When Your Plans Fail

“Often our plans fail, that God’s plans for us may succeed.”  MH 473.3

We thought we had it all figured out nicely.  With 3 of us working here now, we decided that I would work with only Jerry for one week, then only BletJhaw for one week and then all 3 together for one week.  This seemed great because I could stay in BYT all the time, and the week that Jerry works with me would give him more work to do.  (Even though he speaks very little English and I speak limited Karen)!

BletJhaw took the first week off because he had an enormous amount of errands to run at his house.  Jerry and I began the week with a bang.  Right away a BYT lady, YeGhah, came slowly walking to our house.  She was over 9 months pregnant and said the doctor told her she wouldn’t have her baby until she was over 10 months!  However,  now she was having labor pains and didn’t know what to do because there was no way she could ride all that way on the back of a motorbike.  There was only one solution:  I would take her to MDG clinic where her records are – and I’d better hurry unless I wanted to perform a difficult delivery singlehandedly with possible complications.

Before driving I said an earnest prayer for help.  As I drove out of BYT, I realized that I have not driven on the bad roads for quite sometime.  I only drive in an emergency.  Usually BletJhaw is here and he does all the driving.  I didn’t have to go far before I faced a real problem.  They were putting concrete down in the WST corners and I must take an impossible narrow line between fresh concrete and the bank – at the same time we are driving uphill.  The first corner was way too narrow to accomplish.  As I was backing up and creeping forward and backing up again, one of the workers said he would drive it through for me.  All too gladly I surrendered the steering wheel to him and watched him struggle to get that truck around 2 really tight corners.  I never could have done that.  The rest of the trip went well.

We left YeGhah and her husband with the medical staff and as I drove toward BYT, I was inwardly dreading that concrete section.  Fortunately the workmen were still there and the same young man got my truck through, though it was even harder coming from this direction.

Now I am dreading the next day, because we hear that a lady, SoLaChiMo, in MeDeLeGwee, (MDLG) is very sick and they want us to please check her.  We know the lady quite well and understood that she had complications delivering her sixth child just 5 weeks ago.  She had become numb and tingling from her waist down before the delivery, which got worse after the delivery. Her baby died after 4 weeks and during this entire time she could not eat or drink much of anything and I knew that I must go to her.  We could walk there, but that would take 2 hours and if she needed to go to the hospital we would have to go all the way back and get the truck.  I was thinking about that concrete section and the most horrible road going down to MDLG it was a long way.  Could I make it, I wondered?  With God’s help I can do all things!  It must be done!

. . . But God had a wonderful surprise for me!  When we returned home, there was BletJhaw!  He had miraculously gotten everything done in just 2 days.  He had hurried to get to us by the evening because he was worried about me driving all the way into MDLG the next day!  I know the Holy Spirit sent him.  Immediately I felt a weight fall off my shoulders and breathed a big thank you prayer to Jesus.

BletJhaw had done a wonderfully self sacrificing thing.  I really appreciated it because as soon as he came we were able to go to WST and have our routine worship.  In the morning we went to MDLG in the truck.  BletJhaw skillfully maneuvered that truck around those 2 corners, though it was extremely difficult.  The MDLG road was terrible. I was so thankful that BletJhaw was driving it.  At times I thought it might be impossible, but we made it.  When we arrived we saw that SoLaChiMo was indeed sick and needed hospital care.

Here she lies, they had just done some kind of devil ceremony on her stomach and were waiting to see if that helped her. The husband is cooking us dinner in the background.

The Devil magic seemed to do no good, so she said she would go with us, but wanted to go the next day because she feared the elephants that late in the afternoon, so we had time to treat the sick in that village and have a lovely worship with the people:

The little boy holding the picture loved the story of the good shepherd. I pray that everybody saw the love of Jesus for them in that story!

Our day is definitely not over yet.  This man with the white hat became very persistent with BletJhaw that we needed to go to KwyCo village and check his daughter.  She is short of breath.

We hesitate because each one of us has had a busy and tiresome day, and we must return in the morning. But the thought of Jesus, pressed by the multitude, called to visit Jairus’s house did not hesitate.  All who came to Him were tenderly cared for. This persistent man jumped into the back of our truck as we were leaving and made sure we turned the right way toward his village.  Sure enough his daughter was in great distress with an asthma attack.  Fortunately I had one ventalin inhaler in my medicine bag which brought her enough help to make it through the night.  We would pick her up in the morning.

