Tonight, Mom and I went to dinner with Kuhn Surin and his family – or part of his family anyway. Mom has known this family since 1976 when Dad served as the Director of McKean Rehabilitation Center in Chiangmai. Over dinner, Kuhn Surin shared part of his story with us. Kuhn Surin came from the Chiangrai area (north of Chiangmai) to McKean Rehabilitation Center when he was a young man to be treated for leprosy. At the Center, he met a Missionary, Maw Elizabeth. [Maw – as in ‘awe’ – is a Thai word that means ‘Doctor.’] He said that this mission co-worker not only halted the debilitating progress of his disease, but shared her faith with him as well. As he lived and worked at McKean, he became convinced that the God that she worshiped was the God that he wanted in his life as well. Through her, he gave his life to Christ. That was fifty-one years ago. Some years later, he met a girl from Wiang Pa Pao (also north of Chiangmai) and married her. They have now been married for forty-one years. Their daughter (pictured here) is only one of several children. She is a nurse at Suandok Hospital in obstetrics and gynecology.
It was so wonderful to hear this story of a mission doctor and the testimony of her life and witness in this place! She is long gone from this place [Kuhn Surin said that she worked here for ten years.], but her living witness to Christ is still bearing fruit today. There are so many in the medical field who heal people, but fail to share the Good News that is the greatest healing of all. Kuhn Surin told us that he would be lost without his faith. It is an integral part of his life. He just glows when he talks about it. When we rode home in his daughter’s car, I noticed that the music she was listening to was contemporary Christian music, sung in the Thai language.
Mom has talked about Kuhn Surin often and shared this story with me: When Dad became Director of McKean in 1976, the Center was deeply in debt and threatened with the loss of its land to pay for its indebtedness. The patients had revolted against the previous director and one of the leaders of the revolt was Kuhn Surin. As Dad worked to straighten out the mess and establish fair policies and practices for the staff and patients at the Center, Kuhn Surin was a man he listened to, for he was one who spoke the truth and did not sugar-coat his words. They became fast friends and that friendship endured long after Dad left the Center in 1982. I enjoyed getting to know him, meeting his family, and hearing how God has been at work in his life.