Rainy Season Bible School - Isobel Kuhn

I smiled as the students took their seats at the front of the church. After three months of teaching and working, the first ever Rainy Season Bible School (RSBS) was over. I had sometimes wondered if I would ever reach this day. Now eighteen Lisu were ready to graduate and spread the gospel to their people.

My heart was captured by the Lisu when I first heard about them from missionary James Fraser. He explained they were a tribe that lived in the mountains of Thailand and different parts of China and Burma. They had their own culture, language, and religion, and not many missionaries had gone to them. From the moment James put out the call for missionaries I committed myself to God and promised to go to the Lisu.

It took me ten years to reach Lisuland and even then I wasn’t posted there permanently. Then my husband John and I were asked to go to Oak Flat Village in China to temporarily help the Christian Lisu there. We were supposed to stay a few months but I knew it would be longer. My mind churned with ideas, one of which was RSBS. Many of the Lisu lived in remote places and didn’t have the benefit of a local church or even the opportunity to hear the gospel. So during the rainy season when nobody could work in the fields, John and I decided to offer a school so they could learn Christianity and share the truth all over Lisuland.

Many difficulties came up as we taught. There were no words for holiness, humility, or conscience in the Lisu language. Getting these concepts across were challenging. But after much persistence on both my part and that of the students they learned much and we had arrived at graduation day. As the ceremony began I thanked God for the progress that had been made and the progress I was confident would be coming our way.

Isobel Kuhn, commonly called Belle, was born Isobel Miller on December 17, 1901 in Toronto. When a missionary told her he would ask God to send her to China, she resisted the idea. But when God called her to be a missionary she went and spent over twenty years serving in China and Thailand.
She had a passion for the Lisu people and spent much of her energy and time helping them. She married John Kuhn on November 4, 1929 and together they had two children, Kathryn and Daniel. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1953 and moved to the United States for treatment. She spent her last days writing and receiving visitors. She died on March 20, 1957 at the age of fifty-five with John by her side.

John continued to serve in Thailand and their daughter Kathryn married Don Rulison, another missionary and together they worked in the Chinese mission for over forty years. The children’s ministry Kathy’s Home was started in her honor after her death. Today Isobel and John’s grandson continues to serve as a missionary in Thailand. Isobel’s books include By Searching: My Journey Through Doubt Into Faith, In the Arena, Green Leaf in Drought, and Ascent to the Tribes.
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Beth - February 5th, 2024 at 1:37pm

This lady had a great legacy! How wonderful her daughter and grandson continued to serve after her!

Sassy - February 5th, 2024 at 1:59pm

Wow! I have never heard of this woman before. She was very ambitious.