Let Us Not Be Weary!

Dear Friends!

You are all very special to me!  Your love, prayers and support greatly help me to keep pressing on!  The pandemic has not been felt in a big way over here.  -Of course we are deep in the jungle!  We now can continue to treat the patients, pulling teeth, doing sutures, removing injured toenails, as well as many medical problems and skin problems.  Thailand has been very careful with their COVID-19 rules and regulations, and the people here have been very obedient!  (Probably because they will receive a large fine and/or prison for 2 years if they disobey)!

I have removed more toenails lately. People use very sharp hoes and sometimes they slip!

I have personally felt the attacks of the devil in so many ways recently, till I could hardly hold my head up, but I have learned that when this happens it means God is about to do something great!  My part is just to keep hanging onto the hand of God.

The light really did break through though, let me tell you!  Three families who had been members of the Baptist Church in WST are studying with us and want to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath and join our church!  I have been praying for that Baptist Pastor and all the people of that church to turn to the truth for 11 years!  I run almost every morning to WST and there overlooking the Baptist Church I pray for them!  Therefore this verse is very dear to me:

“Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not!” 

By God’s grace there shall be no fainting here!!  The people we are now studying the Bible with are all eager to learn the truth!  There is no greater joy!!

MeLoDa and SueDa

MeLoDa is a 23-year-old BYT girl who is close to nine months pregnant with her first child.  She has become very large with this pregnancy and I am concerned that she might have a difficult time in delivery, especially as she plans to have the baby at home and not go to the hospital.

On Friday evening her husband came to our home asking for a hot water bottle, stating that she was experiencing a little pain.   He was unconcerned and thought her due date was still not up.  However the next day I was told that her water had broken the night before prior to the time her husband asked for the hot water bottle!  Now she still has not delivered the baby, and states she cannot feel the baby moving anymore!  Immediately we prepare to take her to MeDooGlow hospital.  The roads are better now, so it takes less than 2 hours to get there.  The hospital took her immediately to Omkoi hospital.

As soon as we arrived back in BYT, SueDa’s husband chased us down, asking if we could please take his wife to the hospital.  She was worse.  We must turn around and go all the way back to MDG!  We drove to her house in WST to check her.  It is exceedingly hard to get the truck in to her house.  The road is dreadful and such a small space on the side of the mountain to turn around.   As I told you in the last letter this girl had sustained a fever and very intense leg pain for over two weeks since her delivery.  When I checked her I found that she was in such terrible pain she refused to go to the hospital.  I told her I had a strong injection I could give her for pain, just enough to allow her to make it out of her house in into our truck.  She consented to that and her husband took me home on his motorbike to get it.

 After the injection we waited 20 minutes and then proceeded to attempt transferring her onto a “Hammock” attached to bamboo.  My heart goes out to her.  It was very difficult for her, but BletJhaw and the husband did a great job of carrying her down the difficult bamboo steps and steep descent to our truck.  I felt so jubilant to finally see her settled in the back of our truck.  Though she still suffered quite a lot during the transfer, she would not have made it without that shot.

 

I feel so thankful to God because both of these girls got the proper care.  We heard that MeLoDa had to be transferred to the large hospital in Chiang Mai, but she finally had a healthy baby girl and may be returning home in 3 days.  SueDa is also in a larger hospital undergoing treatments.

Please pray for wisdom to do healthcare and the Holy Spirit to reach the lost in this area.

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Exceedingly High Sabbath

May 9, 2020

Bli is 74 years old.  Here he is with his Bible!

Sabbath morning dawned clear and bright.  The rain we had experienced a couple of days ago had significantly cleared the smoke away that had overwhelmed us for the past 3 months.  It also took care of the thick layer of dust that always penetrats every pore of your body!

Before rainy season begins, we wanted to have a special dedication service of the little church in MooDooKee village that Bli built. He has put so much work into it and he and his family have become solid SDA Christians!  We wanted to make this event memorable, with a visiting ordained pastor and great attendance.  But an ordained pastor here in these parts is hard to come by, because we are so difficult to get to.

So cute! Bli has been a builder all his life.

God answered our prayers!  Just last Thursday, May 7, I was able to get in contact with Pastor Phamore.  I thought he would be too busy to come way out here to this remote village, especially as there was only 2 more Sabbaths before rainy season, but to my astonishment he asked where I was and could I meet him the very next day.  He would come!  He would bring 4 of his students with him.