Finally our day seemed to be completed and we headed home in the late twilight hours.  Upon arriving however, we discover that TheyMo had been waiting to tell us that his wife in NeLeeGwee (NLG) village was desperately sick with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea for 5 days.  She was too weak to walk, could we please come!  We know we must go all the way into NLG village that night – BletJhaw driving the nasty roads again in the dark.  Thankfulness to BletJhaw swells up in my heart.  He has no idea how valuable, loyal, and skillful he is in this work, though I tell him time and time again!

TheyMo’s wife is indeed very sick with abdominal pain, fever and dehydration.

It is very late now – we are hungry and yawning. I am able to give her IV fluids and treat her with medicine and an injection that will calm her stomach.  She is lying by the fire and the little bamboo hut is filled with smoke making it hard to breath at times, but we wait for all the fluid to infuse, and the medicine to take effect, then we pray for her before leaving.

The next morning we are on our way to 2 villages, and then on to the hospital the long way through the elephant playground.  But every patient is cared for properly.

On the way home I hear BletJhaw in a soft voice say:  “I’m glad I came!”

 

 

 

 

 

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Sadness never ends!

  1.  DiTee, age 27 died from SLE, (Systemic Lupus).  We had worked so hard to get her to the hospital on many occasions.  This disease is not fatal, but it knocks out the immune system and infections are common.

2.  BeLoo died not long ago from complications of kidney failure and       peritoneal dialysis done in a dirty poor jungle hut. We had given her and her Sister Bible studies and the hope of a future with Jesus. We had planned to let her stay in our house so we could bring her to the evangelistic meetings, but now she is gone.

3.  I watched a 2 month old baby die in its Mother’s arms this morning.  There was nothing we could do – she waited too late.  I watched the Mother bury her head in the dirty baby’s blanket right there in my clinic and sob.  We visited her later, bringing her and her husband a nice new, warm blanket, and prayed for them giving them the hope of heaven. The Mother, in her tears gave me a new Karen skirt that she had just made.

4.  Then came the TheyMoo’s broken leg that could have got excellent medical help at Meta, but ruined it all by turning it over to the devil.

5.  On the heals of that came MauDa’s horrific pain and difficult transport.

5.  DuPe age 40 just commited suicide.

All this in quick succession.

“Oh dear Lord, You understand and suffer more for You are constantly despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. These are people I have worked with, prayed for, and love.  I cannot bare the sadness of these days please help these grieving, suffering people, and my broken heart.

 

 

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Devil Magic

It was Sabbath morning and I was just making an appeal at the end of my sermon, when a motorbike loudly interrupted us. A voice called out asking us to please come and check an injured man at the school. We quickly finished the service and found that a tree had fallen on TheyMoo, age 30. He had broken his leg.

They drove him to our clinic in the school truck  . . .  But . . .

The school truck could not make it up the mountain, so they carried him to our truck.

Off we went all the way to Meta hospital again. The x-ray showed a very unstable fracture of the distal tibia and fibula. The doctor wanted to send him to MaeSot for surgery but my patient refused. He wanted to go home and try the devil ceremony on it first. We couldn’t reason with him at all, and to make matters worse two ladies sitting behind him in the waiting room told him not to worry about the hospital treatments, it is much better to go home and do the devil thing! The doctor put on a short leg cast and we took him home. They did not give him crutches.

When he got to his hut, he was in a lot of pain.

We felt so sorry for the man that the next day we drove all the way to MaeSot just to buy crutches and take them all the way back to his village – CooDoo Mai.

We were shocked and disappointed as we entered his little hut. TheyMoo had taken off his short leg cast! He was doing the full devil procedure of placing 2 special roots either side of his ankle and then wrapping with a cloth and string. He also proudly showed us three one-liter bottles each filled with a different kind of boiled leaf water. These bottles had to be covered at the top with a special leaf, which gets discarded and replaced every time he took a sip. This water had been blessed with a special prayer.

TheyMoo told us that the man who led out in the devil ceremonies would come to his house the next day. He proudly unwrapped the root-covered ankle to show us, and said that when he first took the cast off he felt and heard the bones crackling and moving, but now it was doing much better! BletJhaw told him that he would never do like that. The devil was evil, we need to pray to and worship the great God in heaven. We taught him how to use the crutches and said a prayer for him.

That’s what it’s like with my people way out here in the jungle. They believe in the devil magic with all their hearts. We plead for the Holy Spirit to convince them of the truth.

“Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance.  The warning message is to be sounded in all parts of the world.  A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth for this time.”  Maranatha 266

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Dreadful Pain!

MauDa is approximately 42 years old and lives in WST.  His brother came to our house one day and asked if we could go and give him an IV.  When we saw this young man we were appalled!  He could not move without unbearable pain.  Even a light touch made this man turn pale, bite his tongue, shake and scream out in pain.  He had seen a doctor in Omkoi over one month ago.  I looked at the papers and saw that the doctor had written Bell’s palsy for a diagnosis, but his blood pressure was high.  I gave him an injection of Tramadol 100mg, but it did not phase him one little bit.  We could not take him to the hospital that day because of the pain, so we drove all the way to MaeSot to buy Valium.  I thought if I could just give him 5-10mg in the vein, he would be relieved enough to get him in our truck.

I was able to give him 5mg IV the next day, and we got him into the back of our truck.  But not without extreme pain.  He yelled and screamed with pain all the way on the rough road.  We stopped every 30-40 mins. and I hopped in the back of the truck and gave him 5 more mg in the vein.  BletJhaw was gripping the steering wheel and I the hand rail so tightly as if that would help ease his pain.  BletJhaw was trying to drive slowly to soften the big bumps, yet fast to get him there quicker.  Our tears could not bring him the sympathy we felt, but they came anyway. It was truly terrible.  At the hospital I found out he had had a stroke (Not bell’s palsy), and he had a huge infection, causing stenosis of the muscles of his legs, pain and fever etc.  He would not have lived if we left him in his house and I could not have cared for him there.  He was transported to a larger hospital for surgery, but the good news came at the end of our time with him and his family.  He told us that if he got well again and came home he would come to our church and wanted to find out about our God!!   Truly all things work together for good to those who love God!!

Please pray for MauDa!  Thank you!

 

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Audio Bibles and Tobacco!

During the week of evangelism, a group of us visited NyaLaGwee (NLG) village. Pastor Leonardo and his wife came along with Lisa Sharon and family and Jonathan Hill with his large, ever-present camera.

When we first entered the village we noticed that most of the people were working in their gardens and were not there.  Some, however needed medical help and we were led to the small one-room school house which was not in session.  It was a perfect place to put down a mat and conduct a clinic.  Many more people came from nowhere and so we began with a worship.  First of all BletJhaw introduced to the audio Bible.  I had brought 3 of them with the chargers.  Pastor Leonardo had a lovely worship with them, then BletJhaw gave the Bibles to those interested.

They know  a little bit about the Bible because we have taught them simply about Jesus for many years.  She jumped up and was so excited to receive her very own audio Bible!!  After the 3 Bibles were given, we treated the sick for a very long time.  So many sick people, then a family had cooked and fed our entire group!

This type of work is normal for us to do from village to village, but what happened next certainly was extraordinary!  The next day a group of people came to our clinic from NLG.  The first lady to be treated smokes a pipe all the time.  BletJhaw tries repeatedly with all the people to encourage them to stop smoking, but this lady in particular.  When he asked her if she had stopped smoking yet, she was embarrassed because there in her bag was a large plastic bag filled with tobacco and her pipe.  She pulled it out and handed it all to BletJhaw, saying that she will stop today!  We prayed for her and were overjoyed.  Then we asked the 2 other ladies with her if they too wanted to follow this good example and give up their tobacco.

“No”  they said, “Not yet, maybe next time.”

We encouraged them and talked for a long time.

Finally the other 2 ladies surrendered their pipes and tobacco also.  They wanted to stop smoking!  We prayed there on the porch for them all.  Then they asked for the audio Bibles, because they did not get one the day before.  With joy we gave out the Audio Bibles and explained how to use them.

 

Great exchange!  Tobacco for Audio Bibles!

That day we gave out 9 audio Bibles to that group of people from NLG village

 

 

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Angels and the Drone!

During the Evangelistic meetings we ran out of food and had to make an early morning drive to MaeLaCamp to buy fruits and vegetables.  Jonathan Hill came with us because he was eager to get more pictures and to send the drone up the catch the breathtaking views.

On the way home at the top of one mountain, he walked ahead of our truck and flew the drone over our truck.  He was backing up while doing the navigation.  He did not notice the big tree beside him until the drone flew into the top of that tree and got decidedly stuck into the leaves and branches.  It was a horrible moment for Jonathan because we had just been discussing its value and the plans he had for it.

