Sitting in a hospital room for the third night now with Mo. The 17 month old we have. His mother was supposed to take him back a few months ago but his mother does not seem to be in much of a hurry to take him. Children are just not valued here by many parents. Especially the single parents. I am not sure about the numbers because we work with the problemers, as Phimpha calls them. I do not know how a normal Thai family operates. Mo has been sick off and on for most of the time with us. He currently has a bad lung infection and had to be admitted. The hospitals here are not much like the states. Almost everyone checked in to a hospital has a family caregiver with them 24/7. Sometimes 2 care givers. They sleep on the floor under the bed of the sick one or if there is an empty bed they can use that. They bring sleeping mats and their own bed clothes with. The care giver is responsible to take care of them as a nurse would be in the states. The nurses will give the shots but give the oral medicine to the caregiver. In the small hospitals like this one near us the private rooms are few. Most stay in a ward with 15 to 20 patients in an open room. Usually one ward for men and one for women but the caregivers can stay the night. So the ward is usually mixed. The maternity ward is all women but the husbands can stay there 24/7 as well. It makes for crowded living quarters at times. The Thai’s take it in stride and talk with their neighbors about each others illnesses. I lucked out and only spent one night in the big room then a private room opened. For 7 dollars a day extra I took it. It is good to be out with the people in the big rooms but being the only white person there and not much good at the language I get a lot of looks and people talk about me all the time. They always ask if it is my baby. How to say yes and no. I am daddy for all the kids at Timothy House but I do not want them to think at 60 I have a one year old son. Not that that would be a bad thing but most men my age here are hooked to women even younger than Phimpha. God has a way to humble me. It is like living in a fish bowl with out even the glass between. Also in this culture it is not impolite to stare or ask very personal questions of strangers. In the rural area where we live many have only casually seen a white person, so they watch and wonder why I, the man, am taking care of a baby that is not mine while my wife comes to visit then goes home and I stay. Not normal family life here at all. But good opportunity for Phimpha to talk of Christ with them when they see her come. Mo is improving but be it slow. Pray for him.
On the home front we are still working on the kitchen when we have funds then also I decided, or God did, that now was the time to build a water tower for our someday complex. Why now? I do not know but really believe I must. So we started building that too. I was planning to poor the cement pads for the main supports the day I took Mo into the doctor. Been stuck at the hospital sense. The kitchen has been on hold for quite some time for materials and now we are sidetracked with the water tower. Go figure. I plan to do the kitchen in stages because of time and lack of materials. The old one is still standing. Not bad for something I though would be 6 months at best and has now been over 3 years. Leaning hard but still fairly dry. As long as the elephants stay out I think it will hold. If not we improvise. There is always a way here. Just do it.
Two of our young girls decided they did not want to stay with us anymore. They did not like the rules so they left and have not returned. Been a couple of months now. One is pregnant and I think the other might be. They seem to think they are old enough to be on their own so they are learning it now. It was a hard decision not to go after them but God said not to, so we did not.
I am so tired so I will send this out and get some sleep between the nurse visits.
News from Timothy House