WHEN THE DEVIL COMES IN LIKE A FLOOD!

July 1, 2014

There are just two weeks left before I will go to America.  I am definitely going to all the villages possible to see them one last time and encourage them with stories about Jesus. I miss them already.

The last village we visited was NeLeeGwee.  I have told them about Satan and his fall from heaven, the creation story and some things about Christ’s life on earth.  Every story needs to be repeated because these things are brand new for them!  Today I have a burden to tell them about Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection.  To tell these amazing stories simply for these people takes a lot of thought, but God helps us every time!

We pack our backpacks with medicine, they are always too heavy!  The rain has let up as we start our hike. In a little while we cross a few swollen streams by walking across bamboo poles, or a fallen tree trunk.  In one particular place the tree we must balance across is old and slick.  The bark has sloughed off and it is green with slime.  I think nothing of stepping across it, because I have done it many times in the past. There is nothing for your hands to hold onto. My backpack is heavy and I have black rubber boots on which are not good for traction, plus I am not used to wearing them, I always wear the old flip flops.  As I neared the end of the log my foot slipped and instantly I sat down hard on that old log.  It hurt really badly with the extra weight from my backpack. At least I did not catapult right down into the swirling waters below! I was able to get up and walk right away and was thankful that nothing was broken.  BletJaw carried my backpack for a little distance.

We treated many patients over the next 2 hours. They prepared us a meal of rice and noodles.  We ate on the floor with our fingers as usual.  My pain was almost entirely gone unless I sat down in a certain way – no problem, I thought to myself.  As we were preparing to tell the story of Jesus, we were called to visit two patients in other houses.  The last man we saw was suffering from bad kidneys and other things.  He swells up at times and has pain in both kidneys and in his entire abdomen.  After asking him a multitude of questions I found out that his wife had an IV solution that someone had given her just a week ago, but there was nobody to give it to him.  I was happy to give it along with 2 shots of B vitamins and other things. I did all that I could to make him comfortable. As soon as the last shot was given, my right wrist and hand began to pain me.  It got worse by the second until I could not even bring my fingers up to straighten them.  I was perplexed because I had no hint of pain in my wrist or hand ever since I fell, over 3 hours ago.

By the time I finished the worship talk on Jesus crucifixion; my whole hand had begun to swell.  Praise the Lord, the beautiful story of Jesus was not diminished in significance, the Holy Spirit added power to it. The children were quiet and focused on the pictures.  God’s presence was moving on those dear people.  I asked them if they would remember this story and think about it while we were gone because it is the best story ever told. It should be repeated again and again because it is so important – it never gets old.  The grandma said that she would have a hard time remembering, but she would try.  They all had never heard anything like it before!  They gathered around to study the pictures.  It is an awesome time. I am so happy to be with them! I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit!

It wasn’t until we started walking home that my hand really truly start to pain me.   I was especially careful across the slimy log.  My wrist hurt so bad I could barely stand it, but I thought about how suddenly it came on, right after my last patient had been treated, my last shot given, and the last entry in my patient treatment log had been written down.  Praise the Lord I had done the worship before the intense pain.

When we got home, I told BletJaw that I cannot write, I cannot chop anything to cook and I cannot treat any patients. I can do nothing with my right hand. I soaked my hand in cold water and then wrapped crushed onions around it.  This helps if you can do it right away, but now it had been seven hours.  I prayed that it would help me do my work because it was my last onion and I sure hated to waste it on my hand.  That night I barely slept. The next day was Sabbath. Miraculously I was much better! I wrapped it with an ace wrap and went to church. The people were all concerned about it, bless their hearts. I take care of them when they have much worse injuries. I preached my parting sermon.  How I pray for the physical and spiritual health of these people while I am gone.

After church I am well!  I can write and treat the patients!  Isn’t God wonderful?!

I know Satan was attacking me because he did not want me to tell the story of Jesus.  Oh how thrilling to see the attacks of Satan!  When you are working for God full time he attacks you at every step. This is good news!  How he hates anyone to know the story of how he tortured and killed the Son of God!  But God says that when the devil shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him!”  The story of Jesus will be told!!

 

 

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God Cares for the Elderly

June 26, 2014

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“Oh Lord, You are so wonderful!” I say the words over and over, my breath catching in my throat, and tears glistening in my eyes. I am looking outside at a sudden downpour of rain.

Now this may not sound so wonderful to you, but I had just returned from a long walk to LaGlah village and there had been no rain whatsoever from 8 a.m. until now, 3p.m.! That is a miracle this time of year for sure, but that is not the only miracle!   Just let me back up and tell the entire wonderful story exactly as it unfolded.

BletJaw has not been here for 3 days, and Breck has also gone. I am doing the best I can by myself with my meager language skills! It is a little nerve wracking when you see the patients lined up in the waiting room and on the porch. But God has helped me communicate with them all. I really believe every patient has been cared for adequately! I am so thankful.

Last night SayHtu, 22, from WahSueTah came to talk with me. I know SayHtu well because he has brought his 3 year old son in for medicine and breathing treatments countless times with asthma. This poor little boy always has labored breathing, but put a common cold in on the equation and there is real trouble.

Now SayHtu is asking me to go to LaGlah village and help his grandmother, she has a large piece of pork stuck deep in her throat and has not been able to eat or drink for 3 days!!! She has no teeth. He seems a little concerned, but not nearly as concerned as he should be if he knew the real danger and enormous difficulty of such a thing way out here in the rain soaked jungle! My head spins. This is life threatening – a real emergency, and during the rainy season we cannot take her out –no way. To top it all off this dear lady is over 90 years old! I feel so sorry for her!

It is now 6:30 p.m. and raining hard. I hear myself telling SayHtu that I will go to LaGlah to see her in the morning. SayHtu is very happy. These dear people think I can do anything, and make any situation better. But inside my heart I dread to go in all this rain, I dread to go without BletJaw and do all the communicating myself, and most of all I dread to see this lady and witness the inevitable outcome from my inexperienced hands trying to use my inadequate instruments to try to extricate a chunk of meat! Pork no less!

