James is a young man who loves the Lord. He is from Burma, where he received Jesus and later attended a refugee camp for six years on the border of Thailand. At the camp he became fluent in the Karen language, strong in the English language, and also learned some Thai. After graduation he was working at a chicken-processing factory in Hua Hin when Carmen Shook, Khun Daa, and Anna Bosje invited him to our church. James was faithful to church. A short time later, a young friend of James, also a member of our church, had a fatal motorcycle accident. Our church had the honor of helping the hurting families and friends.
Around this time James became burdened to visit many of the families who were affected by this young man’s death, and so together we made visits throughout the Hua Hin region. As visits were made over several months, more and more people and families were saved and/or wanted to come to church. New truck routes were started, running as many 91 people on one Sunday morning, but averaging 46 people each week since the routes began 61 weeks ago. Today each of these areas have faithful people who love coming to church despite the difficult labor environments of low pay and six-day-plus work weeks.
Early on in the visitations, we met Tu-Tu, a Karen man who was once an assistant pastor in Burma. While pastoring there, his town was struck by a tsunami, which devastated the area. Rats, food shortages, and disease began to set into an area that once had 25 churches but was down to 3. In search of a better life for his family, Tu-Tu moved to Thailand, where he and his wife worked at a local pineapple company. While visiting Tu-Tu, he asked us all about our church and decided to come faithfully with his wife Wa Wa Paa.
On our next visit with Tu-Tu, he pulled out his roughed-up Nokia phone and showed us pictures of his daughter, around James’ age, who was coming to Thailand. Her name was Tamalar Khu. She had been living in the tsunami-stricken area mentioned above. It was during this tsunami that Tamalar Khu held tightly to a large wooden pole for one day and one night, along with many others, holding the pole and holding hands. She told us that the water was very cold, yet it burned like fire on the skin.
Knowing Tamalar Khu’s journey to Thailand would be difficult, James and I, along with the rest of our church, prayed for her safety. We knew she needed medical care and wished to be with her mom and dad. When Tamalar Khu finally arrived, I noticed that James had a special interest in her. Praise the Lord! In June of 2014, they were married at our church—all smiles.
Most recently we have learned that Tamalar Khu is expecting a baby. Perhaps it will be a future pastor, like Grandpa Tu-Tu or even like Daddy, since James wants to be a pastor and is working toward that end. Every week James and I teach Sunday school together. Many other times, Bro. Randy Shook and I are able to disciple James with the Word of God as his work schedule permits.
We cherish couples like James and Tamalar Khu, whom God grows and protects. Please pray for James and Tamalar Khu. Pray that James would one day have his own church here in Southeast Asia. Pray for their newest family member as well. Sarah and I, along with all of us on the Thailand Team, thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement.
Grateful to serve,
Chad Inman and Family