Isolation/Lockdown

Here I am, in one house with 10 people on one square spot of land for an undetermined length of time unable to go out or come in.  We have already been here like this for 7 days, but it seems like 2 months! We are locked down!  Our food and drinking supply is running out.  The government is very strict!  If you don’t obey you will be fined and go to jail!

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Let me explain.  We have been working diligently in BYT, traveling to villages in the drenching rain and twisting around in the mud, wrecking in the mudslides, and picking off the leaches.  It’s great!  We have been praying, preaching, teaching, and encouraging people and treating the sick.

On the first of August, we came out of BYT to see BletJhaw’s family.  They live in KhaneChue (I abbreviate: KJ), which is 40 minutes from MaeSot.  Two days later, the headman of BYT notified us that he has locked down BYT and surrounding villages.  We cannot return.  Nobody is to come in or go out!  We had planned to be back on Sabbath.  The people had requested different sermon topics that they wanted to understand.  I was so excited to explain the unpardonable sin, the 2300 days, (Simply), and the Judgement!  But now we are locked out!

The next thing that happened took me totally by surprise.  I had gone to MaeSot to purchase supplies, but when I returned to KJ, lo and behold a barricade was up with police guarding it!  Would they let me in?  I knew there were some COVID cases in that area, but I was not prepared to be totally locked out.  I was kindly let through that barricade!  But now I’m in and nobody can leave.

Many people all around us are COVID positive.  Several have been sent to the hospital in serious condition.  In fact neighbors on all sides of this house are taken to the hospital.  It is not the entire village of KJ that is locked down, just our small section. The government takes serious action.  Police guard the barricade.  Hospital staff are seen entering in trucks all dressed out in total PPE.  They have spray tanks on their backs and proceed to spray down every house where COVID patients have lived. Every day we hear of more positive cases.  There is an Adventist dormitory in this section where students stay while attending Thai schools.  Fifteen were diagnosed positive in one day.  But that’s not all!  We have double trouble – people all around us are also coming down with dengue fever which is a killer!  Hospitals are overflowing!

Life has totally changed for us in an instant.  We do not even go out to walk on the road in front of our house. It is only a bumpy dirt/mud road, but nobody is walking the street.  Usually there are young boys on motorbikes speeding over the ruts, dogs fighting, children being carried in shawls, trucks hauling building supplies, those who work in the corn fields all day pass by on foot or motorbike, even trucks drive by selling cabinets, pig meat, mattresses etc., and yelling Thai over a loud speaker.  But now all is silent.  I see nobody pass by, not even a dog, a cat, or a chicken!

We are behind this gate:  Time stands still

With 10 people in the house I realized how serious this was because the food and drinking water was almost all gone.  At least we have electricity and Internet here, so I notified my sister of our situation.  I told her that it sure would be interesting to see how God will take care of us.  In the near future there will be such terrible trouble, but God says our bread and water will be sure!  Over here that probably means our rice and water will be sure.  We do have a good supply of rice. Fortunately I had brought a large pack of kidney beans in the past! I wonder how the other people down our street are fairing, and wish I could bring them food and water.  But we don’t have any ourselves and there is no way to go get anything!

I find out that my sister has told our situation to her church family, (of which I am a member)!  They all prayed for us this last Sabbath!  Consequently, in answer to all the prayers, the next day, I heard from my best friend, Lisa!  They are travelling to MaeSot and go right past our KJ turn off.  We such good friends that I feel free to ask favors of her!!!  How sweet!!  We gave her a shopping list of 10 items!  Guess what?  They purchased all that and more!!

So here’s how we had to make the exchange of food and money.   BletJhaw and I came to the barricade on the motorbike.  (So refreshingly great to ride on it after such a long time)!  But we stopped about 25 yards away and waited for Lisa and family.  The police guard came instantly and watched while they placed the food on a table.  After they backed away, we placed the money on the table on top of the food and backed away.  Then Lisa came and took the money, but she had to wash it with alcohol spray immediately!  After they left, we were able to step up and load our food onto the motorbike!

We are waiting at a great distance

Lisa brings the food to the table

OH MY!  We are treated like POISONOUS PRISONERS for sure!

But now we have fruit and vegetables!  We thank God, Lisa, and LeRoy every day! They are willing to do this every Sunday!

