New Post…Finally

It has been nearly a year since I was able to update my blog. It is a long story…but I am very happy to be able to finally update it again. God has done so much during this past year, that I have no clue as to where to start.

For starters, God has given all of us plenty to do for him. We are all really busy. Roy is teaching English, translating books, supporting bible workers, designing buildings for evangelism. I could go on and on.

The girls and I have been reaching out more to the villages around us, doing health education and feeding the hungry. Wow…so much work in just one sentence does not look right, but that is the extreme short version for now.

Jason and Shoshana had a little girl last December that they named Ivana. She is our littlest missionary now, and is doing a great job with the villagers. They all adore her, and remind us frequently that she is a Thai baby since she was born here. At the moment, they are on a short term mission trip to America. (commonly called a visa run)

Andrew and Khendra are back in America now also, working at Laurelbrook Academy. God opened the doors for them to minister to the students there. Andrew is teaching construction to the students, and Khendra is working in the nursing home. It was a huge blessing for them to find a place that is so dedicated to teaching future missionaries.

This week, we are down in South Thailand, trying hard to get birth certificates for the girls. The government is working to get all the unregistered people registered. It is a huge blessing that we have looked forward to for years. Our only problem is that things don’t always go as smoothly as they should. Getting the cooperation of the people who should be happy to cooperate with you is not always easy! (I am referring to the girl’s relatives) Many people see dollar signs when looking at any foreigner. But, we believe that God has this all under control, and are trusting Him to work it out for us.

So now that you are all caught up on the news, I will try to update it more than once a year!

Leroy Returns to Thailand

I arrived in Chiang Mai with Becky on Wednesday. We were really glad to see Jonathan Hill at the airport waiting for us. He had arraigned for us to travel on the 4:00 pm. bus to Mae Sariang. Jason met us at the bus stop and took us to Hoy Tee Chaw. It was so good to be home.

On Thursday I learned that Travis would be arriving before the weekend. I picked him up and brought him home also. Travis wanted to pick up the supplies that had been pilling up for him here. Our truck is in the shop being fixed. It is at least 2 months from completion, so on Sunday we were trying to figure out how to accomplish that. Monday morning we learned that Rodney was on his way to bring Travis a partial truck load of supplies. We asked Rodney if he would be able to take us down south. He took us all the way down to where the supplies could be transported into the school. I then spent about a week there at the school. It was of course vacation time and almost all of the students had gone home. I am very pleased with the progress of the education and buildings. The school building is largely completed. The teachers are doing well and are in good spirits.

I was eager to get started on my teaching again, so I left in time to arrive home for the weekend. On Sunday, I delivered a set of Bible Story books to the SDA Mae Sariang church. The pastor was gone until Thursday, so I just left them there. The students are still on vacation. After shopping, I came home to get ready to teach in the camp.

Monday, I left at the usual time. Since it it cold season the roads are dry and traveling is much faster. When I arrived there Thra Kochue was gone, so I asked Thra YoPoe if I should begin teaching. He said that Tuesday morning would be fine. I spent the rest of the day visiting and delivering Bible Story books. I put one set in the KAA library, then I took a set to the Junior College. The Junior College principal told me that I would be teaching 3 classes on Wednesday. I was teaching 5 classes last time. I began to wonder about the change and felt a bit down. A little later I was speaking with one of the administrators of JC and mentioned to him that I would only be teaching 3 classes. I told him I wasn’t sure what I would do with my extra time.

I then visited Saw Jane who asked me if I would stay in his house. I agreed. His house is on Main Street and he has arranged for me to teach in the evenings also. He told me one of the teachers and her son from the Baptist Bible College on the hill will be attending. He also said that the Roman Catholic priest and his family will also attend. Saw Janes wife is Roman Catholic and he wants her to be converted to SDA. I think that God is about to do marvelous things. On top of all this I have many young children that are learning to pronounce “NOSE” …ect. It looks as if a beginners class and an advanced class is in order. A theology class might develop as well.

Tuesday, I taught at Karen Adventist Academy and the day went very well. It is good to see their progress. Thra Kochue told me how pleased the students are with my teaching. It is very encouraging to hear reports like that. Every class begins and ends with prayer and the content is Bible Stories. I know that they understand that their teacher (me) really believes what he teaches.