I review the facts in my mind. If the bolus of food has not gone down by itself in 24 hours, (Tomorrow it will be the 4th day), it is a medical emergency and should be transported to the nearest medical facility immediately, where trained gastroenterologists use their greatest skills and instruments to either push the bolus down or pull it out using a suction or other instruments. Even in the best case scenarios they meet with failure sometimes. If they try to push it down they must make a left hand turn or else it will occlude the trachea. A blocked trachea is way more life threatening than a blocked esophagus! Of course any move with an instrument, or just the pressure of pulling it out could rupture the esophagus which causes the person to bleed to death in short order! There is also a chance that she has developed rings around her esophagus which constrict with age, making it even harder to swallow or to remove food that has been lodged. The surgeon has to dilate the rings with special instruments.

I fall on my knees and pray for this dear lady and for help. “Oh Dear Lord, I do not want to be in this situation, You know I cannot do anything, this is way past me, but I am all they have, there is no one else. You are all I have, Lord. There is no one else. You are enough! I am trusting in You. I know You will help me.”

I read: “Let all move forward courageously, trusting in God to supply their needs according to the riches of His goodness…Before those who trust and obey Him, He will open ways of advance. In emergencies, He will give them special help!!”

I will go forward courageously. This promise is for me! I pack my things, thinking carefully about how I will go about this. I have a tongue re-tractor, alligator forceps, hemostats (though not long enough), olive oil, an injection for nausea which should relax the GI tract and make the patient sleepy, (Maybe that will help a little), and a dental mirror. I don’t know how in the world I would use a dental mirror way down there in the depths of someone’s throat, but I bring it.

I go to the school quickly to try to email my Sister to pray for us. I am amazed that the internet is actually working tonight, plus my old computer connected just long enough for my message. This does not usually happen!

Now I prayed that the Lord would stop the rain.

SawHtu and his little brother, DeaJayCa meet me at eight a.m. SawHtu shoulders my backpack of medicine for the village. They are happy. They think I am going to solve all their problems!

We start out.

The rain stops!

When we arrive at the phone calling place, I call BletJaw so that he will pray. I ask him explain to SawHtu that this is an emergency that should have been seen in the hospital over 3 days ago! There is not a lot of hope. I want him to know the truth. Tell him that because of his grandmother’s age and the length of time it has been lodged in her throat that there are extreme dangers, and I explain the trachea, bleeding and strictures.

I am told that the family thinks she is too old and probably won’t live anyway, but they really want to see what I can do.

I enter the dark little hut. The lady is lying on a heap of rags.   She is hungry and thirsty. She has severe pain in her throat and up through her right ear and head. Many people crowd in. I prepare my things. First I tell the people that this is impossible for me to get out, but not for God!   He can do all things. I told them I will pray to God and ask Him to get it out.  I poured my heart out to God asking Him to please show these dear people His power so that they will see it and believe on Jesus! I gave the patient a little olive oil to try to get down one little sip for lubrication. Then I gave her the injection. I let her wait 15-20 minutes. Then with my headlamp and glasses on, I resolutely placed the re-tractor down her throat with my left hand and poised the bayonet forceps in my right hand. I peered down her throat. She choked. Three times I went down with that re-tractor and made ready with my forceps. Three times she choked. On the third time the woman made a mighty choke and that large chunk of meat popped right out!

Nobody present understood the greatness of that miracle. They just trusted in me and praised me. I quickly told them that it was NOT me. God had answered our prayer. He is mighty. God did what no human being could do. He saved her life. He tenderly cares for the elderly. I tell them that we must now pray again and this time thank God for the miracle that He just performed.

Everybody around me is happy. The dead silence that had covered that room like a cloud before, now broke forth in laughter and talking. Nobody is happier than the elderly lady who has been freed from her burden. Now her great thirst and hunger can be satisfied. I tell them to cook her some very soft rice and vegetables. No meat! She must only eat soft foods.

SawHtu, grandma,

SawHtu, grandma, DeaJayCa

 

We treated patients in that village for the next 2 hours before walking home. I praised God and sang all the way back home. I think about all the Providences of the Lord.

It had not rained on us the whole day, but as I stepped into my house on returning home and began to put things away, there was a sudden heavy rain! “Oh Lord, You are so wonderful.” I cry out with all my heart.

 

(I found out later that my Sister had received the email. It was Sabbath morning for her, so that day she asked her Sabbath School class at church to pray for us. Then in church she had the entire church pray. When the members of God’s true church pray, there is power! The Lord is not slack concerning His promises)!

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God Cares for Those That are With Young

June 25, 2014

It is midnight.  There is a soft knock at the door.  I have been sleeping for three hours and cannot wake up.  The knock grows louder.  I stumble to the door.  There is SheSaw, 20 years old, from WST.  His wife, PawJah, has just had a baby and something is wrong.  Can I come quickly! I cannot tell if it’s the placenta that hasn’t come,  heavy bleeding, or both, but in any case I bounce into action, throwing my sleepiness away and gathering up all the supplies that I might possibly need.

BletJaw is not here right now, it is only Breck and I.  Breck has returned for a visit the entire month of May.  What a blessing!  By the providence of God he always is here just when he is desperately needed. We drive the truck to WST and find sixteen year old PawJah, faint, pale as a ghost, and sitting up with her back smack up next to the fire.  Her head is rolled all the way back, two women are holding her up.  They have some type ground white stuff all over her head and a clump of her hair is in her mouth.  They have a hot rock from the fire wrapped in a rag and pressed up into her stomach. Blood is everywhere.  Quite a sight to behold.  I send up a quick prayer for help.