Four trucks followed each other to MooDooKee village that Sabbath from BYT and WST.  The little church was packed with people.  They crowded the porch, underneath the church, and all around the shady places of the nearby trees.   I doubt anybody outside could hear everything that took place, but the service was incredible.  Bli, (Even though he is quite deaf.  I’m trying to get him some hearing aides), sat there smiling the entire time, with his family around him.  Even some Baptist church members from this village were there.

Walking up up up to the church

Pastor Phamore

So many people all over the place, and no chance to count them all!

Afterwards that dear family fed us all! They brought bowls of food to each person outside, and inside the small house.  They had cooked tons food and everybody ate to capacity with food left over.  (We later paid them for all that food that they had purchased)

The blessings of this day were not over yet.   Read on:

A seven-year-old child, BaJaw, came into my clinic that afternoon almost in anaphylactic shock!  I was instantly alarmed because a hornet had stung his left ear and almost immediately he had broken out in hives, suffered chest pain, shortness of breath, and had swelling around the eyes!  I needed to act quickly.  This was an emergency!  I quickly administered two shots, Adrenalin and CPM, praying that they would bring immediate relief.  At that same time someone came asking us to check a WST girl, SueDah, two weeks post partum with chronic fever and severe pain in her right hip and leg.   She had been screaming and crying out in pain for two days.

About this time also BeeHtu from WST told us that he and his family wanted to join our church and keep the Seventh Day holy.  Could we come and have worship in their home that evening!  I am thrilled beyond description.  This is the man who, five years before, had attended many of our Bible studies in WST, and many church services here in BYT.  However he had suddenly stopped coming because his family were all against it.  I had been heart broken because this man had shown great interest and had earnestly listened to every word!  Now 5 years later he is coming back and his family with him!! This is the third family wanting to leave the Baptist church, and follow their convictions to keep the seventh day holy!!  Pastor Phamore was able to do that worship.  Many people attended, and I sensed that several more were looking for the truth!  The Spirit of God is moving hearts here in these jungle mountains.  Surely we are at the very threshold of eternity!

Pastor Phamore with BeeHtu

After this worship BletJhaw and I went to check on BaJaw.   I know I will be able to sleep well tonight, because to my great relief that little boy was much better!  He is going to live!  The swelling had gone down in his face, his skin was smooth and his breathing was not labored!  So many times God brings drastic healing to these dear jungle people!  My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude!

BaJaw, after the medication worked!

SueDa was very puzzling!  They told us that she had  surgery at MeDooGlow, (MDG), which we asked if it was a C-Section.  They said yes.  But MDG does not do surgery. It is just a clinic. Then they told us that it was done without anesthesia and that she was screaming in pain.  We thought how could any facility in the 21st century do a big surgery like that without anesthesia.  I was trying to figure out why her hip and leg were so painful.  She had not been able to move much and always stayed in this one position.  She had a fever this whole month and at this visit it was 101 degrees.  After asking multiple questions and examining the patient we found out that she had a regular delivery.  Not a C-Section.  There are always so many misunderstandings here, which require a lot of research, questioning, and investigation.  We will take this girl to the hospital tomorrow if she allows us.  Right now she is refusing to go.

So life goes on in this isolated area of the world.  The time rushes on bringing us nearer and nearer the end of all things and trouble as we have never seen or imagined.  We have a precious little time to reach the lost.  Let’s rejoice in the hardships along the way.

“Let every word we utter and every line we write be fraught with encouragement and unwavering faith! “ MLT 174

 “How much more precious is heaven to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls.”  5Testimonies 621.1

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Rich Rewards!

Here in the jungle we are isolated in our houses.  Our roads are blocked.  Our clinic is silent.  Our church door is shut. Our fields are burning.  The air is filled with smoke.  The ground is parched and the intense heat of the mid-day sun is suffocating as it mixes with smoke and thick dust stirred up from our feet or motorbike.  The hand-washed clothes hung on the bamboo dries in 20 minutes, as opposed to rainy season when it NEVER dries.

Isolated in our houses

Freshly burned rice fields everywhere

Dusty travelers

We are in a difficult position because the people still depend on us when they are sick.  How can we turn them away.  We just made a house call to a very sick young man almost in a febrile seizure.  We cannot take anyone to the hospital right now.  Some of our patients cough and have fevers.  Our full weight is upon the dear Saviour, who hears our cry and heals the sick!