God has a lesson for me in this situation.  My worst nightmare is to sit dormant.  I was born with lots of energy, and have always been very active.  That is why God sent me to BYT because it is very strenuous work.  However now I am to all appearances – useless.  I have no job, nobody to reach out to help.  I remember something my mother used to tell my sister and I:

“They also serve who only sit and wait!”

I am in the midst of 2 families, who already have their support in each other, and their own language!!  I feel alone and in a corner.   I know God has a purpose in this for me.  Time is a talent.  I am not used to sitting with all this time on my hands!  I cannot even go out and run in the morning!  But now Jesus says: “Be still and know that I am God.”

I have prepared several sermons for BYT.   I am learning to play the Ukulele, and studying end-time events by Stephen Bohr.  I am struggling to memorize Matthew 24.  These 2 boys, Jonathan 8 and Brayden 6, need a grandma to teach and lead them!

I am learning at the feet of Christ!!  “Oh dear Lord, I am all Yours.  Whatever lessons you are wanting to teach me, may I learn them well!  Make me willing, cheerful and obedient to you!  Use me in any way during this time.”

“He works through those who discern mercy in misery, gain in the loss of all things.  When the light of the world passes by, privileges appear in all hardships, order in confusion, the success and wisdom of God in that which has seemed to be a failure…Treat calamities as disguised blessings, of woes as mercies.  Work in a way that will cause hope to spring up in the place of despair.”  Counsels on Health 26-27.1

 I have meditated on this chapter for days now!!

In the future we will face much worse trials and hardships than can ever be imagined.  Right now may we use all of life’s situations to prepare us to stand in end times!  God needs to do a special work of refining and polishing, which is not at all comfortable.  Be encouraged, be cheered, be exuberant, whatever your lot – because Jesus goes through everything with us and next we will see His face!

 

 

 

 

 

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Seek Ye First

Today has been a day of decisions!  We have been out of BYT for over a week now.  I had to do a live video presentation for FaithCamp East which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Today is Friday and we have planned to return today.  Because I will preach in BYT tomorrow and we are bringing extra food to feed a little family which we will bring into our home to help them quit their long term addiction to opium.

It is the last trip with the truck, which we shouldn’t try, but we didn’t bring the motorbike out.  It is raining constantly and the roads are in a frightful condition.
Yesterday I had a big struggle in my heart!  My oldest son, Bradley and his wife, Shelby, had to go to the Emergency Room.  She is in her last term of pregnancy with her first child – very close to her due date, but she got preeclampsia with a blood pressure of 199/121. If you are medically inclined you know this could be dangerous to the mother and the baby.  Bradley told me it could be up to 3 days before that baby is born.  Now I want with all my heart to stay where I am with phone service so I can communicate with my son at this most pivotal moment!  There is no service of any kind in BYT. But I went to God in prayer.  Matthew 10:37 is burning in my head:
“He that loveth … son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me!”
This has been my most brutal, heart-rending test all along the way since my last 11 missionary years – leaving family to work for God, but God always blesses them and me! I know my given work is to go to BYT to preach and work with this little family to help them detox and lead them to Christ. My mind is set, I will put God first.
This is a very small sacrifice to make when Jesuis gave His all!
Not long after this decision my heart is filled with peace. I will “Go Forward.”  God has given me work to do.  It was then that I noticed the sky clearing.  Sun began to shine, and in a short time the entire sky was blue!  We have not seen sun or blue sky here for weeks, only total heavy rain and low clouds obstructing all view.  What vivid confirmation from the God of heaven that I am in the center of His will! This will make it easier to travel those roads and oh so cheerful!  Just think when Noah and family exited thier ark, God’s message of love and care for them was in the sky!
It is Friday noon now, and I wrote this out to ask you to please help me pray for Bradley, Shelby and the unborn baby girl,(Twyla Ann)!  You know the heart of a mother for her children, especially when you’re half-way around the world!
But the windows of heaven just opened and God poured me out a blessing without room enough to receive it!  Praise the Lord I heard from Bradley!  The baby has just been born!  Shelby did very well.  They are thrilled beyond words and so am I.  Twyla Ann, 5lbs 2oz and 18 inches long!
Seek ye FIRST always!
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For the Love of Children

Super Sweet!