We stopped underneath that huge tree and peered up into the tippy top branches – there it was – little light flashing!  Jonathan tried to fly it out, but it was hopelessly stuck.  We prayed.  Then BletJhaw began to climb the tree!  I was appalled!

“Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” I yelled out.

“It’s not worth your life. Stop.  Stop. I’ll buy another one. Come back right now!”

But my words were not heeded.  BletJhaw seemed determined to retrieve the prize possession.  I was beside myself because the tree was hanging over a steep cliff.  If he fell, which surely he would amidst those tiny branches so high up – it would be all over, our work, our week of evangelism, his family – everything.

Can you see BletJhaw? He still has to go farther up and out!  (Sorry, I could not rotate this picture clockwise)

I watch as he climbs almost out of sight, doing the splits to reach the next tiny branch which is swaying in the breeze.  He is very strong and flexible, but we have no idea what kind of tree this is and how strong the thin wood underneath his feet.  Finally he tries to throw a rope over that drone unsuccessfully.  He comes down far enough to let his rope down, and we tie a long forked stick to it.  Back up he goes and reaches far beyond the limit of gravity to hook that tiny branch and pull it toward him.  At this point I cannot watch.  It is certainly a gut wrenching moment when the breath cannot move freely in and out of your lungs.

“Oh dear God help.”  is all I could say.

And help was there!  The branch bent down down down and with one free hand (That I could not believe he had), BletJhaw got hold of the drone and pulled it loose.  Such an impossible feet!

Near the very top, and off to the right a little bit

 

Have you ever talked with your angel?  Or with someone else’s angel?  I did that day.  So thankful that angels that excel in strength held up those little tree branches and saved BletJhaw’s life!

 

. . . And I guess saved the drone also, although I had not been worried about that drone!

Drone unharmed

So much more meaning to the verse:  “There shall no evil befall thee…for He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”  Psalms 91:11,12

 

 

 

 

 

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Higher Than the Highest Thought

Desire of Ages 311.2  “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest thought can reach.”

This last week in BYT has certainly been higher than my finite mind ever could have imagined!  So right here I will try my best to tell – though words cannot describe it!

“Every day will I bless thee, and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever.  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable!”  Psalms 145:2,3

The devil slammed us the entire week before evangelism.

  1. DuPe committed suicide on Sabbath,

2.  The funeral, the burial, the sadness, all day Sunday,

3.  BeLoo was at the point of death when we took her to the hospital.

4.  Rain persisted just when we needed to go to other places.

5.  BletJhaw’s 2 year old son got sick and came down with a temperature            of 105.9!

6.  Then just before we had to leave to pick up Pastor Jimmy, the Baptist people who had just moved in up the hill from us – moved in on us and put on a “Christian” rock concert just across the river from our compound.  It was loud and wild.  Furthermore it seemed that all the village people were in attendance. What if they kept doing this while we were having our meetings? Nobody would want to come to church, plus you cannot even think straight while all that was going on!

We brought Pastor Jimmy to BYT on Thursday afternoon. He had been in BYT before. He went right to work visiting people and becoming their friend.  He is so enthusiastic, has a winning personality, and knows how to speak to the mountain people.

 

The Steck family arrived, with their piano and special music!

My best friend, Lisa Sharon came with Travis and her seven sweet Karen children!  Five media people came in the new production truck with Daniel Bair, Jonathan Hill, and 3 other young men!  Later we picked up a pastor and his wife from Illinois. – so many visitors like BYT has never seen!  It was a wonderful re-union for the missionaries, as we had not seen each other for a long time.  We prayed together and each day during the meetings, we split up in groups and visited other villages on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.

Pastor Jimmy met with the people who wanted to be baptized and taught them.  (I had imagined only 2-4 would be baptized). He also had a special training seminar on Wednesday for all the church leaders and organized the elders, deacons, deaconesses, clerk, treasurer, women’s ministry etc and taught them what to do.  These things our little church never knew about. He asked us to expand our church and make it 2 sections larger, as more people attend when it is bigger.  He met with the principle of the government school and she wanted to send the Christian students to us for worship 3 days a week – the ones who wanted to worship God and not Buddha.  She also wants someone to teach English in her school.  (We plan to do it)

For Friday Pastor Jimmy planned a special Thanksgiving breakfast for everyone. All day Thursday the people leveled the ground on 3 levels opposite the church, constructed the tables bowels and spoons from bamboo, and prepared the food. And the people came in droves!  I imagined Jesus feeding the 5000! My joy knew no bounds!