Just last week a young man, PePoo, 25 years old, dropped a post on his foot leaving it quite dirty, swollen and mangled.  I cleaned and trimmed as best I could and sutured it together with 8 sutures.  We walk to his house every day to clean it. At first it looked like one end was getting infected even though I had given him antibiotics, but I found out that he was walking every day down the steep mountainside in all that dust!   BletJhaw and I prayed with him and his family as we cleaned and dressed his foot.  This man is an opium addict and does not treat his wife nicely.  Now I have a chance to plead with God for him physically and spiritually!  Just yesterday his foot was less swollen and appeared to be healing nicely.  How can we ever thank God enough for His miraculous power in our behalf.  Please pray for PePoo!

Not looking too good!

So much better just in one day!

Beautiful family!

Through these most difficult times when the outlook is bleak and our work seems to be at a stand-still and we wonder how God wants to use us to save souls when we have to be so isolated in our houses – the light breaks through!  I want to jump up and down and shout and scream:  “All glory to God!”  All the oppressions of the enemy, the difficulty of our surroundings and the impossibility of our situation is forgotten and we are delighted to bear even more burdens for the Lord!  And here is the reason:

A couple from the Baptist church in WST, came to visit us last Sabbath. They had chosen not to work on that day because they feel they should obey the Bible and keep the Seventh day!  They asked if they could come over in the evening and learn about the Seventh-Day Sabbath and also they want to know what things they should and shouldn’t eat.  So that night I was able by the grace of God to give a wonderful Bible Study on why we keep the Bible Sabbath.  This next Sabbath they want us to have a worship in their home and in the evening give them another Bible study!  The beauty of it all is that nobody can take the credit.  It is solely the working of the Holy Spirit upon the heart!  This couple have attended some of our Bible Studies we used to have in WST every Monday night, and they also have attended a few of our church services.  Please pray for this couple!!

If you want to taste real unadulterated joy, just experience a true conversion of the soul to the truth as it is in Jesus!  This will carry you through the dark burdensome days and lift you closer and closer to the glories of heaven!

Oh lift up your heads dear people because Jesus is on His way.  All of heaven is longing to help us win precious souls for heaven before our way gets blocked entirely.  Oh that everyone could experience this joy!!

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“Occupy Till I Come”

“Occupy till I come.”  Luke 19:13

Our situation in BYT is very good compared to what I have heard about America and other areas around the world. Yet many of our mountain villages are locked up with big gates across the entrances.  Nobody is allowed to enter or exit. Various provinces are shut down.  Here in Thailand they have a rule that there will be no social gatherings.  The soldiers and police will put offenders in jail as well as demand a high fine.

We are not too sure how many more trips we can make into MaeSot to purchase supplies.  We are living together with BletJhaw’s family in BYT.  Our clinic is officially closed.  Our head man has notified the surrounding villages, however the local people are coming.  Our census has dropped from an average of 20 patients a day to about 5.  Yet we are taking a risk to even do that because many of the young people have been in schools or at work in the big cities, and they now have returned home!  Nobody in the entire world is safe, unless they are clinging tightly to Jesus!  And what a comfort He is!
“Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me!  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me:  it is high, I cannot attain unto it!!!”  Psalm 139:5,6
As a nurse, and even more so as a child of God, I simply cannot refuse treatment for a sick patient that comes to me for help, and so I continue to care for all who come to my door.  These 2 verses keep ringing through my head with more meaning now than ever before:
 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.”  Luke 10:27
 
“Let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  Galatians 6:9
My time now is spent doing that which lies nearest!  I really miss the constant flow of patients, even though it was terribly tiring and inconvenient at times.  However, I have a splendid opportunity to help teach BletJhaw’s 2 little boys, age 7 and 4, the “My Bible First” lessons that my sister wrote, and in any way lead them to Jesus!  They bring joy to my heart as they have brought a small keyboard piano to practice on, ride bicycles, swim in the river, and guess what?  BletJhaw found a small puppy in the village that nobody owned!  What huge blessing.  I sure hope she survives!
Our little church has closed down, but BletJhaw and I began to invite ourselves to different homes to have a worship.  Now several families are inviting us!  It is so sad not to have 50-60 people come to church on Sabbath. I really miss preaching the sermons, because it was my only time to really earnestly tell the people present truth, but last Sabbath was such a blessing!  We told one family that our family would meet under the church at 9:30a.m.  Well word seems to travel fast and 30 people came, eager to hear the good news about Jesus!  My topic:  “Watch and Pray!”  We also met in 2 other homes for worship.  There were 15 in one group, and about 10 in the other.  I will try to let you know if we get arrested and put in jail for these gatherings, but truly I felt the power of the Holy Spirit, and at this unprecedented time in which we are living, I know God is working on hearts and working this all out for good in our jungle mountains!  I truly feel that if we did not work in this way that even the rocks would cry out!

Sabbath under the church!