I have never EVER in my entire 34 years of nursing practice, seen a 3 year old child this brave and this good.  It’s the headman’s son, SoSee.  His mother carried him to our porch last week, blood dripping from his right foot.  She didn’t really know how it got cut.  She hadn’t seen it happen.  But really, how could she?  Because this little boy is the wildest, fastest, most unmanageable child in the entire village.  Everyone knows that he is here, there, and everywhere at one speed – fast!
But he is adorably cute – a bag of mischief. Yet you can’t help but love him.  Now he is my problem, and in my mind I’m thinking – “Oh boy, we’re in for a big fight.”
BletJhaw gets the soap and begins to wash the blood and leaves from his leg and foot.  People here crush up a certain weed and stuff it into the cut because it stops the bleeding.  Then as I am preparing the suture materials they lay him on the mat.    Lidocaine, the numbing medicine really does burn, so I ask the mother and BletJhaw to really hold him tight because I don’t want my needle to break off in his foot, or have it stick him in the wrong place on his foot or in my finger.  But I am surprisingly mistaken. That boy did not budge his foot.  He cried, but he held that foot on the cloth perfectly still.  Later as I sutured, he went fast asleep!  You can’t help but love him.  You can’t help but praise the Lord for a bad situation that turned into something so good!
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Double Miracle

It has been raining since April here in the jungle mountains, not constant rain, but enough to make life difficult.  Now it is full-fledged rainy season and it is time for us  to abandon the truck and be relegated to the motorbike only.  Hopefully we have adequately stocked up on medical supplies and enough food to last through October, as we cannot carry much on that motorbike!  The weather reports say that the rainy season will last a lot longer than usual!

Rainy season is a complete disaster for travel out here and BletJhaw and I are both starting out with bad backs!  His is chronic, mine acute. I cannot ever remember having any back pain before, but 2 weeks ago pain hit my lower back and I cannot continue my routine exercise, which has been the cause of my energy, strength and health my entire life.  We both need God’s healing touch!
However in spite of our pain we had to take the motorbike to a worship in LaGlah last week, and then we needed to go all the way out of the mountains to help a friend.  On the way back to BYT we had to drive that motorbike through the driving wind and rain.  It was hard to hold the motorbike steady in that wind and hard to be able to open our eyes and be able to see our way.  Sitting there in my position on the back of that motorbike, I prayed this prayer most earnestly:
“Oh Father in heaven, You who calmed the angry sea, You who hold all things in your hands, and under Your control including us, please give us a dry pathway on the shortcut especially those 5 dreadfully steep places – if it be Your will. It really doesn’t look like that’s possible now dear Father, but with You all things are possible.”
I kept praying that prayer as the rain beat against our faces, soaked our clothing, and chilled us to the bone.  Finally we left the concrete section and began the muddy descent on the bad road.  To my complete astonishment and joy the rain stopped, the road was wet, but the further we went the dryer it got, until we reached the meanest, steepest places, which are very difficult even in dry season!  But right there the road was entirely dry!  We did not slip,slide, or wreck, but safely reached our front porch.  No sooner did we enter the house than the downpour began!  Oh all praise and glory to God!
“Sing unto Him.  Sing psalms unto Him. Talk of all His wonderful works!”  Psalm105:2
NEXT MIRACLE:
Now we had to come out of BYT again because I have been asked to do a short, live, video presentation of our work at FaithCamp East tomorrow morning. I left BletJhaw with his family and drove to MaeSot, where I would (hopefully), have decent internet for this program.  Once I arrived I received a desperate phone-call from BletJhaw.  He had left his cell phone on the front bumper of our truck!  Was it still there?  Now I have been driving on a bumpy dirt road in Khane Chue and then 50 minutes on the highway traveling at 60-80 km!  Maybe even 90 km!  This was a very nice iphone.  I quickly ran to the front of the truck, and there sweetly camouflaged against the bumper bar and the back of the bumper was that black cell phone!
I just read this wonderful statement:
“In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven.  At every step we touch His living power.”  Acts of the Apostles 478.2
I’m so in love with Jesus!
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Night of Terror!

NIGHT OF TERROR

Two things I’ve never experienced this close up before:

  1. Anger
  2. The devil face to face

It’s already 9:10p.m.  Lights are out.  We are settling to sleep when a motorbike is heard grinding up our steep hill with lightning speed.  Oh Dear Lord, it must not be good.  Someone coming so quickly after dark is never a good sign.

