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  • Susan Brown

Full House – Full Hearts

I looked with surprise and some dismay at the bright pink tent. It was a very nice tent, but its location was troublesome.

“Um. We really can’t have class until someone moves their tent from our classroom. Can we find out who put it there?” I asked our indispensable Moses.

Life is much easier with the translators we brought up acting as go-betweens. Moses wants to be an interpreter and already is a huge help to us. Nora, also, helps by taking care of our Thai/Lahu phone calls and handling local business with the water delivery, garbage, etc. One day she wants to be our Learning Center secretary and help with the students.

But the tent in the classroom…. It was one of many scattered around our house. It’s preachers’ training week and people are camped out on every spare (and not so spare) foot of our home. The kitchen is a beehive of activity as I’kha and her temporary helpers fix meals for the additional thirty-some men. With our regular crew of 12 and the workers to feed, too, that’s no joke!

But they are cheerful and willing workers and the sound of laughter rings into our classroom from the kitchen as the sound of singing and then earnest teaching filters in the open windows. Paul is teaching the men under the carport in the backyard.

We found the owners of the tent who moved it without complaint. They set up again last night and can stay there today since the learning center is closed for the day. Our four, day-students have an extra project they must do with the Thai informal school which they normally attend one day a week. Classes have to go on, even when our routine is disrupted, but it is nice when a break comes to make it easier.

Preachers’ training week is definitely a disruption, but a welcome one. It’s the main reason we are here. Paul faithfully teaches the preachers sound doctrine and answers their questions. The group keeps growing and we are encouraged as we hear of their outreach to new villages where there is no Gospel witness. Recently we had a request for Lahu Bibles to give to the new Christians in some of those villages. Because of the donations of our supporters, we were able to supply them. Thank you!

Since the training is here instead of in a distant town, I’m able to help with the English classes on a regular basis. It is always fun, as the guys have a child-like enthusiasm and participate in the class with gusto – and laughter. The Myanmar preachers always sit on the front row and are the loudest and most eager to learn.

It does make the day long with day-students in the morning, the preachers mid-afternoon, and then my evening class of Lahu teenagers in the evening. That class is going well and

soon I will add a second class each day. Fifteen adults are signed up for a new English class. I’m particularly excited about them. Teaching English is a great way to make new contacts and open doors for sharing the Gospel. Also, it is important that the community knows we are here to serve them. We want to have a good relationship with them. It might make a big difference in whether our building plans and future projects are approved.

As to the building…. We were so thankful that Bro. Bill Daugherty and his wife, Freda, were able to come and help us get started. He and Paul determined the high and low points of the land and picked the spot for buildings. We have a pad leveled and a plan. After preachers’ training we hope to start putting the plans in motion.

Meanwhile, Bro. Bill spent the rest of his trip fixing up the houses we rent. He and Paul hung the huge banner on our building when covers the old plumbing supply store lettering and identifies us clearly. Now maybe people will stop coming by to purchase pipes and things.

He fixed up our new sink in the yard and put up an awning so the rain is no longer a reason to put off washing dishes. My washer and dryer now sit on a concrete pad in the yard instead of on the dirt, and the boys’ room is much cooler and more soundproof. We are so thankful for his willing work! I enjoyed visiting with Freda and catching up on the news from back home in Oklahoma.

They were here for a big event in our family. The Lord graciously saved Nora. Paul baptized her in the nearby river. We are so thankful for His work in the lives of the three who have become Christians since they have lived with us. Please pray with us for the three others who are not yet saved.

We also had a welcome visit from Brother Ricky Cash and his family. He is a pharmacist and has been on many medical mission trips over the years. He did medicine at three villages and patiently answered my questions. I’ve been the “doctor” for almost six years now, and I know how to handle most of the requests. The many skin rashes and some of the odd complaints still stump me, though. We had two lines of patients going at our clinic in the village of Pa Tong Eh last Sunday and Molly begged to interpret for Bro. Ricky. She did a good job and Moses, as usual, was a help to me.

We enjoyed having Ricky’s 12-year-old granddaughter Kiersten with us. She eagerly helped with the medicines. I think Ricky may have someone following in his footsteps!

Life marches on quickly. It’s hard to believe we have been in Thailand almost six years now. Looking at the pictures of our kids who were preteens and now are 14 to 16 years old make us believe it. So do the additional wrinkles and gray hair that Thailand bequeathed to us! We thank for your support that allows us to continue with the work God has called us to do.

He is good!

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