BletJhaw and I came out of BYT today to purchase much needed food and supplies, so I am making the most of a short time of internet.
Be of good courage everybody!  Our paths may be thorny, our journey rugged and our friends few, we are entering the last great conflict, and every bitter trial we go through with Jesus, brings us closer to that great day when we see Him face to face!!
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A Day in MauGoKey Village: February 20

So happy to be exactly where God placed me, ministering to these dear and precious people every day, with BletJhaw at my side!

A lady in our village asked us to please go and help her daughter and son-in-law in MauGoKey village, who were suffering from stomach pain and other things.  By the second day we were ready to go.  I had decided to bring the entire medicine bag because there are 50-60 homes in this distant village.  It is terrible to be caught without something important because we will not be coming back very soon.  I packed way more than usual because we drove the truck and had lots of room.

BooChee, age 16 from BYT came with us and the lady.

We drove almost 2 hours – 27kms.  The road was terrible, as you might imagine!  The body gets really shaken up, but the scenery was so beautiful – the day warm and clear!

What a wonderful day, meeting new people – all so sweet and lovable from the very youngest to the oldest!

Probably because it is just a large sprawling village with so many people, and this was our first time visiting – the people seemed to come in shifts.  First a group of ladies and babies, second a group of men, third a group of families with children, then the elderly, but they kept coming – each one sweet and abundantly thankful.  What a joy to serve them.  I gave all my vitamin shots, all my PO vitamins finished up many types of antibiotics, eye drops, gastritis medicine, and of course most all the baby syrups.  But we had what we needed for everyone!

They cooked us a meal, but had nothing vegetarian.  I am always causing people trouble because they never knew a white person or a vegetarian.  Finally they found a package of  MaMa noodles.  BletJhaw told them not to put the powder in it because it was pork!  So I had rice with just noodles swimming in hot water!  I’m very used to strange meals, but very thankful for the people’s effort and any food that takes the gnawing hunger out of your stomach!!

It is now getting late.  We have been here all day.  We pack up all the medicine and head out, but here come more patients.  This happens every time we try to leave!  Pack – unpack – pack – unpack. Finally someone asks if we will do a worship!!  I will NEVER refuse that request, so we go back in for the best part of the entire day!  I tell the story of the 10 lepers, drawing the clear lessons of obedience and thankfulness to God!!  The people listened with stark, and rapt attention.

We travel back to BYT in the dark, in silence, reflecting on the  busy day, and all the patients, praying for each and every one.

May the seeds sown bear precious fruit.

 

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My Precious Mother

The most precious, valuable, and meaningful person to me in this entire world, passed away December 22, 2019

At the age of 96, my precious mother sustained a fall December 15 in her apartment at Garden Plaza, TN.  My sister called the ambulance and followed it to Parkridge hospital, where mother received surgery for her dislocated left femur the next day.  She came through surgery wonderfully and for the next 2 days gave us hope as she visited with all the relatives and friends, giving them her blessing.

My story:  On my side of the ocean, on December 14, I was in BYT preaching the Sabbath sermon.  After the sermon, BletJhaw found out that his son, Brayden was quite sick, so we drove out of BYT all the way to his house.  That night Brayden had a fever and was coughing and wheezing.  We decided to take him to the doctor the next morning, but on Sunday morning he woke up perfectly fine!  No fever, no coughing or wheezing.  He was well!  We decided to stay Sunday night just in case the sickness returned that night. Praise the Lord this was God’s perfect timing to bring me to a place where I had phone service, (We have no phone service in BYT), because in the middle of that Sunday night I received a desperate phone call from my dear sister.  She was following the ambulance to Parkridge hospital and told me about mother’s fall.  I was able to get on a flight to America in two days.  I arrived at the hospital two hours before mother took a turn for the worse and slipped into unconsciousness.

My two boys also came from either side of America immediately to see their beloved grammy one more time.  Micah got on an airplane from Montana right away, and arrived a day before me.  Bradley left his house in Sarasota Florida immediately and started driving to Chattanooga at 3a.m. Monday morning.  He got there before mother’s surgery. It meant so much to mother and all of us to have them both there!! Most all of our small family came together there.

Mother gave my sister and I directions on everything about her present care and about her funeral.  We did everything exactly as she had told us. We had her transported to hospice per her request.  They were wonderful and made sure to keep her comfortable.

She died just as beautifully as she had lived. She was victorious.

As we watched her life ebbing away, We didn’t know how we would live without her.  (We still don’t know). We have always had her love, care, admiration and great inspirational encouragement for 66 and 68 years.