Two young men from WST stammer to describe a stabbing.  “Knife went all the way through to the back!”

Two BYT guys are with us this night, so we all instantly jump in the truck.  “Oh Dear Lord there’s big trouble, please help!”  We are racing over the bumpy road to WST.  On the way BletJhaw says:  “It’s ChaPo!”

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ChaPo and his wife just 2 months before His murder

I think about ChaPo.  He is 60 years old, a very kind man.  We helped him stop smoking 9 years ago, but he went back to it again.  He attended our church many times, and later in 2017 he was convicted that the seventh-day was the Sabbath and wanted to join our church, so he pulled his membership out of the Catholic Church.  We helped him and his wife both quit smoking for good, and they were baptized during our very first evangelistic series in December 2017.

He is sincere and has faithfully attended church since that time.  God has blessed him with a tremendous rice harvest year after year – the tallest, strongest, highest yielding crop that I have seen in these mountains.  He brought us to his garden last year so we could conduct thanksgiving worship.  We hiked way up the mountain to praise the Lord with him.  He told us that one tenth of his rice harvest he will sell and give that money for tithe – and he did just that!

Worship in ChaPo’s beautiful rice garden, ready to harvest.

Two years ago his relative, Bli, in MooDooKee village wanted to become a Seventh-Day Adventist but ChaPo didn’t know how to answer his questions, so he hurried to call us to come visit and help Bli understand the Bible.  Since that time we have studied together and Bli, his wife, two daughters, and one husband were baptized during our 2018 evangelism series.  The other daughter just got married and her husband was baptized December 2020.

Baptism of 2018

This entire family is now baptized!

We are very drawn to ChaPo.  He is doing all that he knows to do that’s right.

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But now back to reality.  At this moment I am breathless, my heart is standing still, or is it racing? I don’t know which.  Wickedness and evil hit me square in the face with all the demonic forces of hell!  Blood is everywhere – huge pools of it.  ChaPo is lying there on the ground – dead.  I lift the blanket covering ChaPo – such a large stab wound to the heart made by a very large knife.  That wound went all the way through diagonally to the right lateral chest.   Nobody is around all is eerie and ominously quiet.  The wind is blowing sending shimmering shadows of leaves and trees from our flashlights. We see no lights in any of the houses.  Two young men are there, the ones who had come to get us.  They tell us that nobody knows where the murderer is.  His house is just across the pathway from ChaPo’s house.  He gets very angry when he drinks, plus he takes drugs, perhaps ‘mad horse medicine’ that causes horrific madness.  He must have come to ChaPo’s house with all intentions to kill, because he began to pull the bamboo fencing across to enter his house.  ChaPo heard the noise and thought it was a cow.  We found out later that as he opened his door, before even stepping outside, the murderer, DeePo, stabbed him through and through, then while the knife was still in, he dragged him by the knife outside to the gate, then he pulled the knife out.  It is a horror movie in reality!  My mind cannot process what my eyes are seeing.

Now it is just the 5 young men and myself gazing at the horrifying scene and trying to process this atrocious heinous thing that just happened.  Presently the 5 young men decided to go to the murderer’s house and see if the daughter or anyone is home.  Each one selects a large stick of firewood as a weapon to investigate the house.  I’m standing in the road praying under a starlit night. The half moon is calmly staring down at me.  “Oh Lord,” I pray, “We don’t know where the murderer is.  We are in a very dangerous position.”  I lift my eyes to the moon and say:  “Lord protect these people – what is going on?”   BletJhaw did not go up to the house, but the others said only the man’s shoes were outside covered with blood.  I said, “Let’s get out of here, we should not be here!”  Little did we know how dangerous our position was!

We drive to the headman’s house in BYT and get him out of bed.  We all go to the school where there is just a little phone service.  It is not too good.  After many attempts to call, they finally get in touch with the chief of police in Omkoi, who will send police from MeDooGlow, but they don’t  know where BeYoTa, or WaSuTa are located because we are so remote.

BletJhaw and I return home, unable to sleep.  At 1:00a.m, two young men come to ask BletJhaw to help in the hunt down of the murder!  Apparently the police are on the scene now. I do not go.