Now before I go any further let me tell you that for some reason when a woman just has a baby here and does not feel well, it is a tradition to stuff a wad of her hair in her mouth.  I think it is a superstition.  Also they grind a white root up and put it all over the head.  A fire hot rock is always pressed into the stomach.  This does much harm because the heat encourages more bleeding, but they don’t know that!  They also must bury the placenta quickly and always remember where it is, otherwise the spirits will leave and someone will get sick.

I evaluate the situation.  The baby is fine.  The placenta has been delivered, but is not available to inspect for missing parts.  I take the Mother’s blood pressure and only hear a faint sound at 60!!!   I instantly make her lie down and take the hot rock away. I raise her legs straight up and start an IV wide open.  I am praying the entire time.  I check her and see she is loosing much blood.  Praise the Lord – I have oxytocin!  I give it IV. This stops the bleeding by causing the uterus to contract.  With 500 cc of D5NS infused, her pressure is now 100 over 55 – a definite improvement. I tell the family that we must take her to the hospital because she may have a tear.  She has lost too much blood and may need blood transfusions etc.  Breck drives back home to get more IV solution, then we take her to MeDooGlow. 

By the time we get back home exhausted and ready to sleep, it is 6:30 a.m. and already some patients are coming.  No sleep for us now!

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We will go forward in time to when we must pick PawJah up and bring her home.  The clouds are hanging low.  It looks like the sky will just let loose on us at any moment and ruin the already bad roads. There are so many tense moments when driving these roads. Breck said that the people in America just would not believe that he was driving under such terrible road conditions and constant threat of danger.

Now we have PawJah, her baby, husband, mother and brother in the truck and head for home.  To our dismay heavy rain had come behind us and left the roads 100% worse than when we drove out.  We didn’t get too far before we came to the dreadful red mud hill with a series of deep ruts running vertically all the way up.  (Red mud is the worst). There also was an inevitable cliff on one side at the bottom which was hard to keep away from. We found it impossible to stay out of the ruts and tried ten times to make it to the top praying all the time.  No success. We tried everything, locked hubs, unlocked hubs, 4wd low, 4wd high, 2 wheel drive.  Nothing helped us get even half way up that hill.  By this time 3 motorcycles carrying 6 young men arrived and tried to push us time and time again.  No success.  Finally one of them seemed to know about driving in these conditions and Breck let him have a try.  Twice he screamed the engine and spun that truck so hard up the hill that my blood curdled.  I ran down to ask them to stop, we would just have to spend the night at MDG.

After the young men leave, I see a determined look on Breck’s face and he says resolutely: 

“I’m going to try one more time.”

At this moment I pray earnestly for God to take control of this truck and help Breck make it all the way to the top because poor PawJah and her little baby need to be home and resting.  I noticed Breck waiting at the bottom of the hill in the truck for quite some time.  I know he is praying.  I am so thankful for him!  I tell BeKee, PawJah’s Mother that we are praying, only God can take the truck safely up this mountain.  She knows that is true.

Now the engine starts up.  There is no one pushing, no one screaming the motor, no one wildly spinning the truck around in the mud.  Calmly and quietly, inch by inch that black and silver Mitsubishi truck went straight up that rutted mountain pathway.  Straight through the churned up, messed up red mud, and up—up—up— to the very top it went!  Invisible hands were gently, steadily bringing that truck to the flat and solid ground above!

A shout of great relief and joy rang through small group of people watching below, with smiles on every face!  It is obvious to all that only God could have done that!!!  He has truly shown His greatness and His might today! How He tenderly cares for the Mother’s with newborn babies. 

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.”  Isaiah 40:11 

PawJah, her husband, SheSaw and baby girl, LaPaw.

PawJah, her husband, SheSaw and baby girl, LaPaw.

 

 

 

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America

June 25, 2014

I have been in Thailand for 5 years now.  I returned to America one time three years ago. I have been prepared to stay at my post of work like Nehemiah and not come down, but God has made it perfectly clear to me that it is time to go to America now.

I will arrive July 2 and plan to return to Thailand September 2. My tentative plans are to be in Florida, Montana and Tennessee.

I would be delighted to see you or talk to you on the phone at least, because so many of you have upheld me in your prayers, and I feel such a bond of tender love toward you all!  My Sister’s number is 423-994-1310 where I can be reached. 

If you would like me to speak in your church, I would be delighted to do so if at all possible with my schedule, because I love to show pictures and tell about all the might works of God in behalf of the dear people way out in the jungles of Thailand!

Let’s keep pressing on at all costs because we don’t have very much time left at all!

In His care,

Gayle

 

 

 

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My Birthday!

June 24, 2014

 

Today is my Birthday, I am 61 years old.  I must tell you that  I am so happy about my age,  because I am just the age I am supposed to be, in just the place I am supposed to be!  Any other age or place is outside of God’s will.  I was created and made to be here right now so of course I would have it no other way. This past year has been full of victory and Divine guidance, despite the many set backs and attacks of Satan!  God’s presence is closer than it ever has been before. Oh what prospects of a greater work for God during the next year!

A missionary once said:  “In this life we only have one candle to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”

My candle may have a long time left to burn, or it may be very short, but I have decided to burn it out in this dark land and pray that the precious beams of light will continue to burn and spread far and wide until Jesus comes!

OK, so Monday, April 21 I woke up early renewing my vows of dedication to God, giving my day and my new year entirely to God, praying to always lay my plans at His feet and constantly seek His counsel, not trusting in myself for anything, but fearfully looking to God that I may give Him glory in all things and pleading for more souls to be led to His kingdom!

There is a soft knock on my door.  “TharaMu?  Happy Birthday!”  I open the door to see BletJaw holding a beautiful Birthday cake, all decorated with 3 softly burning candles on top!  He and his wife had decided that I must have a real Birthday cake today, even way out here in the jungle! My eyes grow wet with tears as I think of all the good and bad times we have gone through over the past four years of work in BYT. BletJaw and his wife have dedicated their lives to this work even though it is a sacrifice for them. BletJaw has been the only one to stay with the work here, faithfully obeying the call of God.  All my work would be nothing without him.  All my prayers, worships, sermons and Bible studies come to the people through his voice.  The patients are prayed for, encouraged and instructed through his voice.  Every project, every plan has his 100% cooperation and best efforts.  I am so thankful for him. 