Our History:  Mother trained us since we were born in the paths of eternal life, reading the book “Child Guidance” by Ellen G. White, seven times while raising us.  She read us the “Bible Story Books”  all ten of them through again and again until we knew what the next paragraph would say by heart.

She also read us all the inspiring mission stories of that time, instilling in our hearts a love for those in all the foreign countries and a longing desire for service.  By the time we were 7 years old, my sister and I could make bread and cook healthy meals.  We were also able to sew our own dresses and keep the house clean and tidy. Our father was a pastor.  We were not rich.  We rented a 250 acre farm in Virginia for several years.  At seven years old I  can remember my sister and I walking out into the forest to our own favorite spots every morning to have our personal devotions and listen to the birds and sounds of nature.  At 8 years old I came in one day and told my mother that I think I should die now, because I heard about so many people when they get older forget about God.  I wanted to die while I still loved Him supremely.

Mother also taught us to memorize the scriptures.  At a very young age we were both able to recite the entire books of Daniel and Revelation word for word.  This has greatly helped my sister and I all through our lives to understand prophecy better and to get a better grip on the blessed truths of the Bible. This is no sign of glory for us – it was all a tribute of our dear mother.  All that we are and all that we do is from God and I can thank my mother for it.

Memorial Service:  We did a memorial service for mother at Garden Plaza December 30, 2019.  It was the hardest thing we ever did, but we were doing it for mother and God gave us the much needed strength to do it.  It was not to mother’s glory, or to our glory, but to  the glory of God.   Mother was known far and near.  So many people were touched by her life and came mourning her death, recalling the blessing that she had been to them.  Mother had worked many years as vice president to Ellsworth McKee, president of McKee Foods Corp.  Though she never was able to pursue her education and attend college, she more than made up for that with her practical knowledge, managerial skills, and “A mind that won’t quit!”  -as Ellsworth described her.

To watch that memorial service you can go to:

 

Presently:   I have returned to Thailand to resume my missionary work in BYT. (“Without my mother”) Even halfway around the world my mother has been the greatest supporter of my work.  Though she was aging and loved to have my company, she knew God wanted me in BYT.  She gladly released me to this work year after year, telling her friends when they questioned her, “We have every indication that God wants Gayle in Thailand and I am the happiest mother in the world because both my daughters love the Lord and work for Him!”

Personally:  Sometimes sadness and emptiness overwhelms me.  I have no one to go to here on earth, accept the God mother taught me to Love, – and He is enough!  I have found that for everything that I have lost in this life time of mine, God replaces it with more love for others, and I have returned to my work carrying my mother’s torch with extra zeal, earnestness and love for the lost.  I am doing this work for God who sacrificed everything for me, and for my mother who sacrificed all along the way to guide my feet towards the goal!

Please pray that many Karen people from these jungle mountains will be gathered with us around the sea of glass to see Jesus face to face!  And at that time mother wants to see these people that she never met, but who are there as an answer to her prayers, and in reward for her faithful service to me.

And if I am faithful, I will be among those who: . . . .

“Will raise their crowns in sight of the assembled universe and, pointing to their mother, say, “She made me all I am through the grace of God.  Her instruction, her prayers, have been blessed to my eternal salvation.”  Child Guidance 564.1

Amen

 

 

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Third Year of Evangelism!

I just now knelt and prayed that the Lord would put into my mind the words to portray to you the glorious beauty of this last week.

It is no surprise that we had a lot of trouble, leading up to these meetings!  To mention one, I had invited a speaker from the Philippines 7 months ago with his team of singers to hold our evangelistic meetings this year, but at the last minute, due to circumstances of God’s leading hand in their lives, we found out they would be unable to come.

I then spoke to a lovely musical group of AFM missionaries here in Thailand.  They were more than happy to come, but we could not coordinate the dates.  (Happy to say we believe they can come later)!

Now, we are back to square #1.  On my knees, I cry out to God saying that this is His project. He is in charge of events and their results.  If He has another plan, He will lead me to it, and if I allow Him to lead, then I know He always brings success – evangelism or no evangelism!

I became unusually assertive and sent messages to several wonderful pastors that I respect so much.  One of them suggested that I contact Pastor Jason Sliger. He and I had been speakers at PYC (Philippine Youth for Christ) two years ago.  To my astonished amazement, he did not express doubt, but excitement in asking for Gods will that night!!

…. And it was a very short notice. The meetings would start in three weeks!!!  It was now November 6, and the meetings would begin November 26!