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BletJhaw’s story:  1:00a.m. to 3:30a.m.

Finally the police arrived.  There were 4 of them equipped with guns and M-16s.  They had long metal forked sticks to push off offenders.  Every villager in WST who knows what has happened is terrified because they heard the wife screaming and also know that this man has a big knife on him one and a half feet long, and owns an AK-47!  Most of the bamboo houses are open and do not lock.  Nobody is sleeping. They huddle in the dark in their houses, with knives and hunting guns ready.  The search party consists of 30 people, equipped with knives and big sticks.  They divided into 2 groups with 2 policemen heading each group.  After searching high and low, up and down the mountainside, they finally find him in the bushes.  They called for him to put the knife down, surrender with hands up and come out of the bushes, but he broke away and ran to his house, with police and others in hot pursuit.  There was chaos while the police fought him down and got him under control.

ChaPo’s nephew, a soldier, hit him with the end of his gun.   Others punched and hit him with sticks.  One strong young man took a large heavy stick like a baseball bat and hit him in the forehead as hard he could.  It made such a loud bang and caused him to fall and hit his head on the ground with great force.  He should have been bleeding and knocked unconscious. The strange thing is this man did not bleed, no hematoma, and no sign of pain or swelling seen.  He is conscious and alert.  He just stood right up with a strange smirk.  BletJhaw and the headman saw it!  Later we learned that this man is super demon possessed and much more than that!  Several years ago he received a very rare injection, after which they say he cannot be injured!  That has been proven true today by the power of the devil!

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It is the custom for all the villagers to stay with the family of the deceased for 2 or 3 days and nights so the family can be comforted.  Also they stay together because they are afraid of the ghost, which they believe can appear after someone dies.

In this country, when there is a crime the police do a reenactment and bring the murderer back to show exactly what he did that night.   We were all there at ChaPo’s house when they brought DeePo back to reenact his crime. The police had DeePo restrained with hands tied tightly together, a hard helmet, and a bulletproof vest.  I soon find out why he is dressed so. This is all new to me.  As he shows the police just what he did, the family and friends of ChaPo are furious, they want to kill this man. There is so much anger pent-up and boiling over in many of the relatives and young men.  I never saw such unbridled anger before in my life, but suddenly I am in the midst of it.  Strong young men are in a wild frenzy, yelling, screaming, racing to beat, stab, shoot, kill this murderer.  By God’s grace I am able to move to the outskirts of the crowd.  BletJhaw is able to calm one young man who has a large knife.

The murderer is doing the reenactment

The judicial system here is not right for criminals.  There is a limit of 20 years that a criminal can stay in prison, and then they are set free!  But this man could work his way out in 4 years with bribery! If he does, the village people here all plan to kill him.  (If possible).

We tearfully say goodbye until the resurrection morning.

I am home alone at times, but not afraid.  I think back during the 11 years we have lived here in these jungle mountains.  We are surrounded with devil worshipers.  The devil is literally cordially invited all around us.  Opium, mad horse, and other unknown drugs are sold and used right here in our village, and all villages for that matter!  I have stayed by myself all alone countless nights in an unlocked house.  I always have love in my heart for everyone here and give my life to helping each and every one to get well and, of course, in the process I want to lead them to Jesus.  I realize now how our angels have protected us all along the way.  A knock sounds at the door at night, and I always run to open it, so happy to help whoever is out there.  So this could easily be me too.

Just last night, right in BYT we heard ChweeCoo, (an angry man), go crazy and out of control all night.  (He almost shot his oldest daughter 2 times in the past).  He is now angry at BletJhaw and especially me!  He screamed and yelled and fought with everyone all night long, tearing up his bamboo house.  Many strong men had to try to keep him in his house all night so he wouldn’t come to our house and kill us!  No one in BYT slept that night.  ChweeCoo hears voices in his head that tell him what to do.  He says I’m supposed to put money in his account.  In the past he walks around our house at night many times. Tonight as I listen all night long I hear him yelling my name.  He is yelling,  “She helps everyone around here but wont help me!”  Thankfully the next day the police came and took him away.