We fell in love with Pastor Leonardo and his wife Vanessa at the very first sight.  What a humble, godly couple they are and so encouraging to BletJhaw and I!  They said they were changed for life and would never be the same again after witnessing the mission work being done in BYT and surrounding villages. They are so supportive beyond words!  They had made a real sacrifice of their time, money, and energy, to travel all the way from Illinois for only a little over one week, just to preach in our little village! Pastor Leonardo did all the preaching, morning and night.  He gave the people a simple, clearer vision of Jesus, his love, His second coming and heaven.  We did not have just 2 or 3 in attendance! Away with that thought! The morning attendance was a little less, but in the evening meetings there were over 40- 50 every evening and then on Sabbath we just did not count them all! They came from 4 different villages maybe more.  I felt the light from the throne room of God being shed abroad over all in attendance, the rays of which will spread out wider and farther until Jesus comes!!!

Finally Sabbath came, the highest Sabbath Day of my life.  The little church was packed and others outside. The special music, the prayers, the piano, the songs, the sermon, filled with power from the Holy Spirit telling the people that they don’t want to miss out on heaven, and the 3 large video cameras catching every single word, was just too wonderfully amazing to put into words!  Then we proceeded to the river for the baptism.  People swarmed all down both banks of the river and across the bridge.  There were not two people baptized, not four, but 16 precious Karen people baptized that day.  Seems so strange to cry tears of joy.  But when your cup of joy is full and it overflows and runs all over the place, unbidden tears come out.  I watched one person after another follow each other into the river that day.  People that I had preached to countless times.  People that I loved so much.  People that I had prayed for – my joy was intense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know I am so glad that God gave us human beings the job of soul winning!  He could have sent the Angels to do it, but think of all the joy we would miss!  I am told that in heaven our joy will be even greater as we meet those who are there because of our sacrifice for souls.  I’m so glad we will then have immortal bodies then, otherwise I don’t think I could live underneath such an enormous cup of joy!

ChaPoe is so happy to be a member of the SDA Church at last! He dropped his membership from the Catholic church.

So . . . if your first priority in life is not soul winning, than I ask you to make it such.  Until then you cannot know true joy!

 

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Media Truck

Here’s an amazing story! Jesus for Asia has a foundation now in Chaing Mai called, “Love for Asia.” Jon Wood came to Thailand last October to purchase a 4X4 truck and adapt it for media use. The team worked on this project all month and outfitted this truck into a mobile, state of the art, production studio. What a miracle! It cost a lot of money, but now it can travel to remote sites and video meetings etc. in the people’s native language and the DVD’s or MP3’s can take the gospel to many other locations.

When I heard that this work of art was completed, I called Jon Wood before he left Thailand to congratulate him on this huge project, and say good-bye to him. He had been too busy to visit us in BYT this time. We were planning our evangelistic meetings, and I decided to be really funny and tell Jon Wood that now he had completed this truck just in time so he could bring it to BYT and record our evangelistic meetings! I knew that we were by far too remote and that could never happen, but I wanted to be outlandish. . . ..However.. . . to my utter and profound, amazement his reply was:

“Yes! That’s exactly what we will do, that’s what it’s made for. This truck will come to BYT and record the entire series if you would give your permission!”

PERMISSION!! I was completely shocked and dumbfounded – speechless, unable to process what I had just heard! To think something this expensive and valuable and new would be traveling way out here to this small place with all that big capability! This really was encouraging because I knew the timing of that truck was providential and even if hardly any people came to our meetings, those videos could be taken to many other villages. How encouraging! God was working!

Sure enough it came with 5 young professional men who knew what they were doing for sure! I really thank them for taking the time, money, and effort to do all that work.

God’s word is going to cover these mountains!

 

 

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Poverty Plus

 

This is poverty.  This is how a real hard core opium addict lives in my jungle mountains.  We saved this ladies’ life by getting her to the hospital in time – now she is well, but cannot stop mainlining heroin.

We heard from the government reports that our area called the Omkoi district is the heaviest, worst area for opium in all of Thailand.  Not hard to believe when you live here and look around you.

 

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Fun Time!

 

Had a fun time riding on a bicycle cart from the market to our truck today.  First time!  The good part is that God blessed our day and we got all the food we needed for all our company in just 2 stops!

 

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