Hello to All who take the time to read these updates.
I have been needing to write for a long time but seem to be having a hard time to do it. I am so far behind I will just write about a few things.
The other morning I notice the power was out. Not unusual for here. Sometimes it is out a few minutes or many hours. After waiting half an hour I got up at 5 am to help the kids get going to school with no power. I set candles out and turned on the city water so they could shower before school. It was cold that morning. About 50 degrees. That is cold when you have no central heat to rely on and must take a cold shower. Phimpha was out traveling and working with the churches. She had taken our cook with, so the task fell on the kids to take care of themselves. Mai the oldest girl (17), Fuke (15) and Amin (16) had the breakfast detail on the cold dark morning. I went to the kitchen and got a small fire going for them in the little fire pot. I took them the flashlight I had and resorted to my cell phone for light. We usually cook rice in a large electric cooker, but without power they had to cook the rice over the gas burner. That left them no place to cook the meal, so they used the wood fire-pot. One held the light while the other two cooked eggs so everything would be ready on time. By 6 am they had breakfast ready for the others and headed back to their rooms to get showered and ready to go to school. They never complain. No matter what happens they just take it in stride. They are amazingly self-sufficient. At night we usually have worship as a family with Phimpha leading. With her gone the night before, we sat around the fire in the cool evening and sang songs. They take prayer requests from everyone and pray for each other and for unity as a family. They take turns on who leads family worship at night. Can you imagine your kids getting up on a cold dark morning to cook breakfast for the family before getting themselves ready for school with no electricity? I am proud of them. Not to mention they have to keep watch in the dark for the elephants that are everywhere now, because of the very dry conditions. I have been charged by an elephant twice in the last couple of weeks while in our open-air kitchen.
We had a Christmas party for the village near us, with about 300 turning out. Then we had a small party at our house. Just for our family, but also invited a few kids from the nearby schools. About 50 showed up for fun and games, ice cream and food. Then we had about the same number of kids for a New Year’s party.
The one picture of the 4 boys sitting down just happen to be the newest 4 to the family. They are doing good now.
The elephant picture is not great but hard to get close enough for the flash to work. That night the youth group came to visit us. About 17 of them just out side my window. They visited us ounce about 3 years ago. Must be hard for the matriarchs to find food for so many. The group was very polite and left on their own. Unlike the one last night that charged at me and did not want to leave the kitchen area. We see them a lot, but all the kids come out to watch when they are in the yard. Amazingly large animals, especially coming at you up close and personal.
The one picture of Mai (17) and Green (4). He is the character. Almost always smiling. And the one with the sandals? We take our shoes off at the door. Sometimes hard to find your own back. This was during one of the parties.
Not to mention the lives being saved, the endless hours Phimpha is working these days and living on the Grace and Mercy of God. I am still amazed after all theses years how he continues to take care of us. Living on Faith is an exciting way to live and we are blessed to be living it. Phimpha was complaining to Him a little the other day and asked why He almost never gives extra but always just enough to keep going for that day or that hour. He said if you have to much you will not need Me. He is a very personal God.
Rodney and Phimpha and the Gang at Timothy House
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From Phimpha: Written by Rodney
Whatever I do belongs to God. This is my witness. I only share it
for the glory of God.
Most of the kids who come to Timothy House do not have any
documents. They usually have not had good care and they lack
documentation that shows they are Thai. Without that paperwork they
are not really considered to be anything in this country. They cannot
get an education or any benefits from the government. They have no
rights as a person and often get abused with no recourse. By the
mercy of God He does what others cannot do and he allows us to get
papers for them.
I was asked 3 weeks ago by an old friend to help a boy (Gea), get
identification. I had been working and traveling a lot the day before.
My friends try to encourage me to rest. They tell me, “You have been
working so hard, you need to say no and rest. Others have tried for 11
years to help this boy get papers with no success. It cannot be done.
No encouragement for me. Yet the burden in my heart does not let
go. Many times I wonder why God does not make it easier for me. I
awake in the morning with many problems. I complain to God. Why you
not encourage me. The Holy Spirit said, “Go! I will show you I am with
you.” So I go. No gas in the truck to get to my appointment one and a
half hours away. No money to buy food when we are out. No money for
kid’s school for that day. No matter what the situation around you. If
the Holy Spirit says go, you go. Never pass up the chance to show out
Gods Glory. Trust that God can do what no one else can.
He was born 14 years ago. He has a brother 4 years older but
has yet to meet him. He was given to a lady (Whaan) at one month old.
She was to be a nanny for him. She noticed that he was sick the day he
was dropped off, so the next morning she took him to the hospital.
His brain had an infection and they put a tube in to release the
fluid. He was in a coma for 4 months. During that time the parents
disappeared. The boy survived but with brain damage. Whaan took him
home. She found out later that the parents were in jail for selling
drugs. She continued to care for him. The father was released 2 years
later and was working to get his family back together. The mother was
still in jail. The father was riding his motorcycle to get the young
boy and got into an accident and was killed. The mother was released a
couple of years later because she was sick. She was sent to her
hometown where she died of aids. Gea was now orphaned.
We arrived in Chachensago that day on borrowed money. This was
our second trip to them. I told my friend who had asked for my help
on this case to go to the hospital where he was born and try to get
some verification for him. She went and was surprised at what she
found. The hospital still had the birth registry paperwork from 14
years earlier. It should have been thrown away years ago but it was
not. The nurse on duty that day still remembered the mother and the
baby. The nurse remembered the mother because she arrived by motorbike and was so poor she pitied her. The nurse also remembered the single case because she (the nurse) named the boy Gea. This was the first confirmation that God was doing His work.
On my way down I spoke to one of the leaders in the government
that I knew personally from a few years ago. He said to go to a
specific office and ask to speak to the leader there. When I got there
she had no interest in helping me and brushed me off with, “I have a
lot of work to do.” I sat down and prayed and waited. Twenty minutes
later she came back. I told her my old friend Nopephadone had sent me
to her. She suddenly changed her demeanor and asked me to tell her the story. Seems she had worked under my old acquaintance years before. As she listened to the sad story God changed her heart. She said she would help. Everyone who had come with me was so surprised that she was now willing to do what no one else said was possible. God was
working it all out. The leader asked me what was in it for me. I told
her, “Only to show out Gods glory and to give Gea a chance for life.”
Whaan is a new Christian of two months. She lives down a small
trail in the middle of a large city. She is very poor. She said her
life has changed in many ways now. She had asked to get hooked to
city water many times but was always turned down. She was forced to
use dirty water from the nearby canal for bathing and cleaning
clothes. She went down again a few weeks ago to ask to get hooked to
city water. The leader of the water department came out personally and
asked, “Were do you get your water from?” She pointed to the dirty
canal. “He said you take care of three children and use that water?”
He said: “I will send out everything you need and you will have clean
water today.” She says that God raised her from the dirt, to being a
human. The first time she has ever felt human in her 64 years. She
told her neighbors that a Christian lady was coming to help her get
papers for Gea. They said: “Christians lie. It is impossible to get
him papers.” They said; “If he gets papers I will seek after your
God.” She called them on the way home from the government office and
told them it was time to do what they said.
God has His ways.
I should not answer God by complaining because in the true of my life he never ignore me. He always listen and answer and provide everything we need. We always have food for the kids.
Truck never stops running, even when no gas there. I not shamed to tell you what I think. What I think about him when I complain is not the way God is. He is never cold and always helps us. But by His mercy he still use me. The person who is weak all the times. All problems around me depress me and that also show me how weak my faith and how deep my relationship with God. That make me know myself more and put more trust in Him.