Next came the affirmative reply that they felt God had given them an opening in their schedule so that he could come! When I asked if he could bring someone who could do special music, he told me that in his opinion his wife had the greatest singing voice!  It was agreed that she could come!  My joy felt no bounds!  When God orchestrates something it is rich, full, complete!

It was also a providential miracle that Mark and Jonalyn Martino could come.  They are JFA “Foreign video correspondents” in the Philippines – you guessed it, I met them also at PYC and other locations where I spoke in the Philippines!  Just like Pastor Sliger, they too were in a perfect opening in their schedule, and could come and make a video of the meetings, the special baptism and our work in BYT!

Harvey and Brenda Steck, JFA missionaries, from Chiang Mai were also available to come and help us out with music.  Brenda brought her keyboard and provided piano accompaniment for song service and they sang duets during the meetings!  As you know, Harvey is excellent at trouble-shooting the many problems we had.  He worked diligently until he solved every one of them!

BletJhaw’s wife and sister came to do all the cooking!  They prepared really beautiful and delicious food every day and received well earned compliments from the visitors!

It was Monday, November 25, 10:15a.m, when the Stecks, and BletJhaw and myself met these two couples at the MaeSot airport!  My feet could hardly stay on the ground, with the joy of knowing that the Lord had brought us all together for the sole purpose of saving our people in the jungle!!

An average of 70 people attended the meetings every night!  Pastor Sliger was so energetic and clear in presenting Jesus, salvation, the cross, how to overcome, and heaven, to the people.  His wife resembles an angel and has an angel’s voice!!  If you can go to my post on FB you can be blessed to listen to one of her songs!

I so admire BletJhaw who worked in all directions to take care of everybody and everything.  He interpreted every sermon to the best of his ability to bring a clear understand of these valuable truths to our people!

This is all too good. It is over-the-top!  I can’t hold any more joy!  But wait!  There’s more!

Remember Bli?  He was the Baptist leader in MooDooKey village who was converted to Adventism through his personal searching of the scriptures.  Nobody gets credit. All glory to God!! It was the Holy Spirit convicting his heart, even if his reading skills were minimal!  He obeyed everything that he learned and was such a strong witness to his family, that they all joined him in baptism after the final evangelistic sermon on Sabbath.  There was Bli, his wife, oldest daughter and her husband, and the youngest daughter!

Bli is over 70 years old and is quite deaf.  We felt bad that he could not hear the sermons at all.  Mark and Jonalyn were able to let him use their hearing device, which is wireless and communicates with a device that BletJhaw wore as he interpreted the sermons.  Bli was so excited that he could hear every word! Just look at his smile! I will explore getting him hearing aids.

Now that meetings have ended and everyone has already left us, the glory of heaven remains in my heart!  The prayers we shared in a circle every morning, the love, hugs, delicious food that BletJhaw’s wife and sister lovingly cooked every day, the smiles and companionship, will always linger in my memory till Jesus comes.  And in that glorious day of His appearing, I am planning to see these Karen people, who have been touched by Pastor Sliger’s inspirational, and appealing sermons, the music, prayers, and combined effort of each team member!

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Heart-Rending Beggar!

 

It happened while returning from a long trip on the motorbike.  The day was beautiful and my heart sang with joy at the result of our visit in DayBooSayTa village!  It was worth the long trip because we were able to help the sick and pray with them.

As we rapidly descended a steep road which passed through a small village, my ears picked up a sound.  Was someone shouting behind us?  Or was it just someone yelling at the cows, pigs, chickens or goats?  I couldn’t distinguish the sound as I bounced along on the back of the motorbike.  Suddenly I heard it again fainter and at a greater distance.  I felt impressed to swivel around on my little perch and satisfy my curiosity.
Sure enough, a man was in the middle of the small roadway, waving his arms and gesturing for us to come back.
“Turn around!”  I called to BletJhaw, “Someone is calling us.”
Back we go, but before BletJhaw even stopped the motorbike, this man had fallen down on his knees at our feet!  He lost his balance and sat down in the dirt.  One quick glance and my heart broke right in half.  This poor man was a wretched shrivel of humanity!  This poor man has had a long life of misery.  His expression was pleading and bore the lines of suffering and agony. This man needs so much help!  I am instantly loving this man and wanting to do whatever it takes to bring relief – but we are a very long way from BYT.
I think of blind Bartimaeus who sat by the way side begging.  He called to Jesus in a loud voice, “Jesus Thou son of David, have mercy on me!”  He received the help that he longed for.  His faith saved him.  Luke 18:35-43
In that moment, I cried out to God for that man, who knew nothing about the great God in heaven, and how he could call out to Him.
We all have a great work to do in this world!  The time is so short!
“All who would bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ, must first fall into the ground and die.  The life must be cast into the furrow of the world’s need.  Self-love, self-interest, must perish.   And the law of self sacrifice is the law of self-preservation.  The husbandman preserves his grain by casting it away.  So in the human life to give is to live.  The life that will be preserved is the one that is freely given in service to God and man.  Those who for Christs sake sacrifice their life in this world, will keep it unto life eternal. DA 623, 624
Yes, this world is full of people like this heart-rending beggar!  Cast your life into the furrow of this world’s great need now!!!
(Later this man was brought to our clinic and we cared for him).
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Operation Smile