“Oh precious Father in heaven, life is short, it is like a vapor.  It is like grass in the field, which today is, and tomorrow cast into the oven. Relatives are in shock and grieving, ChaPo is gone.  His entire family is terribly traumatized.  The end is near and the devil is angry and working desperately to take me down along with every follower of God.  He works from underneath, but I will not fear, because your love and protection is streaming down from above in greater supply.  Whenever You want to take me, I’m in Your hands, but if You still have work for me to do then nothing can kill me.  I will work for You, Father with all my might while I yet live.  By Your grace alone!”

 Psalm 138:7  “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me.  Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.”

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The Tree

I leaned out the window as the truck was lurching along the narrow pathway and took a picture of this tree, not dreaming it would come out this strikingly clear.  I learned some lessons from this tree.

Oh dear Lord may it be a picture of me!

1.Lord, this tree stands straight and tall, when all the other trees have been cut down so the field can be sown year after year with tapioca or corn. Lord, my desire is to be left standing throughout this crisis at end times – standing firmly on the truth of Your Word, no matter what goes on around me, and though I stand alone.

“Stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1Corinthians 16:13

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  Galatians 5:1

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

 

2.Lord, this tree is all alone.I too feel all alone much of the time.  I am unable to travel to America this year, I have lost my Mother, and unable to talk much on the phone to my sister or my boys.  I am the only American in these jungle mountains and not even able to be fluent in the Karen language, which distances me even more from human friendships and the companionship that I crave.  But You are my all-and-all.  Paul said:

“No man stood with me…Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.”              2Timothy 4:16,17

“We can never perfect a round, full Christian experience until every earthly support is removed, and the soul centers its entire affections about God.” MR 926.

Jesus said:  “I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” John 16:32

 

3. Lord, this tree is dead.Year after year as I pass by it is the same dead tree silhouetted against the sky.

“There is a crucifixion that must go on in our lives, a constant dying to self and sin.”         PCP 38.1

Paul said: “I die daily” 1Corinthians 15:31

“Self annihilation is a hard process, for self struggles for existence and dies hard.  But prayer and faith place the weakest sinner on vantage ground, where the hand of faith can grasp firmly the hand of the Savior.  In and through Christ we may come off more than conquerors.” 21 MR 406.3

“It is the daily dying to self in the little transactions of life that makes us overcomers.  We should forget self in the desire to do good to others.” CCh 80.2

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The Angel and the Elephants

We are driving down our “Driveway” of 27 kilometers trying to make it in good time back to BYT.  The road was dry and relatively easy to travel.  We were praising God for His mercies because we did not see any elephants and had made it safely to the shortcut, which is a rugged, gnarled up pathway of 6 km, mostly downhill into BYT. It seemed strange that a very large tree branch had been freshly broken down over the road.  BletJhaw chopped it up with the machete, and I drugged the pieces off the road.  As we drove on, I noticed I still had a phone signal, so I continued the conversation that I was having with my sister on messenger.  At 4:30 p.m. I said to her:

“Sister, going into BYT now, we will lose signal but praise the Lord, no problem with elephants today!”

At that very moment we saw a man standing beside his motorbike.  He was shaking in terror as he told us that we just passed 3 elephants.  He was too afraid to go back that way to his village.  We thought about the tree branch down by an elephant and yes, we had heard noises in the jungle at one point.  How thankful we were to have passed safely by!  Relaxed and thankful that they were behind us we resumed the journey.  Around the second blind corner, just before the LaGlah village turn-off we were suddenly, shockingly, face to face with the largest wild elephant that I have ever seen!   We were just a few meters away from him.  VERY CLOSE!  His trunk went up, and BletJhaw fumbled with the gears.  He had been driving in 4-wheel drive high; we needed to back up on the steep part in 4-wheel drive low, however, the engine roared and we weren’t going anywhere!  I looked at the gears and said:

“You’re in neutral!”

