Her name is Gam.
Her mother’s whereabouts are not known. What we do know about her mother is she was 14 when she first got pregnant. The man ran off and she came home to live with dad. Then after she had the baby and was strong enough, she ran off and did not return till she was pregnant again. That has been her pattern .Gam has two brothers and one sister who have all been adopted out. We have no idea where they are now. Grandpa has not seen his daughter since she left the last time, after Gam was born. She was raised by her grandfather. Gam is almost 4 years old. There was a couple who wanted to adopt her but when they went to see her they rejected her. She was not cute enough and she does not listen or speak polite. How can someone reject a child because of the way they look? Grampha is 68 years old and with bad kidneys. So he can no longer care for her. She has not been taken care of much as it was. Mostly just given food and left to play alone. She is quite rough around the edges. She lived in an area where many small houses were for workers of a hardware store and they sort of watched her. She speaks like she has heard growing up, which was mostly the hardware workers shouting out commands as they worked. She doesn’t ask for something. She speaks loud and demands it. I assume her hair was cut short because of lice. She will look more like a girl when her hair grows out. I asked Phimpha how many kids we have now and we both had to stop and count. Nineteen in the immediate family. We do not keep track because it does not matter. We are just one large family and feed whoever shows up to eat.
We have about 70 more kids we care for financially, as we can, but not living with us. Thank God for that. My bed is getting to small. I think I may have to drop the mattress to the floor so they don’t roll out. The twins are older and secure and are starting to sleep with brothers and sister. Four kids and two adults in a 12X12 bed room is a bit crowded but we manage.
Yesterday I came home from being gone one night planting rice in our field. I did not see Phimpha and asked where she was. They said she had left for Tak (7 hour drive) and I was to follow her with the car. Seems the people that have the loan on the truck wanted it returned because we were so far behind on the payments. We had been sending the payments out but they were not enough. We found out the man who asked us to take over the truck from him, refinanced it and used the money for other debts he had. Phimpha finally got the name of the company and called them to ask what we could do. They suggested we return the newer truck and keep the older one because it is too old to refinance. So she had left two hours before I came home. I took off and started heading to Tak but she arrived far ahead of me and returned the truck to the loan company. Then she hopped a van coming back toward home. I picked her up on the road. We were about 6 hours away from home and it was just her so I finally got to spend some time with her. We rarely get time alone together to just talk and catch up. We were low on fuel so I asked her how much she cash she had. Very little so we dug around the vehicle and in the pockets and came up with 83 baht. Not enough to make it home on but enough to keep us moving. We had the computer with us so we checked the bank accounts. One had 53 and the other a little more but not enough to be able to draw it out from the ATM because the minimum amount to draw is 100 baht.($3.00) We transferred 25 baht from one bank to the other and looked for an ATM after we crossed into the next province where the withdrawal would be free. Finally found the right brand of ATM and drew out 100 baht hoping to by more gas to make it home. But by now it was late and all the stations were closed. We just prayed and kept heading for home and drove another 1 and 1/2 hours. We enjoyed the time alone and just kept going and trusting we would make it. As I started to slow down for the final turn into our driveway the engine started to chug. I coaxed it to the parking spot. We were home by the grace of God. He was just letting us know He is in control and with us. We live day to day many days. It is now evening the next day and we still have no money in the pocket but the kids were fed today and we are still alive and well. Some times we get discouraged but thinking of the disciple Paul brings it all back to perspective. He speaks of hunger and worn clothes and persecution and jail but through it all rejoicing in the Love of Christ. If you are only happy with money in the pocket you are missing the best part of life and faith. God knows what we need and He takes care of us in His way, not by our wants. We just have to wait for His timing and never stop doing the work He has for us day after day. Go when He says go and do not ask how, just step forward so He can do the next step. If we do not move He will not give us the next part of HIS plan. He is God alone.
Rodney and Phimpha and the Gang at Timothy House
Sorry I did not get Gam’s picture in the last update so I decided to send another email. The other pictures are one of the old kitchen and one of the new one being built. We have a few trusses up now and it has only been two years getting to this point. Phimpha is hoping we have it done by the first week in August because she has the women’s conference then and would like to hold it in the new kitchen. She is projecting around 400 people. I am shooting for the roof and anything beyond that would be a blessing.