40th Anniversary: Love, Knowledge, and Encouragement

28 March 2021|Pensri Jira-Adisihaworn, Hospitality, JRS Thailand in Mae Hong Son

In 1989, my family worked and lived at a school in Mae Hong Son. My husband and I received 1,500 baht for salary. After working there for 8 years, we received an additional salary of 2,000 baht. At that time, we had only one bicycle for the whole family.

One day an accident happened to my child, his legs were slipped down, and hit a wheel of the bicycle. Therefore, we thought that we should save money to buy a used motorbike. As my 3 children were growing up, we spent more and more money so we decided to quit the job at school and find a new job to earn a bigger income. I got a job as a shopkeeper with a salary of 800 baht. After 2 years, I returned to work in the school with the same amount of salary (800 baht).

We continued our work at the school until 2004. On February 6, our daughter had a serious car accident and she spent a year in hospitals in Chiang Mai and then moved to Mae Hong Son Hospital before going back home. At that time, I felt hopeless as I had to quit my job to take care of her at home. I didn’t know how to earn enough money from my family.

Then one of my friends visited and asked me if I wanted to work as a maid? She was the wife of Preecha, a driver of JRS. I agreed and applied for this position at JRS. I met Sr. Gaye Lennon, who was Mae Hong Son’s Project Director at that time. While talking to each other and I was not yet accepted to work, one person entered the office to apply for the position. But Sr. Gaye Lennon replied “We just agreed to accept a new employee,” I felt very happy to hear that, though I was not officially offered the job. I was so glad to be accepted and earned money to take care of the disabled child. I started working with JRS on November 15, 2004. The work was part-time so I could also take care of my child.

I worked as a part-time maid with JRS for about a year and 5 months. Before the end of Sr. Gaye Lennon’s contract, as he had to move to a new location, he asked if I wanted to work with JRS as full-time staff. I agreed and thanked Sr. Gaye Lennon for offering both opportunities. I was very grateful.

While working as a full-time staff, I felt that I had more hope, and I can afford to take care of my disabled daughter. Then we planned to save money to buy a car to take my disabled daughter to the hospital. Before that, we had to hire 600 baht per trip which was a large amount for us. Buying a car has helped us reduce unnecessary expenses. Now we have a car that can be used to earn extra income, driving students to schools, and also for agriculture.

The most special thing at JRS is when my disabled daughter needed immediate assistance that is unpredictable; JRS always understood when I suddenly needed to go home. This is very special for me. I don’t think I will receive this kind of opportunity in a place other than JRS.

Comparing my feelings before working with JRS, it felt like I was a seed in a deep hole, unable to breathe, though still alive, I was not strong enough to grow up. The opportunities that JRS gave me are like the rain, I felt refreshed. The rain helped the seed to flourish and emerge from the ground. I finally grew up to be a perennial tree that can bear fruits today.

Now I feel my life has come to the point of being very satisfied with what I have. JRS is like my parents who raised me with love and care. JRS has made big differences in my life. I don’t know how difficult my life and my children would be today without JRS. I want to say to JRS that I have received these 3 words “love, knowledge, and encouragement” all the time working with JRS.

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