Now I understand the mystery of yesterday!  He had gotten up early and before breakfast told me that he had to go to MaeLaCamp on the motorcycle. He would only stay for about one hour and return by noon.  It is a long hard trip. We prayed before he left. I thought he had some business to perform.  I did not ask any questions.  Now I know he went all that way just to buy a Birthday cake for me!  He brought somebody with him to carry and protect the cake, but how, on all those horrible roads did it come through still beautiful and in one piece?!

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We discuss our plans for the day.  It seems like a good idea to make another long trip to MaeSot today to get the truck repaired, because right now we would not feel safe to even take a patient to MeDooGlow, and we also need to buy cement posts to build our wall in front of the house.

Two things worry me about leaving today.

1.  Monday evening is when we have the Bible study at DuPe’s house in WahSueTah and I wouldn’t want to miss that.

2.  I had treated WeeTeeSa, an eleven year old boy 2 weeks ago for horrible fungus infections of both legs.  I had taught him just how to treat it and asked him to come back  for a recheck today, April 21, so I could see if he had faithfully taken care of himself.  He is from GweeWaWaKee village which is a long ways away.  We doubted that he would really come today, but in the slim chance that he would, I just have to be here for him!

It is still early and I have time to go for my usual run.  This is my special time to talk to God and receive His directions for the new day.  I must ask Him if He wants me to go to MaeSot today or stay here.  As I go down the first hill, a girl calls after me to wait for her.  She wants to run with me this morning!  That is unusual, but as I reach WahSueTah I am so happy to be with her because she understands my Karen better than the others do and I would like to visit DuPe and find out if they will be home tonight for the Bible study.  I discover that DuPe and his wife are gone for 3 days.  That is number one cancelled off my list.

While eating our breakfast at 8 a.m., we hear patients at the door.  To my utter amazement and joy, there is WeeTeeSa with his beautiful smile!  He is so happy to be here on the day that I had told him because he wanted to show me how much better his legs look!  I look at him with wonder and amazement that God would not only send him here this day, but bring him early enough that we can still make our long trip out.

WeeTeeSa

WeeTeeSa

 

Today I have received the most beautiful Birthday gift from God! The way He directed me through this day assures me that likewise, His guidance, support and strength are mine for the asking all through the coming year, if I keep my hand tightly in His!

It may seem like a small matter just to plan a day trip, but God cares about every single move we make!  There are NO small matters with God! 

“There must be much prayer in every move made…We should bring God into all our counsels, and not make moves unless we have enlightenment of God.  Plead with God, importune Him for light, for wisdom, and for counsel, that every move may be made in God!”   9MR Vol 9 No.668

“Every move should be made cautiously, with the greatest wisdom, for far more is pending than in a national battle!! Satan and his host are all astir…and if the advocates of truth do not go into battle in the strength of God, Satan will manage to outreach them every time!” 2T 285

This Day with God 334 “Our time here is short at best and we want every move we shall make to tell in the strengthening and the advancement of the cause of God.

 

 

 

 

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CEMENT BLOCK AND THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE

May 28, 2014

(This story is written by BletJaw, and is submitted to you all with love and prayers.  He asks that if possible could you pray for us in this work, not only for the health and conversion of the people we serve, but for our safety on these deplorable, life threatening roads that we must travel day after day, and other constant dangers. Words just cannot describe it all.   Our lives are hanging in the balance so many times).

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We need cement block for making a wall in front of our house. It is to keep the loose dirt from washing away during the rainy season. We can buy cement blocks from two places – MeDooGlow or Meta. MeDooGlow side is closer. It is only one and a half hours away. It is not dangerous, and the road is not so bad, but, the cement block is a poor quality. Meta side is far away, the road is very steep and very bad, plus it can be very dangerous, but the cement block is a good quality. Which cement block do we want for the important wall? The wall needs to be strong. .

The rainy season is just about to start. It has rained several times already, but we begin driving with nice weather and everything is good. We had been told by the villagers that wild elephants are out somewhere on our way to Meta. We had a patient from another village that wanted us to take them back to their village, so we took them and continued on our journey. We had to go through the mountains – up and down. Some places are dense jungle areas. The road goes in and out of the jungle. Almost halfway to Meta we saw fresh elephant tracks on the road. That elephant might be ahead of us! We were alert and continued carefully.  Soon we saw fresh elephant dung and heard the elephant’s loud trumpeting sound. I slowed down the truck as I turned the next corner. There – right in front of us where the elephant sound had came from, were 2 elephants, one off the left side of the road and the other one right on the road where we needed to go through! We were very close to the elephants because they were at a blind corner. I felt like my heart beat went up to a thousand beats per minute! I backed the truck up around the corner and waited some distance away for a few minutes. We prayed to God for help, and then drove around the corner again. I drove really slow in that corner – there they were still on the road looking toward us! OH NO!!!   My heartbeat went up again to 1000 beats per minute! I backed up the truck again. We waited for several more minutes. After a long time we ventured around the corner for the third time. I drove the truck very slowly. We did not hear anything. This time, however we saw 3 elephants, one in the middle of the road, one off to the left and another off to the right. Once again my heart beat went up to over 1000 beats per minute! I backed up the truck again. We can do nothing – only wait. We were not going to give up easily. We wanted to go forward and get good cement block, because we really need it. Finally we decided to try to get around that corner the fourth time. I started the truck and drove slowly to the corner. This time we saw four elephants. Three were going up the bank on the left side of the road, and one more elephant was following them. They were making loud trumpeting sounds. We would not dare to go through that corner any farther, because we did not know if there were more elephants on the other side of the corner. What made us even more scared was seeing another bigger elephant standing on the right side of the road! Now we see 4 on the left and one on the right. We were looking at five large elephants in all!  Once again my heartbeat went up to over 1000 beats per minute. I have to back up the truck again. Until this point, we had not given up the plan to go ahead and buy the much needed good quality cement block. Because we need it quickly before it really rains hard day and night.

