Single missionary gets unexpected family
"It was a count-the-cost moment," Angela says, though she was not deterred from God's call on her life.
She also moved to a larger home. And it didn't take long for her to find out how God intended to use the house for ministry. As she was moving in, she heard about a 15-year-old girl, Ying, whose mother wanted her out of the house.
"My daughter is such a burden to me. Can you take her?" Ying's mother asked Angela's supervisor, Doug Derbyshire.
Wanting to protect this frightened teenager, Doug arranged for Ying to move into a dorm-style room at a guest house the team uses for volunteers. But Angela couldn't imagine how scared this girl must be. She felt the Lord telling her to open her home.
Ying moved in, and the following week, Ying's friend, Ploy, asked to move in too. Ploy's family had sent her to work at a truck stop. Fleeing the terrible conditions, Ploy returned home only to face the anger of her parents. Her father beat her, claiming that she was refusing to support the family. With nowhere else to turn, she went to Angela's house.
Ying and Ploy decided on their own to call Angela "Mom" from the very beginning. For Angela, God was making it clear that He was building a family she didn't expect.
Angela moved two sets of bunk beds and a spare mattress into her second room to make room for the girls and the extra company who often joined them on the weekends. She also converted a small office space into a room for Prame, a high school senior, who was living with her grandparents. Prame wanted to study and go on to college, but her grandmother was cruel and made it very difficult for her to focus on school. Prame moved into the small office space and became one of the family. In Angela's home, Prame had peace and encouragement in her schoolwork.
In December 2017, the year God first began to build this new family, Ying and Ploy left Angela's house and never returned. At first, everyone was concerned, but Angela later learned they were safe but were choosing to live a life apart from God. Angela missed them, but in the spring, God led another young woman to the family.
"This turned into a good time of discipleship," Angela says of Noi's move to the house.
As the leader of this family, Angela has a few rules and is glad that for the most part, the girls have been compliant.
"They have to help me clean the house and do dishes. And they have to go to church and have a quiet time," Angela says. "And no boys in the house!"
Angela supports them as any mother would -- making sure they have lunch money and school uniforms, reminding them to study and taking time to listen to them. Since going out for lunch is not expensive in Thailand, she takes the girls out to eat every day. She also provides food for the house and the household items they need. Angela explains that some of these girls could not afford to eat three meals a day before they moved into her house. Their lifestyle now, though simple, provides more than they've ever had.
"It's nice not having an empty house. I like having them around," Angela says of her family, which she is open to expanding. "I don't have any limits about how many can be in the house. My home is open."
Angela knew what she might be sacrificing when she chose to make Thailand her home for the sake of the Gospel. She's grateful that God planned for her to be a mom after all.