the Gospel with them. Many of those things will take patience and forbearance on our part — and I’m afraid I am in short supply of those particular qualities! Please pray that I will have the grace and peace I need to let some of those things go.
Courage to change the things I can. Some things must change, because error has crept in, due in part to the difficulty with communication. Some things are done in ways that are not Scriptural, and others that are just not sanitary. We will have to weather some storms about this. Please pray for grace and strength for us.
And the wisdom to know the difference. A big emphasis on this part! We want to honor the Lord in all we do and to be a blessing and never a hindrance to the people there we love so much. Please pray for that much needed wisdom so that we can make the right calls, to stand when needed and to step back when that is the right thing to do.
Other requests: There will be a time of big transitions for all of us — for Anond as well as for Paul and me. Please pray this goes smoothly and without misunderstandings.
We need to know the language as soon as possible! Please pray for us that we can quickly learn to communicate.
We still don’t know about Internet. If we can get easy access to it, it would be a huge help in communicating with you folks on this side of the world.
Thank you in advance for your prayers. I think you can see that they are needed! Our God is sufficient, though. And He is good!
Blessings from Thailand,