Profile of Courageous Leadership: Tutu Bee
My Name is Tutu Bee. I am the Country Director for Asia's Hope Thailand.
I am from the Skaw Karen tribe, and I grew up in the poorest family in a village in northern Thailand. My father was an orphan. After his parents died, he was exiled from his village at age six. His status as an orphan marked him as cursed by his animist, superstitious neighbors.
Despite our extreme poverty, my mother and father were able to keep our family together. My siblings and I learned about Jesus' love from an early age. The words of scripture encouraged me every day throughout my childhood. I lived meal-to-meal, hand-to-mouth. But I always remembered the words of Philippians 4:4–7, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
When I was a young child, a missionary opened a school in a nearby village and I began to study English. After grade 9, however, there was no school for me to attend. For more than a decade, I worked in the village, unable to continue my education. In 1989, however, I finally had the opportunity to move to Chiang Mai, where I finished school and attended — and then graduated — university.
While I was completing my studies, I often returned home to minister among the hilltribe villages. My heart was broken by the plight of the many orphaned children I met. I thought about my father, suffering and alone as a six year old boy. I begged God to help me rescue these kids, to save them from being trafficked into the drug trade or as prostitutes. But at that time, I could not even support myself and my own family, much less these needy children.
After nine years of fervent prayer, God provided me the opportunity to work with an American family to open a home for orphaned hill tribe girls. But still my heart desired to lead a ministry that would also care for orphaned boys, boys like my father had been. After three years, I was hired by Asia's Hope to lead its ministries in Thailand.
Today, I lead an all-hilltribe staff caring for more than 200 orphaned tribal boys and girls at Asia's Hope Thailand's 10 children's homes. I give all of my energy for these children. I will serve God among my hilltribe children until my last breath. I was just a village girl from the poorest family, but God loved me and answered my prayers. My heart is thankful every moment. May God bless you as you join us in rescuing and raising these children.
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