A group of excellent plastic surgeons and other specialists from India began this foundation years ago, but now Physicians from many different countries volunteer to join them and donate their time and skills to help the poor.  They come to MaeSot the first Sunday of every November to do free transformation surgeries on any and all the poor people of Myanmar, Thailand and beyond.  Several NGO groups are merged into a foundation called: “Operation Smile!”  It is a huge endeavor, costing millions of dollars!  Volunteers from Bangkok, United Nations, America and Thailand, and all over the world come to participate, making it a beautiful time for all the patients that come crowding into the host medical facility.  This year it was at the Ram MaeSot General Hospital.  They tell us that there were over 175 surgeries already scheduled and the day was not over yet!

Cleft Palate repair comprises most of the surgeries, but so many anomalies are taken care of like burn contractors, extra fingers or toes removed, growths and lumps excised, and grotesque birth defects corrected to name a few!

The day before this event we set out to find the patients that needed help. We jumped on the motorbike and took off to 2 different villages in opposite directions.  We totaled over 3 hours on that bike, but the day was beautiful!  The first home we entered was in a village called ClerGaChaTah. We had never stepped foot in this place before, and it took several inquiries from passers-by to retrieve directions.  PaJaDa, age 29, has a boney deformation on and around his nose, stopping him from ever breathing through his nose.  His right eye is blind.

Last year this young man came into our clinic and we felt so sorry for him that we determined to find him and see if he’d be willing to go to Operation Smile this year.

This is his house

These 3 children greeted us at the door. Amazed and stricken with shock and sudden shyness to see me, a white person, climbing the bamboo ladder into their house!

So here is PaJaDa’s sad history.  His mother had died in childbirth.  When he was one year old, small bumps appeared on his nose which developed into infections.  For days pus drained from these bumps which had grown quite large.  Finally the infection spread to his eye, causing blindness, and disfiguring his nose.  Much more time went by and that eye was smelling really bad.  He didn’t have parents to take care of him and they lived in this village far away from medical help.  The people were all poor and ignorant, but somehow when he was 10 years old someone took him to the hospital where the rotten eye was removed, and the orbit filled with some yellow material.

PaJaDa and his wife cooking our rice and making chili paste.

Their 3 year old son squatting on the low table eating his rice.

He and his wife cooked us some rice and chilies to eat, and his wife gave me a beautiful Karen bag that she had woven.  You won’t find sweeter, kinder, more appreciative people anywhere!

PaJaDa was eager to come with us to Operation Smile and would meet us early the next morning.

Our next patient is Bri’s wife, MeePo, in MooDooKey village. She has had a growth on the side of her neck for 7 years, but now it is a little larger and beginning to hurt.  I was worried when I examined it because it was a vessel, and seemed to be wrapped around the carotid artery, but what did I know about this type of thing?  She agreed to go also, so early the next morning we took off with our 2 precious patients, praying that they would receive the care they needed.

Operation Smile is amazing.  The crowd was so great that I wondered where to take my patients to begin the process.

Five different areas were crowded to capacity.

Because we had travelled so far, we were late to start.  However don’t worry, never fear!  There are helpers everywhere. They were all smiling and so happy to assist the people with anything.  You could never loose your way. Different color ‘smile’ T-shirts were all over the place, showing people where to go and ushering them to the right places. There was registration, vital signs, photographs and lots of waiting!  The patients all were seated, but we stood up all day!  During the waiting periods, volunteer students came around with all sorts of toys, blowing bubbles, coloring books, stuffed animals, balls and dolls.