We saw one of the big elephants coming toward us. She stopped at the beginning of the corner, and started to play with a small tree branch, she then threw dirt on her back with her trunk. We had been waiting and watching for a long time. Later her son came and played with her. Now the two of them were on the road playing and slowly coming toward us. The little one has chains tying both front feet together. Later we found out that he has chains on his feet because he likes to chase people! Even though he has chains on his feet, he can jump pretty fast! They both have bells around their necks, so we are pretty sure they are tame elephants and have owners.

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This picture was a video, where you could see the one on the right jumping toward us with his front feet chained together,  but we could not figure out how to get it on the web page.

 

Now we see another traveler coming up behind us on a motorbike. He stopped and we told him about the elephants. He turned around and stopped his motorbike heading away from the elephants. He began walking toward the elephants, throwing rocks and yelling at them. The man kept throwing rocks at the elephants, hoping and wishing the elephants would be scared of him and run away. Instead of running away, the little one went back to the corner and made a loud trumpeting sound that seemed like a call for help. Immediately from the other side of the corner we heard a scary sound, and here came the biggest elephant that I ever saw in my life! The man told us that three of these elephants are tame and two are wild. We have heard stories about the wild elephants chasing people. We even saw a man who had been chased by an elephant. We also heard about a wild elephant destroying a motorbike, and killing a mother her child.

At this point we have to turn around, but we did not give up to get good quality cement block because we really needed it. We decided to go another long long way. Part of this way we had never traveled before so we have no idea how far and how bad the road would be. We had to go through 5 villages in order to reach highway 105 which takes us to Meta where the good quality cement block was.

It is hard to describe how bad the roads are here in Thailand. We passed two villages that we had never been to before. The road was terrible. It was not a busy road because trucks do not usually go there.  It was OK for a motorbike, but NOT for a truck. There were several steep sharp corners going straight up and then straight down. Also there were four places uphill that you must not make any mistakes on or have any engine problems. One up-hill we barely made to the top. It was really hard because it was so steep with loose rock, gravel and sand. The wheels were spinning, the engine roaring and only my angel helped me make it. As soon as we made it safely to the top, I praised God for sending the angels once again to help us. Even though I started my driving experience in the mountains, I told Breck, “Definitely I will not come back this way with cement block.”

Finally we arrived at Meta at 4:30 p.m. We had left BYT at 9 a.m. Normally it would take us three and half hours to get to Meta on a good day! Today it took us over 7 hours! But it is well worth it to get good quality cement block. By the time we arrived in Meta we were starving hungry, but we had no time to eat because in 30 minutes the cement shop would close. Already the gates were half shut to the parking area. We rushed in to buy the cement block. After that we bought water and a small snack for our stomachs. We had no time to relax and eat our snacks because it was late and already it was raining in some places.

Finally we headed out to BYT. Up in mountains the higher we got the harder it was to see ahead of us because we were in the midst of the clouds. Carefully I drove through the roads where often the wild elephants are seen. We were so thankful to God that we did not see the elephants in the first dangerous area. By this time the sun was down, and the sky was getting dark. We came to a place where we had to make another decision. The first choice was to go the shortcut way. It will take us to BYT in 35 minutes, but the road is narrow and very steep. There are dangerous down hills in two places and it was already raining. Because of the rain the slippery mud can do you crazy, sending your brakes and steering out of control. I have experienced this once before when the truck took us just one foot from the precipice. The Lord has often saved me from Satan’s hand and I praise Him for that.

The second choice was to go the long way around which would take us 2 more hours to get to BYT, and let’s not forget that was the same road where we had met the elephants earlier in the day.

It is late, raining a little, and getting very dark, so we have a hard decision to make.

We decided to take the first choice and started rolling the truck wheels down the mountain shortcut. The longer we drove the wetter the ground was getting. Soon enough we were at the top of the first very steep downhill. Before going on down, I stopped the truck and went ahead to check the road. Sure enough the road was wet, muddy and slippery. It was not a good idea to even try driving down it. We parked the truck somewhere in jungle and began walking home. We got home very late. It was dark. We were hungry and tired. Yes, but we got home safely! We will get the truck the next day if it is dry.

Somehow, our Adventist Christian life is just like this experience in getting good quality cement block. The cement block represents our character. Satan will tell you to go to a closer place, where the road is easy to build your character on, but what you will get is a weak character. To gain the crown from Jesus is just like getting good quality cement block. You may have to go where the path is difficult. There will be dangers, you will be hungry, tired, worn, and tempted to give up at times, but if you are faithful and endure the hard times with Jesus help, you will get a good quality strong character that will stand the test of trials and temptations. God is so faithful. He will never let you face temptations that you cannot bear. He will show you the way and how to escape the dangers, so together with Jesus let us make the decision to build good quality strong characters today.

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Four Wheel Drive

April 23, 2014

I think four wheel drive is a real touchy thing on a thirteen year old Mitsubishi pick up truck, that does extreme off-road driving with heavy loads.

I know the angels of heaven are doing so many things for us here to keep us alive and functioning.   Our truck is beginning to be a major problem for us right now. Thursday the Pastor, BletJaw and I headed out to Meta to make a “quick” one day trip for re-bar and cement. We are building a wall to hold the bank up in front of our house before the rainy season starts. On the very steepest part of our trip the truck went “BANG!” It was very loud and also jerked. It is a tense moment because you don’t want anything to go wrong on those straight up and straight down mountain passes because it is a life or death situation.   It is something we pray about every time we travel these roads. The pastor was so nervous that he climbed into the back of the pick-up so that if we didn’t make it he could jump out!

We did make it out, but the 4 wheel drive had broken completely.  The back wheels slipped and spun and skidded all the way up the steeps, but I know angels excelling in strength had pushed us up the bad places and held us back going down the other side without 4X4.