Wednesday, I taught at JC. The principal had a list of 5 classes for me to teach. One class I taught twice in order to make 5 class sessions. They only have four different classes, because since I was here one class completed their course. I learned from talking to the principal that they had another foreigner English teacher since I was here before. His style of teaching I was told is to lower himself to the level of the students and play foolish games with them. This was how they explained it to me. He apparently has visa problems so after a few weeks he left. Thank God for visa problems! I had to smile a little. I think we might get to see a contest between serious Bible teaching and foolish game teaching. I believe that Gods ways are best and they will prevail.

I am so thankful for the sets of Bible story books that were provided by God’s people in America. I have placed four sets now and I will take a set to the camp to be in Saw Janes house for me to use in teaching from there. There is a chance that one will migrate up the hill to the Bible College. I believe that I have one more set in reserve at home. I will use My Bible Friends, Bible Story or the Conflict Series depending on the level of my students. I also am so thankful for the ten Fountain View DVD’s that were donated. I think that I can use them from Saw Jane’s home in the near future. I wish that I had the talent to sing like that in this situation.

I didn’t take any pictures because it gives the wrong flavor, but every time I went by the library at KAA there were students sitting on the floor going through the Bible books looking at the pictures. I didn’t see any teachers looking at them, because I think that they are shy. They will check them out when I am gone. They know enough English that they will be able to read and understand. I was quite amused because the novels and the evolution books were on the shelf and the students were searching the Bible Stories.

Well, that should be enough for this week. My plate is rather full.

Sincerely,
LeRoy

The Accident

Since most of my family is in America right now, the little girls and I have had quite the time getting to town to do our shopping. Our first trip with the truck went pretty well, until we came out of a store and tried to drive away. Instead of starting the way a truck should it said “click”. Click? What is that supposed to mean anyway???

Part of the trouble with having four boys and a brilliant husband is that I never had the need to learn mechanics. If fact, I never even checked the oil before! So, since the truck said “click” instead of starting like all good trucks should, I sent Esther, my 13 year old, out to check under the hood. She doesn’t know much about trucks either, but she tried to act like she did. She kicked the tires, wiggled some wires, checked the oil….what more is there to do anyway? So, I tried starting the truck again. It said he same thing….”click”.

By then, unhelpful people were beginning to stare wide eyed at this crazy foreigner with the very old truck. I had to do something! So, I got out, kicked the tires, wiggled some wires, and tried to look halfway intelligent. I then got confidently back into the truck, smiled at the onlookers, and tried the key….click.

What would you do in a situation like that? I did the only reasonable thing…I prayed….waited for God to fix it, then tried the key. The truck roared to life, and we were off. We were cautious though, and did not turn the truck off for the rest of the trip.

So, over two weeks later, we finally decided that starving was not a good alternative, so we gathered our stuff and made our way out to the truck. I will spare you the terrible details, but this time it would not start, no matter how hard I prayed! Jason seems to enjoy the challenge this truck gives him, but I really do prefer trucks that start. So here I was….in quite a predicament. We needed to buy food, but our truck would not cooperate. My only other alternative was the motorbike. So, I was forced to leave two of the girls alone at home, while the three of us headed to town, with big black clouds threatening a downpour at any moment.

Now, I did learn to drive a motorbike quite young in life, but one of my least favorite things to do is to take passengers with me. When I was nine years old and my dad was attempting to teach me to drive a motorbike, he was sitting on the back, and I promptly ran us both into the well house. Having such a traumatic event at such a tender age made me wish to permanently refuse all passengers. But, under these circumstances, I had no other choice.

On our way down the steep mountains, I was crying and praying. I may have to do crazy things, but I am not always that brave about them. I was telling God that I just needed some encouragement, and it would be so nice if it wouldn’t rain on us, even if it is rainy season.

Believe it or not, those heavy clouds did not rain on us at all….all day long! If fact, it turned out to be rather hot and sunny in town.

When we got to town, I went over to the church since Jason had left our trailer there when he left. I was amazed to see our pastor friend from Mae Sot there, along with our local pastor. Then another pastor came out of the house. He was from the Loma Linda area of California! He was so incredibly nice and encouraging. I knew right then that God sent him to strengthen me right when I needed it the most.

We then went and tried to do all the shopping so that we would not need to come back to town any time soon. Driving the motorbike is physically very challenging for me, and I knew I could not do it very often. But I was also careful not to overload the trailer since we have a very steep mountain to climb on the way home. But how much is “overloaded” anyway?