This is what we’ve always dreaded, meeting elephants on the narrow difficult dirt pathway!  It seemed like ages before the truck finally lurched into 4WD low, and backwards we went: – how to turn around in this part of the jungle???  BletJhaw finally managed a 4-point turn, and back to the man with the motorbike.  We are now surrounded by at least 4 elephants.  What to do?  We sat there for a very long time silently praying.  The large elephant did not appear – he had not charged us.  Finally BletJhaw began walking down to see if that big guy was off the road or walking away so we could drive past and not annoy him with the truck.  He was gone a long time.  I looked at the man beside me, still shaking beside his motorbike.  I began to walk down the road also to find BletJhaw.  The man followed me.  He had a homemade gun, but what was that compared to this huge jungle hulk of a beast that we must be so very close to?  We heard elephant noises behind us and suddenly the sharp noise of a tree breaking in front of us.  That was the only time my heart got nervous because I thought perhaps BletJhaw was in trouble, so I walked on.  My companion with the gun was tiptoeing a ways behind me.  Around the corner I went – determined to “save?” BletJhaw!  There he was taking a video of the elephant that had just pulled down a small tree and was scratching his face with it!

All of a sudden the elephant stopped and both his ears came straight out!  This is a sign that they will charge!  BletJhaw and I turned tail and ran as fast as our legs could carry us!  The man was running also ahead of us, uphill to where our truck was. (But even the truck is not a safe place from these mammoth beasts! Everything is like a grasshopper to them.  The truck could make them even more furious)! The elephant was coming behind us, but not charging.  If they charge you won’t get away because they can run 20 mph.  This is the first time I had to run on foot from a wild elephant!  If he had charged us, he would have killed us both for sure.  We were in a very dangerous position.

You see the oil running down the side of his face?  The male elephants sometimes go through this condition called MUSTH.  Their testosterone levels can raise up 60 times above the normal!  This results in highly aggressive behavior and rise in reproductive hormones.  Their instinct to mate goes into overdrive and they become extremely violent and extremely dangerous.  They are known to kill the female elephants and everything in their path. When I read information on this it says that at this time they must be kept in isolation!  Well, there is no isolation in these jungle mountains.  We are the ones isolated between him and the other female elephants behind us!  We could hear them in the jungle. Extreme danger! What to do?

We began driving out, I was watching the elephant that is following us at a faster pace now.  BletJhaw is driving and looking ahead for the other elephants. By a complete miracle, at 6:22p.m. we were relatively out of danger and taking a longer route around to BYT.  But those past 2 hours were intense and full of danger.

You know, all the power of God’s word that created those elephants is in the Word of God!  And He had said to me:

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them!”  Psalm 34:7

 I am beginning to understand a little bit more about the profound power so easily available to me personally from His Words!

Total adoration and praise to God for once again, saving our lives!

 

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CoDeJo

The day dawned beautiful, bright, and clear.  The morning dew glistened from the single pink rose in front of our house. The air was crisp and cool with not a single hint of the trouble that we know is raging all around the world.  From our front porch, looking out over the mountains all is peaceful.

A lady, MooBree, had come to our clinic the day before, inviting us to come and have worship in her home at 9 oclock in CoDeJo village the next morning.  The name, CoDeJo means, “Wait a minute.” This is a village far up in the mountains east of us.  A while ago the only way we could get to that village is to walk through WST and keep walking up up up a very steep mountain for about an hour.  We called this little pathway, leech lane because in rainy season this place is swarming with those slippery, slimy creatures! In those days CoDeJo consisted of only 3 houses.  Now however there is a way to get there on motorbike taking a western approach on a rugged pathway and there are a total of 7 houses.

MooBree told us that of the seven houses, 3 of them were now Christian.  She herself had just joined the Baptist church.  Her 2 teenage children would be leaving for school soon, and she wanted prayers for the entire family, because it is time to clear the land for this years rice garden, which is very hard work.  She had invited the Baptist pastor and us, so we thought that he would be conducting the worship.  Just in case, I prepared a suitable worship for the occasion.

DeeMu and his brother, DaClay also came on their motorbike.  They followed behind us.  The road got worse and worse, until finally, very close to CoDeJo, our motorbike just slid halfway around as it bounced out of one big rut to another.  We almost went down, but BletJhaw saved it and I bounced completely off the seat, spun around and had only one leg over the seat and one hand grabbing BletJhaw’s arm!  Somehow I did not fall off, but I surely must have looked like some sort of contortionist – not very graceful!

We arrived shortly before 9 oclock, but the people were nowhere near ready for the worship.  It is customary to serve some food after the worship and they found out that I did not eat meat.  This put them in a flurry and they sent their daughter out to buy some eggs.  We waited for over an hour.   The Baptist pastor was there.  I am always so happy to see him because I have been praying for him for over 10 years!