We decided the Pastor and BletJaw would stay at MaeLaCamp while I took the truck to MaeSot for repairs. It took until the next day to fix it. The mechanic told me that it is perfect now, the rattles were all stopped and the 4 wheel drive is great!

We purchased a heavy load of re-bar and cement and happily headed back up the mountain on the steep inclines, because now the 4 wheel drive is working!  Alas, just as we got to the first dreadfully steep place we heard “BANG – BANG.” Should we proceed? We really had no alternative because there is nowhere to turn around on this narrow strip of road. It is much too steep to attempt a turn-around, plus another truck was coming up behind us. With prayers ascending to our Saviour, BletJaw courageously guided the truck through the hair-pin right hand turn which is almost vertical!  Many “BANGS” later we reached the top! The road still went uphill, but we found a small area to stop, catch our breath, collect our thoughts, let the truck rest, and thank the dear Saviour for safety thus far. Though this is the steepest part, the road is nasty all the way to BYT. Even though it is banging, at least the truck still has 4 wheel drive. We need it desperately.

Now the last section of this trip is  a shortcut from the pagoda to BYT.  This is a home-made road, dug out quite recently by the villagers and is extremely rough. It saves us 2 hours of driving!  However, it has many very steep winding down-hills, along with tight turns next to drop off cliffs.  We had another problem at this point. It had begun to rain! Yes, rain! Sometimes in April there is a little rain, and it chose to rain right now. Inwardly we all groaned and became silent. This shortcut would be treacherous and impossible with a lot of rain, but this was not too much yet, so down we went. Before even reaching the worst places, the truck began to slide. The pastor decided he did not want to be in this scary truck anymore, so he got out and walked. We picked him up on the level parts and he would get out on all the steep places. I really don’t blame him because it is an ordeal. BletJaw just prayed and kept the truck somewhat on the road. By another precious miracle of the Lord we made it all the way home! I am still remembering to thank God for all His loving care.

“Often the Christian life is beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform.  The imagination pictures impending ruin. . . Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, “Go forward.”

“The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. . . The dealings of Providence bring to the unbelieving, darkness and despair, while to the trusting soul they are full of light and peace.  The path where God leads the way may lie through the desert or sea, but it is a safe path!”  PP 290

 

 

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Spiders!

April 21, 2014

I must say that if it weren’t for trouble, there would not be too much going on here right now!  In fact several stories in this group are on the negative side!  But that does not mean that we are discouraged or despairing!  This means that the devil hates what we are doing, so we are happy.  Plus, through it all we feel the guiding tender touch of the Master’s hand, and we feel His presence.  Just one encouraging word from Him and all doubts and fears are gone!  In the darkness, the brightness of His presence is even more distinguishable and precious.

BletJaw has been digging in the dirt for 2 days.  He has dug a deep ditch across the base of the bank in front of our house in preparation for a wall, which we hope will keep the dirt in place over the rainy season.  He has leveled one area in front of our house, and has almost completed building concrete steps leading up to our house.  I think he is quite a genius to figure out how to do these things.

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He also dug ditches to redirect the rapid flow of water during the rainy season on either side of the steps.  At one point he calls me to see a deadly poisonous spider that he had killed in the dirt by our front porch.  I look at the horrible, fat, black, hairy, body and brown underside.  I recognize it to be like several smaller ones that I have killed in our house before!   BletJaw tells me that you are in big trouble if they bite you.  Many people die.   One man barely escaped death, but lost the use of his legs.  That very night I killed another one in my bedroom!

BletJaw has just hooked up some PVC pipe higher up on the wall in the bathroom so we can now turn on the water and have it pour out like a shower! Luxury! It is really quick, and more convenient, than the bucket baths we are so used to. Plus, for the first time we do not have to worry about running out of water and do not have to go to the river for a bath!  A few nights ago I was in a real rush to take a shower because I was late for a worship we were to have. It was a joy to have the water come down from above – I was so happy about it, until I felt something going down my back besides the water. I thought my hair had fallen down and I glanced in the mirror to fix it. Oh! Lo-and-behold, it was a very large, hideous, fat, black, spider – the deadly poisonous kind! I don’t know to this minute how I reached the center of my back to get that thing off, but in an extremity sometimes you can do things that in normal times you cannot do!

These type spiders seem to really be prolific in our house right now. We have found and killed one in the main room where we eat and another one in the storage room, and yet another one in the bathroom!  We have agreed that we must be very careful about these spiders, but they appear when you least expect it.

Just yesterday, I used the washcloth on the sink to wash a plate.  I put a little soap on the cloth and washed.  When I was finished I squeezed the washcloth out and began to hang it over the side of the sink, when the largest, fattest, hairiest, horrific, poisonous black spider popped right out of the cloth, running through my fingers and across my hand!

He is dead, but you can get the idea of what he looks like.

He is good and dead, but you can get the idea of what he looks like.

The same God that closed the lion’s mouths for Daniel, has also closed the spider’s mouths for me!

PeWah, our beloved “Aunt” next door just told us this morning that there is a black and white spider where she used to live not far away that kills you so fast that you don’t even have time to look up at the sky!  She really has a way to express herself!  However, these spiders are not that bad.  At least you may have a little time!

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Here is a good place to tell you about our plague of flies!  Every year in the beginning of April there are a couple of days when these fancy, long winged flies come in droves.  I believe they are something like butterflies, (only ugly), because they only live long enough to lay their eggs somewhere.  But the next year there are twice as many of them! In the last four years that we have spent here, the number really has quadrupled!  They come in the evening and by morning they lie dead everywhere.  The wings drop off and go floating around all over the place.

The Karen call these flies “BeBea” They love to eat them.  Last week all the flies came in droves.  Your only defense is to put up your mosquito net and turn out all the lights.  In the morning there were 2-3 inches of them dead on the front porch in places!

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It surely seems like a plague to me, the air is thick with them.

