Toom beside her herb and vegetables from her garden
Today we visited a KFT member, Toom and her family, and I was so humbled by Toom. We arrived and after seeing that she was putting herbs and vegetables together in preparation for selling at the market, we all started helping her out. I bunched up mint, parsley, various leafy greens, and got to cut the roots of a galangal (part of the ginger family). She had just gotten a fresh load of these beautiful herbs and veggies from a garden not too far from her house. Toom is a Christian but her parents are Buddhist and she takes care of her son in addition to her two nieces. I got the opportunity to visit her not too long ago and since then her father has developed a huge swollen area on his left knee. They cannot afford a doctor and all he has are a couple of pills, and a gel to massage over his knee. No one knew what was wrong and none of us volunteers had ever seen anything like it. We asked if it would be okay to pray over his knee and he said yes. After Ed prayed for healing over Toom’s father, I was asked to pray for Toom and I asked Diana to translate in Thai if there was anything specific that Toom wanted us to pray for. Her response blew me away. This is what she asked: her parents because she worries about their health as they’re getting older, her father’s knee, to get more income from the vegetables, her nieces and her son, and strength in her faith because sometimes, she gets really weak and feels very burdened by taking care of her family.
As I was listening her speak, my eyes started welling up because I was looking at this woman and thinking about how much I admired her strength. Her daily problems are nothing in comparison to mine and she’s a young, beautiful woman who must carry the weight of responsibility for her family on her own shoulders because no one else can. She only earns 500 Baht (equivalent to $16) and supports 6 people including herself. $16 may sound like a lot but with this income she has to pay the motorbike gas, her son and niece’s school fees, food to feed 6 mouths, bills, and soon the $16 dwindles down to nothing. I felt a little kick in my heart as I listened to her and as I tried to imagine what everyday must be like for her, to always have to be strong, to work hard everyday to make ends meet, and through all the family struggles to keep her head held high for her sake and for her family’s sake. When we asked if there was anything she wanted prayer over, her first requests were for her parents, for more income to support her family, for the children and then for herself.
Even now as I reflect on this afternoon hours later, I am still humbled by her humility to serve her family and to make their burdens her burdens.