The Baptist pastor is 3rd from the left

We all enjoyed the lovely view because CoDeJo is on top of a massive mountain and you can see 180 degrees of scenery.  I made friends with a couple of ladies who took me to their house for a little visit.

 

Finally we assembled at MooBree’s house where I discovered that the Baptist pastor did not want to do the worship.  He wanted me to do it.  I’m so glad that I had taken pains to prepare something.  It always thrills my soul to share Jesus with these people.  Afterwards they served the usual meat dishes to everyone, but they gave me a wonderful dish of greens and also egg omelets.

As soon as that meal was finished, a second lady who was a Christian asked us to please come and have worship in her home because her small child would be going to school soon also.  This time I was sure the Baptist pastor would conduct the worship, but no, he didn’t want to!  I must do this one also and I had nothing prepared.  Nobody else volunteered to do it.  God helped me talk to this group of people also.  The lady had some rice noodles served with meat water that she gave to everyone.  I graciously declined as I do not and cannot eat any part of meat!  It was a blessing for me because none of us were a bit hungry after our feast at the previous house!

No sooner had that worship and meal ended when the 3rd Christian family, not wanting to be left out, invited us to come to their house to do worship for them also!  The lady couldn’t think of any reason for the worship, so she requested prayer for her shoulder, which sometimes gave her trouble.  Thankfully there was no food at this house!  BletJhaw and I decided that we could each one share something at this worship because the Baptist pastor still would not conduct the worship.  So we went down the line and 5 of us shared, ending with the Baptist pastor who didn’t say much, nor did he use a Bible verse.   I pray that somehow the Holy Spirit worked on his heart as well as the others, as he listened to the SDA worships because I felt the presence of Jesus and had been so blessed to be in these 3 homes and meet the dear people who are somehow happy to call themselves Christians, but who know almost nothing about God or the Bible.

At the end of the day, a lady who had walked up the mountain trail from WST by herself, asked if I would walk back down with her.  She wanted me to check her husband’s foot that had been badly burned 2 weeks ago but not healing.  BletJhaw didn’t mind staying by himself to treat the sick with the small amount of supplies we had brought, so down the mountain we trotted.  It took us a long time to reach WST, but as soon as we entered her house, BletJhaw drove up on the motorbike!  What excellent timing!

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In conclusion I must say that our lives are packed with opportunities to share Jesus in all different locations and circumstances throughout these jungle mountains.  Most of the time the people will just show up at our door and ask us to come right away for a worship in their home.  We have no time to prepare something suitable but must stop everything and go!  Sometimes it is that their children are going off to school, or sickness in the family, or superstitions and fears from a bad dream, or because they experienced a bad omen.  Recently worship were called because people had just been released from prison due to the possession and sales of opium.  On and on the list goes.  Some people must feel that having a worship will cast off a bad spell, or prevent calamities.  Many times they call us because their sacrifices and ceremonies to the devil did not do any good, so they will try us!  But our desire is that they will, in the process, fall in love with the dear Savior and that the truth of God’s Word will draw their hearts to Him!

 

 

 

 

 

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Missionary Retreat

Just came back from a missionary retreat in Sukhothai.  A city just 3 hours 45 minutes from MaeSot. Kasey and Robert Norton have just moved to this beautiful property at the direction and miracle working power of God!  They now have eleven children counting their own 5.

After being in Thailand for only one year, they already have a beautiful property outside of the city to train their children. They have a rented building in the city used for cooking and distribution of food to the needy, a church, and English classes.  Their future plan is to have a school of their own on their property, and run a larger scale orphanage.  They are also happy to invite different support groups to hold retreats there etc. They are trusting in God from day to day to take care of their needs.  If you feel God calling you to bring your talents and join this work, just contact Jesus for Asia.org!

These are street kids from Bangkok and other places. They all have problems, but already I see the love of Jesus in them. So adorable!

Our group was very thankful for the beautiful surroundings and inspired and blessed by the speakers and group discussions Wednesday through Sunday morning.  December 23-27.

This is Sabbath so our group was a lot bigger.

My lovely tent! No mosquitos inside!

Lisa’s re-baptism in this lovely setting!

Let’s keep the fire in our hearts to surrender all and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!  Surely He has spoken to us this week!  Thanks to all!

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We Don’t Always Make It!

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