I will attempt to catch you up with our news! We are still alive and working here by God’s grace alone.
Medical Missionary Training ended September 17. One week before that time we began taking Thai classes from Pastor Phamor’s wife’s sister. (Is that how you say it)? Her name is Malee. I found her to be a delightful person. Her story is gripping and I will attempt to relate it here:
MALEE: At 15 years of age Malee had a passion for teaching. She had an opportunity to teach at a school near the Burma border and taught there for one year. Her parents however wanted her to continue schooling, which she did, but still persued teaching even while attending school. Later she joined a school in a refugee camp here on the border and taught for over30 years. This joy of teaching came to an abrupt end however, when just less than one year ago a brain tumor was discovered on the right side. She underwent surgery at that time and recovered remarkably well. She believes this tumor was benign. She went back to her old job and resumed her duties there. However those working with her did not feel she could take on the work load she previously had and they let her go. She told me they thought she would die. But though disheartened at loosing her long term job, she actively sought other teaching opportunities. This incredible lady taught in 2 other schools short term and then came to the Medical Missionary Training with us, thinking that she could do the work of a medical misionary. During this training however, her desire to teach grew within her and she decided she would go to training for an updated teachers certificate and find a job teaching. She found a short term job immediately! You guessed it – teaching us the Thai language! She certainly is a professional teacher and did a wonderful job for one month with us. Now her desires are more completely filled as she has taken up a teaching position in a school not far from LKY on the Burma border. Please pray for her that she may remain in good health. That God may fulfill the desires of her heart for many more years if it is His will.
We so appreciate this lady and her efforts toward us. She would not accept any pay for her work. To take Thai language classes here is very expensive, so we believe God gave her to us as a special blessing.
I must admit, I was overwhelmed most of the time by this Thai language. The first week if you were to ask me how the Thai classes were going, I might have burst out in tears! But every now and then a little ray of light would go off and I would be joyous. It is true that an older person has a much harder time learning languages. So a hint to you is learn as many languages as you can while you are young. It is fun (When you catch on)!
I must tell you that the Thai language has 44 letters in the alphabet. Also there is another chart of 36 vowels, or sounds you might call them, that change the way you pronounce the letters. These 36 sounds can be written at times above the letters, underneath, behind or in front. Each way brings a different sound, or just as importantly a higher or lower tone of voice. Anyway, just be informed I found it difficult, and do not at all have it mastered. The letters are fasinating and I love to draw them and try to sound them. My vocabulary to this point is very small.
But I can speak and understand prices in the Thai markets now!