Close-up! They are inside the house like this too.

Close-up!
They are inside the house like this too.  They seem to like to drown themselves in the water.

We will find wings in everything for a very long time!  The good news is that they do not bite, sting, suck your blood or give you diseases that I know of!

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This is what I call a “ScorpioPede!”  I forgot the Karen word for them. I have seen some over a foot long!  They are not so bad  though because when stung, a normal healthy adult will not die.  Its sting will just hurt more than a scorpion I am told!

 

 

 

 

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One Lost Sheep

April 21, 2014

Sometimes the road is rough and the future unclear.  Sometimes it appears that all those around us have turned away from the truth that we love and present time after time.  Sometimes it seems the relentless devil has full control of everyone around us.  Sometimes we feel overwhelmingly alone in such a vast vineyard, with no one who really cares, no one who understands.  Sometimes all we see in any direction are obstacles, all we feel is rejection, all we hear is empty silence or worldly wicked music. Again and again the devil makes direct attacks on BletJaw and I separately in our personal lives and together as a team.  Sometimes we have hand to hand combat with the devil over here! But is anything too great a sacrifice for one lost sheep?

Example #1

It must have been 9:30 when I finally went to sleep on Wednesday night, April 16.  At midnight I awoke suddenly with a heaviness in my throat and chest.  In spite of the hot humid air around me, a chill shivered through my veins.  My arms, legs, and hips were painful at the joints.  The very atmosphere was oppressive.  Oh my!  This is the devil, I thought.  My mind immediately went to the last verse in the Bible that I had read the night before: 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”  1John 4:18  I told the Lord:  “I need Your perfect love so badly.  Please give it to me just now, and in your name, dear Jesus, cast out the devil that is causing me to feel so terrible!”  The heaviness and pain left me.

Just then a piercing scream rent the air from the village below, followed by what seemed like children’s voices screaming in agonizing, abject, terror, time after time!  I can still hear it in my mind but cannot express it in writing. I shall never forget it. What could be happening?  I expected loud knocking on our door any moment with the bleeding victims of some horrible slaughter!  Then I heard an angry man yelling and howling in rage!  It seemed his voice rang out through the entire length and breadth of the village.  How are the dear villagers doing?  Are they in danger?  They must be terrified. Has someone been killed? These noises lasted about 15 minutes and then died away.  It seems to me that the lives of these dear ones may never be the same again after such a traumatic night. 

No one came knocking at my door that night.  Two days later I found out that a BYT man, ChweeCoo, had become drunk and flew into a rage, kicking his wife, DahBlet, and threatening his two daughter’s lives, age 10 and 12.  The poor little grandmother, age 75, who is blind in one eye, had bravely stood between this devilish brute and the 10 year old, perhaps sparing her life.  This man has no restraint on the use of alcohol and opium.  We know ChweeCoo well.  He has a bad reputation and has been abusive like this before, but each time he gets worse.  I was able to go to their house and help DahBlet and the girls.  I hear now that soon both the man and his wife will move to Bangkok.  The girls will stay here and go to school.  They all need your prayers.

DahBlet with her Mother, two days after the assault

 

Example #2

The school next door is holding a celebration with the monks.  As we assemble on the Sabbath Day to worship God in our small church with our tiny frail congregation, we have competition in singing our Sabbath songs, because the monks are chanting loudly into a microphone, the monotonous monotone of their language, which nobody understands.  They continue all day and far into the night!  The entire schoolyard is filled with all the students, teachers and many villagers bowing with their faces to the ground and praying to a large ugly, shapeless Buddha idol filled with no meaning what-so-ever.  Monks and idols receive the admiration and solemn, reverent worship of almost all of the Thai and Karen people, while the Creator and ruler of the universe is unknown, unrecognized and unwanted.  He is not recognized nor wanted because they just do not know Him.  Where are all the missionaries to tell them?  You could put your finger on any spot in Thailand and it will be filled with people that do not know.

The Buddhist people of Thailand worship all the monks - young and old.

The Buddhist people of Thailand worship all the monks – young and old.  (Picture taken in Omkoi)

 

They worship Buddha images

They worship Buddha images of all sizes and in all places.  (Picture taken in ChiangMai)

 

...And they worship the temples

…And they worship the temples.  (Picture taken in ChiangMai)

Oh, friends, don’t sit comfortably anywhere, just taking care of your own needs, your own families and your own safety, accruing your own possessions and laughing with your own friends, because if you do you will at last loose all.  Give God all your time, all your money all your possessions, all your strength and all your energy right now. It belongs to Him anyway, and He will give you so much more in return!  Work tirelessly in the place He sends you. You will know then what is true riches, true happiness and true security.  To see a soul saved is more than worth all that you have!

 

Example #3

DJ is our neighbor and also acts as an elder in our church.  He holds worships in different homes throughout BYT and surrounding villages.  He helped us get started four years ago by introducing us to people and villages.  I am always thankful to him for what he does for the church.  Even though all the people around him eat pig, drink, smoke, and do opium, he has stayed clean of all these things! 

On the other hand, he does not know the Bible very well.  He always tells the Bible stories by making up crazy things as he goes along.  It is not correct.  We try to help him, but he believes he is right.  Another problem is that if anyone does him wrong, he never forgets it. He is angry at them for years on end.  It seems he has something against everyone.  His mind dwells and dwells on the things that upset him.  Even when a dog that I used to love and feed, killed one of his baby chickens, he is still angry at me. (That was 3 years ago.  They killed and ate that dog! Do you remember that story)? 

Two weeks ago DJ disappeared.  He left home about 8 p.m., telling his wife that he was going to visit me, then visit someone at the school.  He would be gone a long time.  But he never visited me, or the man at the school.  In fact by morning nobody had seen or heard of him.  We were all greatly concerned because the men here, have a dreadful habit of hanging themselves in a distant jungle tree, if even one little thing is bothering them. That day and the following day a team of 12 people set out through the jungle looking for DJ.  Several men of the village would not go because they still have mental images of finding people hanging from a tree, looking so very grotesque, they could never forget it. 

