I wrote this blog over 6 months ago and forgot about it so I added a few updates. I hope you enjoy it.
Our house is becoming too small and our kids are getting too old! We are having trouble keeping the boys and the girls seperated, especially when they have to share a bathroom that is basically in the boys room. We are going to build a new house(Lord willing) by knocking down the house next to ours and then build up from it. Until we do that we will turn our carport into a room and seperate the boys and girls. We have had to have “The talk” with all the kids and WOW! God had to lead that because I had no idea what I was doing but praise God it went well!
Well, What has been happening here? We have all been busy with school! Homeschool is a tough challenge for my wife and I, as well as Ice and Preaw. We are not the best homeschool teachers…. yet! We are working to improve our curriculum and our teaching skills but we are having a difficult time with so little material translated to Thai. The Khan academy is great and has videos in Thai as well as youtube videos for everything. We are trying to limit computer usage and encourage reading books about what we are teaching but it is so hard in Thai. We also would like to have more of a garden going but it is also hard with no room and everything covered by cement. Even with all the difficulties we are still moving forward with teaching and learning. We are also looking for singing and ukulele or guitar teachers who can come and teach our kids, if you know anyone who might be interested please let me know!
There were 2 Hmong girls that I talked about in my last post, Kartun and Noy, that we were thinking about adopting. Their father was caught with a literal ton of meth and will be in jail for awhile. We decided not to adopt them but to try to get their mother to step up and take care of her daughters. Their mother kept saying that she wanted her daughters to walk in the Godly way and that’s why she wanted us to take them in. We challenged her by saying, “If you really want these girls to walk in the Godly way, the best way to do that is to show them what it looks like by doing it yourself. So, if you really want them to walk in the Godly way then put your money where your mouth is and do it!” We agreed to pay for her daughters to go to CAA as long as they lived with her. So, instead of adopting them God used us to restore their relationship and get the girls out of the orphanage that they had been living in and return them to their mother. Raquel and I teach them English and it has been nice to see their countenance change over the past few weeks, from shy and embarrassed to fun and relaxed. I just hope that their mother realizes the importance of her role in her daughter’s lives.
Update: Their mother has gone back to their hometown. The girls are living in the dorms and will be living with us next year when we have more room.
Zechariah 9:12Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
We also have taken in Nong Boot, she is a 16 yr old girl from Khon Kean, Thailand. Her school is being paid for by some awesome people in Washington and Kyle Tumberg, an AFM missionary has been handling everything over here for her. As we had gotten to know Boot before she came to live with us we thought that she was a very strong girl who had everything under control. As we got more involved in her life we realized that she is strong but very misguided and has many problems. She was at CAA living in the dorms last year and no one cared that she wasn’t at home. No calls, no money, no visits and the most depressing thing was no friends! As we talked to the ladies dorm dean we realized the magnitude of the situation. She told us that Boot stayed by herself most of the time, she was in trouble for stealing money from others and was caught lying to people a few times. She had nothing but problems while she was in the dorms. As we learned more about the situation she was stealing money because no one gave her money (parents), and her pride wouldn’t let her call Kyle and ask him for money. So, she did what she had to do! She did what I assume is the example her mother gave her and stole it.
Since she has been here with us, God has worked miracles in her! She is a completely different person at home than she is at school and when we first got her she was the same as she is at school. She was very quiet, self-conscious, and from what I could tell full of shame. She has found a best friend in Daonin and, my goodness, are they loud! These two are always talking, always laughing, always enjoying each others company. When you come to our house you can always hear “Teacher Raquel, I Beautiful!” coming from Boots mouth. She has really enjoyed being here and growing in the Lord each day. We know that she has many problems and working to resolve those problems.
Through much prayer we have decided to put her in to counseling at Cornerstone Christian Counseling, so she can talk with a trauma counselor. The same counselor that Preaw is seeing. Boot has been through some bad things in her life that most of us cannot imagine going through. We are also looking for a dentist for her, last Friday she had an infected tooth and we took her to the dentist here and we found out that almost all of her teeth are rotted out. She needs 6 teeth taken out and possibly 3 more if root canals aren’t possible. We are also looking for a dentist that won’t just pull all of her teeth and will try to save as many as possible because life is much harder when all of your teeth are gone! We are glad to have her and she and can’t wait to see the plan that God has for her in her life!
Update on Boot: She is growing in the Lord and growing into awesome teenager. She has many problems that we are all working through. Her teeth will be fixed this March and while we send all of our kids to sell books we will keep her with us to help with the baby, but mostly so we can form a much stronger bond with her.
We also need prayer for one more kid! We are trying to decide if we should take in one more boy. Nong A, he is actually the nephew of my wife and his mother died and his father has forgot about him. As it is with most Thai people when they remarry they ignore/forget about their kids from the past relationship and focus on their new family. With the girls they are left hopeless an vulnerable and in danger of being raped or taken advantage of, with the boys they are in danger of drug and alcohol abuse and hopelessness. I met Nong A, about 3 yrs ago for the first time while we were visiting his father (My wife’s older brother) in. While his father was in jail his mother was taking care of him until she developed complications from diabetes at the age of 40. She was in and out of the hospital for about 2 months and Nong A stayed with his mom’s parents. When his father was released from prison they stayed in the hospital for about a week together watching his mother die. After she passed his father went to work and he stayed with his deceased mom’s parents and has been there ever since. His father has since remarried and on his birthday no one even called him. He feels like he has been forgotten and has no one, he is starting high school this year his grandparents are too old to take care of him like they should. My wife’s mother asked us if we would take him in and be his parents. Our heart goes out to him and since he is our family we cannot say no, unless it is not God’s will. I just can’t see that being a reality, where God tells us not to help but pray that we move according to God’s will.
Update on Nong A: Currently, his parents wont let him come but we are praying he will be able to come next school year and that we will have enough room for him.
I would also like to update you on Preaw our first daughter and leader of the kids in our house. She was in the book selling program over the summer and was the #1 salesman! We told her as long as she prayed before every pitch and asked God to prepare the hearts of the people and had confidence that God would sell the books she would be #1, and she was because she did! She has also decided that she wants to do more work for God and has teamed up with an older lady in our village and go and teach the Bible to people around the village every friday! PRAISE GOD! She has also started teaching the Bible and ukulele to the kids in the area around where we live! Since God has saved her life she has become an amazing worker for God, that I couldn’t be more proud of!
Well, if you made it this far into the blog you probably actually care about what I am doing, lol! Thank you! So, the biggest news that I have had to give in awhile is that my wife is pregnant! She has been pregnant for 2 months now and we are super excited to have our first baby! That will give us 10 people in our small 2 bedroom house! Crazy, and its not even that bad. Also, the best news for some people is that I will be coming to the US for 2 months September 26th – December 9th . If you would like to meet up with me please let me know. I will be in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. I will also be road tripping through the Mid-west on my way to Faith Camp East in Cohutta, GA and we will be staying in Collegedale, TN for about a week. If you are in any of those areas and want to meet up or you have a church that you would like me to speak to, please let me know! I am looking to meet everyone I know in those areas and looking for churches or schools to speak at to raise awareness about the need for people in Thailand!
Update: I went to america and it was awesome! My wife just gave birth to a beatiful baby girl, Evangeleen Faith Bauder, on Feb. 8th at 10:53 p.m. She is amazing and all of our kids are really blossoming! She was diagnosed with Developmental Hip dysplasia and she will have to wear a harness for the first few months of her life. But Lord willing there will be no life long challenges or setbacks for her!