All went well on our return trip until I got to the first very steep hill….they don’t believe in doing 6% grades over here! I could tell that we were in trouble when the bike started to really slow down in first gear. So I thought I would try my husbands trick of swerving all over the road to keep from going down backwards. The only problem was that I am just not a good enough driver, nor was I strong enough to pull it off, and we crashed.

When the bike fell over, I rolled off and down the mountain, landing on my arm. I jumped up immediately to find out how the girls were. What I saw amazed me. Hannah was standing in the middle of the road, unhurt. Destiny was still sitting in the trailer, which had somehow unhitched itself from the bike….she was unhurt. And the trailer was sitting sideways in the middle of the road, and didn’t roll anywhere! I told Destiny to get out of the trailer just in case it did start to roll.

I don’t really understand the next part, unless you can say it was adrenalin, but I was able to pick up the bike, and get it to the side of the road, and then pull that trailer up to the top of the hill. How in the world I could do that when the motorbike couldn’t, seems like a miracle to me.

Next, I ran back down the hill to get the bike. But there was just no way I could get the bike going without crashing again. I cried out to God for help…I told Him that I just could not do it. Right then a motorbike roared up beside me. It was the only Christian guy in our village, with his wife and baby. He took one look at the situation and came racing to help me. Between the two of us, we were able to get the bike up the mountain. He then insisted on taking Destiny on his bike, and he followed me all the way home. It turned out to be a good thing too, since I crashed one more time in a very muddy spot. He was off his bike in a hurry and once again helping me to get it going again. During all this trouble, my motorbike only sustained a loose mirror….there were no other injuries on it that I could detect.

So tonight, although I am covered with scrapes, bruises and burns, I am one happy missionary. God does not always keep us from trials, but He does give us the help that we need to make it through them. I know for sure tonight that God loves me and is taking very good care of me. Both of my little girls were not even scratched, which is the greatest miracle a mother could ask for!

When God Has Other Plans

Destiny663-DSC09215

When we first lost our school, I found myself sinking into depression. I felt cast aside and useless. I could not understand why we had to lose everything right when things were going so incredibly well. Our students were excitedly learning about God, and we had so many things that we wanted to teach them. But I could also clearly see that God was still with us, guiding and directing us, and providing for every need. It is sometimes easy to intellectually know that God is leading, but very hard to convince your heart of that fact.

One morning, while I was pouring out my woes to God, I asked him what we are supposed to be doing now. Very clearly, he told me to do the work that lies nearest. I looked down, and there was Destiny, sweetly sleeping beside me. I suddenly realized that God loved my little girls so much that if all I did was teach and train them for Him, I would still be doing missionary work. I contemplated that for a while, then decided that if God had given me only five people to care for, then they must be extra special and need a lot of care!

So the last few months have been an incredible time of learning, studying and growing. I spend all my time with my girls, teaching, training, observing, and praying over them. God has shown me so much about them and their needs. At the same time, I am learning so much more that I didn’t know about training children for heaven.

When Sarah came to visit one time, she gave me a set of DVDs that I can highly recommend to anyone. It is called “The Classroom of the Remnant”, by Joshua White. This, along with lots of bible study with Jason and Shoshana, has given me a new enthusiasm for child training. There just is no other line of work that has such far reaching results as raising a child for Jesus.

We also have the privileged of having Rebecca and James with us. Both of these young people plan to be missionaries, so they are here for training, language and cultural learning, and practical mission skills experience. We love young people, so we are having lots of fun with them also. It is wonderful to see young people who are actively working for God at such a young age.

I now realize that God needs people who will be willing to be putty in Gods hands, to do anything, large or small, that He asks us to do. Missionary work does not always consist of big, important sounding things. Sometimes real missionary work is simply holding a child, and listening while they pour out their troubles to you. So as we see time coming swiftly to a close, let’s covenant to be or do whatever God asks us to do, so that many others will be ready to meet Jesus when he comes.

 

Hello world!

Welcome to our blog. We are leaving for S.E. Asia on November 16th.  Right now, we are in the process of packing, getting our house ready to leave all winter, finding babysitters for my plants, and setting up my blog. There is a lot to think of when leaving home for an extended period of time! We are all really excited about it. But, in case you need something to pray about, both of the boys came down with colds this morning, and just now I am beginning to feel a persistent irritation in my own throat! I am SURE that I am not getting sick, it is probably just the power of suggestion. Guess I will have to add taking GSE, and anything else I can think of , to my list of things to do.