Aunt Dorothy, my hero
Created by Sue on 02/07/2013
Aunt Dorothy went as a missionary to Thailand before I was born. When I was a child, she was the exotic aunt who traveled back to the states from far away Thailand about every 5 years. I loved her and her stories and pictures and the fun things she brought back to the US. At age thirteen, I spent my spring break going with her to visit churches and fellow workers and friends around Oregon.
As an adult I appreciated Dorothy even more. I learned that her father, Howard, had not wanted her to serve as a missionary. I finally understood the courage it took to leave family and go across the world by boat and set up life in a foreign country. She didn't get to attend the funerals of her parents, or later in life, her two brothers.
Dorothy always looked for what other people needed. I remember her making quiet suggestions of how my husband and I could help my parents. There was the time we spent hours in a thrift shop where she got clothes for the kids back in Thailand as well as clothing for other people. At lunch time she asked if we could go back as she remembered an older missionary who needed a coat. We spent a couple more hours there.
I don't remember when she broke her hip and had to have hip replacement surgery, but I do remember how she was unhappy not to be able to ride a motorcycle anymore.
In 1990, my husband and I spent three weeks with her in Thailand. It was great having first hand experiences of her work with the dorm kids where she was "Mom," with the clinic, and Development village. We enjoyed meeting "her" kids: Chao, Dang, Bla and Tao, Yut, Kwan and Oratai. We enjoyed Loon and the clinic staff. We treasure the memories spent with the Christians there, including fellow missionaries, Michael and Naomi Phillips. Don and I set up Dorothy with her first computer on that trip.
The advent of email was great as it made it easy to communicate with Aunt Dorothy on a much more frequent and immediate basis than postal mail. I loved how we could share prayer requests with each other. I know she encouraged me and many others with her emails.
In 1998, I returned to Thailand with my 17 year old daughter, Angie. Jeni and John Goddard were some of Dorothy's coworkers at that time. We also met Inkian and Naree, dorm parents. This was the summer of the hemorrhagic fever epidemic. We counted pills and counted pills. The clinic saw 200 patients a day. The next year the clinic was shut down.
I think it was about 2006 when I became Dorothy's newsletter editor. She always told me I had full editorial permission, but mostly there were not many changes needed. She'd send me pictures and the information and tell me I could cut if needed to make it all fit, but she was so good at estimating how much to say that it usually fit well.
Dorothy encouraged so many people in their walk with the Lord. I think of her in heaven with many many people coming to her saying "Thank you for giving to the Lord. I was a life that was changed."