Volunteers coloring with the children

They freely gave these things to the children and babies.  They brought tray after tray of different snacks, cookies, muffins, fruit, drinks, candy, you name it!  Later complete dinner bowels were given to anyone and everyone!  It was amazing.  Upon checking out, they give gifts of toys for children, and pillows for adults along with money according to how far they had to travel to get there.  MeePo got 800 THB ($26), and PaJaDa 700 THB ($23)

When our people were checked by the plastic surgeons, MeePo was told she needed to go to a bigger hospital and get an MRI etc.  The vessel was large and complicated and could not be done in their time frame. It is dangerous to leave alone, but also dangerous to remove the doctor said.  She does not want to do anything else about it.  She is thankful because during that day she saw so many people with worse problems than hers.  Some of the children and adults really looked terrible. (Ears all distorted and protruding out of the cheek!  A huge mass on a child’s nose that protruded 3 inches, hanging down and covering the mouth!  A man only in his late 30’s so badly burned from an explosion 2 years ago that his face and head has been melted down to his chest.  His arms are contracted and the burn scars cover his entire upper body.  He is unable to speak).

The poor dear burn patient. I am still praying for him. His ears are gone and he is deaf. He cannot straighten his arms. They have to stay like that. His mouth stays open and his lower lip is melted on his chest. I took this picture incognito.

PaJaDa could not be done there either because he needed extensive work done with more than one surgery.  He needs to go to ChiangMai.  However, they will pay for all his work!  We got referral papers for both our patients.  At the first of the year we will take PaJaDa to ChiangMai and take care of him whatever it takes!  You will hear more about him.

 

 

 

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The Devil’s Counter-Attack!

That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, cannot tolerate the miracles and Divine interventions taking place in our villages.  He attacks with all vengeance.

“Help me O Lord my God, O save me according to Thy mercy.”  
Psalm 109:26

It is my first week back in BYT with BletJhaw’s family.  First of all BletJhaw’s 2 boys get sick.  They have lung congestion, fever and sickness so often.  But now I had brought quite a lot of expensive SunRider products for them, and Juice-plus from America!  I thought that this was the answer – no more sickness!  But I was totally wrong.  Brayden, the younger one (Almost 4 years old), only grew worse every day.  I was so disappointed.  Nothing I did brought relief.
To make matters even worse, BletJhaw’s wife had severe flare-ups of her rheumatoid arthritis. She spent the nights crying.  I had brought Juice plus for her also to build her up after her near death experience with Dengue fever.  Also I had purchased the correct medicine for her from the MaeSot pharmacy, but that did not bring relief either.  We needed to take her out, but the rain persisted and don’t lets forget that our truck is still at the bottom of the hill – the 4 wheel drive is broken.
I cried out to the Lord for help.  How come the people in the villages are all being healed, but not the ones right here in our own household! They are only getting worse!  God’s ways are much higher than ours – we will trust in Him.  I feel His companionship and strength, closer and tighter each day!
Sabbath came and what a privilege for me to get up and preach again in BYT church!  As I got up and looked into the faces of a full congregation, I was overcome with emotion and had the sudden urge to cry for joy, but that must be suppressed because these people do not show emotion and would not understand my tears.  My sermon title:  “Hearing God’s voice.”
Now it is Sunday and It had not rained for 2 days.  The village folk all worked together to fix the worst places of the road.  BletJhaw had worked with them all day, then he drove the motorbike the long way all around the big loop, checking to see if there was any way our truck could make it out that way.  (No use even thinking about taking the short-cut which is much too steep).  He found many bad places, but worst of all, a huge tree had fallen down low over the road.  Our truck is high – would it be able to pass under?
We decided that with God’s help we would  try it – thus began a huge adventure for us!
The 4 wheel drive was broken, so all this had to be done in 2 wheel drive.  (Impossible on our own, but perfectly possible with God)! BletJhaw labored at the wheel for 5 hours.  We got stuck plenty of times and used the winch 3 times. I wish you could have seen those roads.  I was sitting in the front holding onto Brayden to keep him from cracking his head on the door and dash board the entire time. We were knocked about in that truck like we were in a giant blender!
One time the downhill rut was so deep and our truck was at such an angle that our back wheel came right up off the ground, making us feel like we would flip over!  Praise the Lord there was a tree to tie off on.
After 3 excruciating hours we came to the big fallen tree!  Wow, it was very low.  Would our truck be able to pass under it?  If not we would have to do the unthinkable – turn around and attempt to drive all the way back to BYT!
I got out to watch that truck move under the tree.  “STOP!”  Oh it is going to hit!  So close!  BletJhaw got out to see.  He inched forward, oh so slowly! There was only a hair’s bredth between the truck and tree!
“Praise the Lord we made it!” we all shouted, but then we got stuck again trying to pull through the other side in the mounds of mud. But every time there was a tree in the right place to tie the winch on.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in Him and I am helped.  Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise Him.”  Psalm 28:7
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