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  • Susan Brown

New Beginnings and Beginning Again

They poured through the door, giggling and chattering. Fourteen girls. Girls! In our ten years in Thailand, we have had boys almost exclusively. We’ve had a few young ladies in classes here and there, but the majority of my time has been spent teaching guys – pre-teens, teens, and early 20s.

But our learning center has just about come to a halt. We have only one live-in student, besides our college student. Two others come from a nearby village to study with me during the day. They will graduate this year. I’ve wondered – what’s next for me?

Evidently, girls. Since I have so few day students, we decided to start an after-school English class. Wichai (William) made up a very cool-looking flyer and Molly took it to the local middle school. It hit the school at 8:30. By 9:15 we were full up. All girls.

We do have two boys – Moses’ brother Samuel, who is living with them to go to the local Thai school and Rick, our lone live-in. Both are 13 years old. Rick seems a bit overwhelmed by the mass of femininity. Samuel is obviously enjoying it! Lots of cutting up and typical middle-school male activity.

All the girls are Thai and come from the public school. They are a fun group, eagerly taking part in class. We had vocabulary day today and played games. Lots of screeching and laughter. I don’t think anyone slept through class!

Our other big project, the village Sunday Schools, is getting close to the starting line. We will have the first teacher training and will distribute the materials at preachers’ training at the end of the month.

We’ve been doing a lot of traveling to the villages lately. It’s always a blessing to be with the brethren and encourage them. Our time together always encourages us, too.

I’m still holding off on any more new projects until help comes – and that will happen next month. Anna Holshouser from Oklahoma will come for a year to work with us. As soon as she is comfortable doing so, she will be helping teach and we plan to offer new classes and start our Sunday School here back up. It was waylaid during Covid and I haven’t had the energy to restart it, but I look forward to doing that. We also want to plan English camps in the mountain villages – think Vacation Bible School with English thrown in. With those things and the projects we have going already, I think we will be able to keep her busy!

We are eagerly awaiting another arrival, too. Molly and Moses are expecting a baby boy in late September/early October. They don’t give baby showers here, so we have been busy helping gather the things little Timothy will need. I’m afraid I’m not as much help as I could be to Molly. It’s been so long since I had a baby that I don’t remember what a new baby requires. The culture is different, anyway. I have a hunch that many things we thought necessities were actually not things a baby has to have.

I still think diapers are a necessity, though, even if Thai/hill tribes people do think babies are healthier and more comfortable without them. I can understand that plastic pants would be hot in this climate, but I can’t imagine how they manage without any covering at all. Think of the laundry that must involve! When he visits Grandma, I think he will wear disposables!

Prayer requests: For preachers’ training, which is our main reason for being here. Please pray for strength for Paul and clarity for these men who go back and teach their churches what they have learned here.

For the Sunday Schools, that the Lord would prepare teachers and help us get the materials to them.

For Anna as she experiences a very different culture and way of life here.

For Molly as the time of her baby’s birth grows nearer.

For health and strength to keep going and growing!

Thank you for all who pray for us and whose support makes our work here possible. May God bless you! He is good!

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