Finally someone reported seeing him.  They said he had no shoes on his feet.  They shone a flashlight towards him and he thought it was a camera.  He threw his hat down and ran. He did not answer questions appropriately.  He seems to be out of his head.  Now we think he is still alive, but with no food or water he couldn’t last too long, and he still could be suicidal.  The days now are intensely hot – April is the hottest month of the year here.  His poor wife is exhausted and beside herself with worry. 

By the afternoon of the second day, when the team of worn out rescue workers were about to go out for a second time, a motorcycle drives up to our house bearing the news that they found DJ at GweeWaWahKee village 2 hours away.  Immediately his wife and son take off to that village followed by the pastor and several others.  The next day they all came back – DJ included!  How happy we all were to see him alive.  He acted like nothing was wrong and laughed and joked as usual.  But something was dreadfully wrong.  He was seen by a psychologist in Chiang Mai two days later and given tranquilizers and heavy drugs.  Now this is causing an even worse problem for him.   Oh how he needs to look at the precious Saviour and dwell constantly on Him.  I am trying to reach him with the good news from the book Ministry Healing and the chapter entitled “Mind Cure.”  I wish I could send him to Neal Nedley’s course, which, through God’s power brings healing to so many people.  Surely there is hope for this dear man way out in the jungles of Thailand and so far from the professional godly, people who work with mental depression.   My heart aches for him.  Though I am not a mental health professional, I know God will show me how to help him before it is too late, because He knows just how to handle it.

DJ's wife, RraeLu, far left.  DJ, center with his 6 children.

DJ’s wife, RraeLu, far left. DJ, center with his 6 children.  This was taken one year ago.

Please pray for DJ and if you have any suggestions please pass them on to me.


Conclusion:

The above accounts are just a small sample of all the thousands of needs around me here.  As I sigh and cry over the condition of my people in this country, and as I lift them up individually and as a whole before God in prayer, I read these words:

“For the conversion of one sinner the worker for God should tax his resources to the utmost.”

“If Christ left the ninety and nine that He might seek and save one lost sheep, can we be justified in doing less?  Is not a neglect to work as Christ worked, to sacrifice as He sacrificed, a betrayal of sacred trusts, an insult to God?”  PK 370

Oh, let’s tax our resources to the utmost, let’s work as Christ worked and sacrifice as He sacrificed for the precious lost sheep!

 

 

 

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DahTee

April 9, 2014

It is so relaxing to trust in Jesus!  He makes sure we are in the right place at the right time to help others.  None of us know anything about the future and what is best for ourselves or for others.  I could not even tell you how many times our well laid out plans have been dashed to pieces, and a totally different course pursued.   Later we discover it is because we need to be in a particular place to help someone in need.

This just happened yesterday.  We had plans which did not work out because the patients just flowed in that day.  Finally at 7 p.m. we sat down to eat our 2nd meal.  How starving we were!  Just then we hear the sound of a chocking, wheezing old motorbike, straining to bring 2 people up the last hill to our house.  Most people park below and walk up because it is so steep, but when the motorbikes attempt to come that way it is usually because someone is really sick.  We hear coughing at the door.  Karen people do not knock on the door, because their bamboo houses do not have doors, they cough or talk loudly to announce their arrival.  BletJaw answered by asking them if they want to eat with us.  This is always how we greet people when we are eating.  We invite them to eat with us.    The young man said:

“Whow Ai Ya,”  Which means:  “A snack has bitten me!”

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Instantly our meal was forgotten and we half carried DahTee, age 24, from WaSuTa, to our clinic.  It had already been 4 hours since the bite.  He had been cutting bamboo far up in the mountains when he was bitten.  He thought at first it was a poisonous caterpillar, so he stepped forward, and as he did the deadly green pit viper struck him the second time on his right foot.   Now he has two doses of venom in him.  His foot is blue and swollen tight.  He barely can stand the pain and tightness which radiates up his entire leg.  I quickly gave pain medication and mixed a poultice of Charcoal and Psyllium seed.  It is impossible to keep antivenin because there is a different one for each type of snake,  it is very expensive, and its effectiveness expires very quickly.  

BletJaw has already turned the truck around and checked the water and oil levels. 

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Shortly after 7p.m. we were off!  Truck rattling all the way.  Some things are very loose near the front wheels and we wonder if it will hold together.  Anything on this truck that can be shaken, will be shaken, let me tell you!  The front passenger seat is completely broken.   It just lies flat on the back seat, but when going down the steep places it bullets back and forth!  I perch on the edge of the seat hanging onto anything that can be grabbed to keep me in place as the truck lurches all over the place .  We have to go all the way to Omkoi because we already know that the truck they use in MeDooGlow to transport patients has been wrecked and the driver is injured.  (We had to make the same trip to Omkoi just 2 days ago with another patient which is why we know).  BletJaw and I have not fully recovered from that trip.  BletJaw’s back hurts from putting in concrete steps up to our house.  Now we drive 7-8 hours round trip again.

I don’t know what happened to me, but I was extremely car sick the entire way.  This seldom happens to me, but when I am tired and have not eaten, plus we are drinking the muddy water straight from the mountain because our good drinking water had turned as green as sea weed for some strange reason.  We have not had time to boil it.  I guess this gives me plenty of reasons to be car sick.  But at least I am not fighting poison from the fangs of a deadly pit viper!  Let’s put our sympathies in the place where they belong because DahTee has suffered intensely all the way.

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We leave DahTee and his friend at Omkoi with a prayer and take our long journey home.  I sink into my sleeping place at 2:45 a.m. I tell God:  “Oh please send this one more patient back home restored to health!”

I am so abundantly thankful to the Lord for directing our steps today. Oh how He loves us to help those in need!  Oh how I love to fill my small place in His vineyard and love the people He loves,  and be what He wants me to be to those around me! 

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