Reality Check

Today we were slapped in the face with the reality of the value of our work here in Thailand.  One of the girls that we worked with in Bangkok at On Nut 49 posted a bunch of pictures on social media today advertising herself as a prostitute.  It is a hard thing to accept but I guess when you have been here this long and worked with as many kids as we have, it is bound to happen.  

She was the cutest little girl not more than 11 yrs old when we left Bangkok.  Now she is 16-17 yrs old, dropped out of school and is selling her body!  Truly a humbling thing to see!  The work that we did/do is not always effective, we are but sowers and the soil is not always good for sowing.  

It really makes us look at what we have done and are doing and wonder how we could have been and can be more effective!  This is a girl who we worked with for a few years off and on but weren’t really able to make an impact, she came to our church and program sometimes but never consistently.  Although, we know that some of the girls we have worked with more closely will probably also take that same route.  It is very disappointing to see.  We have realized that our most important work is to pray more for the kids that we work with.

Colossians 1:12 “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins”

Well, in other news all of our kids are back!  Today was supposed to be the first day of school but COVID is still a thing here and the schools have been online for the last 2 years and I guess they will continue to be.  They were supposed to start online today but for some reason the teachers decided not to start.  We have 15 people in our house and 1 in the dorm this year and 9 of them will be attending school, 4 will be teaching homeschool, and 3 will be homeschooled.  We will be focusing on how to put together curriculum in Thai and how to do this the right way with the Thai government.  Before we were using a loophole of sending the kids to do their GED and teaching them the days that they weren’t at the GED program.  Now all of our homeschool kids are small so we have to do it legally, without loopholes.

It has been nice to have all of our kids back finally!  Our house is the farthest thing from quiet that it could possibly be, but it is a blast most of the time!  Evangeleen loves having siblings and telling them “NO! MINE!” all the time.  We have 8 kids under 12 yrs old and 3 teenagers and we love it!  Younger kids are easier in a lot of ways than teenagers and it seems that change is easier as well.

We have been helping a family in Pakistan, who has a 6yr old girl with CF, Fatima.  God blessed us with over $1,000,000 worth of Trikafta(Evangeleen’s miracle drug), so we decided that we would bless them by giving 10% to them, hoping that Fatima would be able to take it as well.  But she has tried twice and ended up passing out from pain twice and in the hospital twice.  We have been talking with The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to see if we can help her there but so far, she has not been accepted.  We are contemplating bringing her family to Thailand for care but we are praying for guidance and we are not sure if they can help much here.  Please pray for FATIMA!!!!

With this drug Evangeleen is coming up on 9 months without a hospital stay!  That is a miracle!!  She was going to the hospital for IV antibiotics(a tune up)every 3 months until she started Trikafta.  We have now been able to clear her Pseudomonas infection in her lungs and stop almost all the drugs that she was taking everyday.  She is now only taking Trikafta, Creon(a digestive enzyme everytime she eats, and hypertonic saline!  Her therapy time has decreased from about 6-10 hours a day to 1-1 ½ hours a day!  This is everything for us!  Even though she has been sick twice, including once with COVID, she has not required staying in the hospital.

This has been everything for us!  We were both severely depressed and angry and it has slowly been lifting.  We still don’t believe that this drug can do this but everyday that goes by we believe a little more.  We have been testing it to see how relaxed we can be, like how normal can she be before we have to go to the hospital?  So far she is completely normal!  It’s an answer to prayer, a miracle, a dream come true and everything we could ever wish for all wrapped up in one!  

There aren’t many people who can relate to the struggles in marriage that we have.  We are an intercultural marriage, with a child with a rare disease, who adopts kids and those kids are high risk(not sure if that is the right way to word that).  Our marriage is as hard as you could imagine!  But God is good and has helped us make it through not by our strength,  but by His grace!  We are not special or great in any way but our God is!  He has chosen us for this work and we would have never chosen it.  We are super thankful and we have a house full of kids that we are grateful for!

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Update on Fatima:  We have heard from the Mayo clinic and UPMC that they are both willing to accept her!  Which is great news!  They are now preparing estimates, which we will have to pay 30% of whatever it is before she can get a letter to give to the US embassy to get a visa.  We will also have to buy plane tickets for her to come, which are about $6500.  So, please pray that God’s will will be done.

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