Returning from Furlough

October 11, 2014

 

I am up in the air at 40 thousand feet and moving at 846 miles per hour. I ponder my position, half way between my homeland in America, and my home in Thailand.

It is September 17, 2014 and I am returning to Thailand from a 10-week furlough.

 

Looking behind:

 

  1. The events behind me swirl around in my head. All my life I have lived in America, but during that time I had never experienced the support and friendship from so many people in my life as I had on this furlough after working 5 years in the jungles of Thailand. I had told the Lord that I wanted to isolate myself with my boys and other family members, but He had a different plan for me!   During these past ten weeks I gave 27 sermons and presentations in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Montana, Florida and New York, both to congregations and on TV. Each group gave me all their attention, all their love, and all their moral support. I am overwhelmed with love to you all!  I want to thank all of you again and again from the bottom of my heart. I truly love every on of you!  I know you will pray for our work and the Karen people as I also pray for you!  I am so encouraged and touched to think that so many Americans really care about the missionaries and God’s work among the heathen!  I think back on the difficult, lonely hours spent in the jungle. At times no one seemed to know or care. God definately used those times to teach me to depend entirely upon Him and draw my heart closer to Him, but now I see God wants to supply this need for me now and He gave me this time, surrounded me with instant friendships and filled my lonely soul with love overflowing. What beautiful people you are!  – and above all the people, I see and feel a tender compassionate Saviour shining with un-surpassing glory!!

 

  1. I visited my 2 lovely boys, shedding tears on my departure.  I had said good-bye to my dear Mother, who is almost 91 years old.  I have her FULL support and help. She gives me courage to say good-bye because she is cheerful and tells me how happy she is that I am doing God’s work as He has called me to do. She will do her part also in her place. How special is that? I say good-bye to my dear Sister who is my best friend. She did all in her power to help me advance God’s work in Thailand and in America. She gave so much: Her money, her time, and even lost sleep. She developed flyers, she cooked, and she worked until she was utterly exhausted. This is because she had her regular job as well as carting me all over the country to give presentations and run errands. She gave her hard earned money to the work in BYT until it hurt. She was all the support you could ever hope to have.  I also think of Jon and Natalie Wood, who operate the ‘Jesus for Asia’ mission work.  They have gone beyond the call of duty spreading an awareness among the American people of the needs and work going on in BYT and surrounding villages!  Their team, Kirk and DeDe VanBuren, and Stephanie, have prayed and worked very hard to encourage and promote my work as a pioneer missionary.  So very many people went out of their way to help me.  I could not list them all right here  If I did I would have a very long article  for sure!  However I do wish to sincerely thank you all!  I truly am returning to my post of service with fresh vigor and enthusiasm to work for God more earnestly than ever before!

 

Looking forward:

 

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Tucker and his sister, Signe who came to say good-bye before we leave Chattanooga on a mini van headed for Atlanta airport!

 

  1. I am so thrilled to have Tucker Anderson flying back to Thailand with me to spend one year! This gives us 3 people on our team.  He is a 22 year-old nursing graduate from Southern University. God picked him out for us and he heard God’s call to his heart. He does not mind leaving the comforts of home and all the conveniences. He shares our deep heart’s desire to tell the Karen people about Jesus. He has taken the yoke that God designed for him, and gladly forsakes the great “American dream,”  so that he can use all his time, talents and money in anyway God directs him.  God worked out all the details for him at the last minute. It is amazing how he just barely got his visa, and secured a flight on the same airline as I was on, just 2 days prior to departure! You will be hearing a lot more about him during the coming months.  We traveled the mini van together from Chattanooga to Atlanta, then on to Korea on Korean Airlines. From there we flew to Chiang Mai Thailand. We had endless things to talk about. I must admit, I did most of the talking because there is so much I need him to know. We do not know what the future holds for us now, but the one thing I know is that God is with us, and nobody can pluck us out of His hands!

 

  1. Now we have 3 people on our team!  Tucker, BletJaw and myself.  I believe Tucker is very tired now that we arrived in Thailand.  We will stay until he is rested.  I cannot be jet lagged at this point even a little bit because I am so excited to be back.  I call BletJaw as soon as I hit the ground at the Chiang Mai airport! I cannot wait to see him and his wife and 1½-year-old son, Jonathan. Oh how anxious I am to go to BYT and see if everyone is all right there. I have missed them all so much!

We cannot get out of Chiang Mai right away.  We have trouble with transportation.

 

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Hiking into BYT!

October 11, 2014

I am so happy! Today is Wednesday, September 24: Exactly 6 days after arriving in Thailand from America. This day we will hike six and a half hours to BYT! Our backpacks are quite light this time! It has been raining every other day, but it is not raining today.

 

We are now on a song tow, (The orange public transportation truck),  and ring the bell indicating to our driver that we want to get off.

 

We begin to hike. I don’t believe Tucker is over his jet lag yet, but he had assured us he was ready to go.   He seems excited to actually be on his way to BYT. I am so glad. The sun scorches down upon us as we make our way through the first well-populated village lying on the valley floor just before we ascend up into the mountains. The climb begins quite sharply and continues to be very steep. The extremely steep places are over 20% grade. I must try to explain just how steep they are.  It is so steep that if your foot slipped, you would fall and not be able to get up because you would tumble back down and off the cliff so fast – nobody could save you. Another way to explain how steep they really are, is to relate a comment from Tucker: “The people in America would never believe how steep these roads are!  Nobody could possibly know unless they were right here experiencing it!”

 

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Tucker says it is steeper than what this picture looks like.

 

Normally we would drive our truck today because the roads are dry enough. We have never walked when it is so very hot and sunny like this. When we walk the entire way, it is always because it is rainy season – overcast and raining. Today we have no truck, and the sun is beating down on us unmercifully. The three of us are really out of shape for this type of exertion. Tucker and I have just come from America. I kept running there in my flip-flops 2 miles most every morning in order to stay in condition. But the roads are so smoothly paved and easy to travel even with hills included, that it would never prepare a person for this. The only way we are conditioned for this kind of hiking is when we are walking to other villages in the mountains with the medicines on our backs three times a week or more. BletJaw has not been exercising at all, and Tucker has been working a swing shift in America as well as losing one night’s sleep prior to our 27 hours of flying on Korean Air!

 

After climbing ever upward in the blazing heat for 3½ hours we are faint with exhaustion and feel we cannot go on. We sink down on the side of the road and pray for a truck to come along and give us a ride. BletJaw has cramps in his calves and feels like he may have to spend the night right there.

 

So hot.  So steep.  So long!

So hot. So steep. So long!

 

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“Oh Lord,” I prayed. “You see us here on the side of the road. We feel we cannot go on unless You give us all strength, or clouds and rain, or if You choose to send a truck along to save us that would be so wonderful. We only want to go this way to do Your work in Your way. I know You care and will give us the help we need in whatever way You choose. We will just wait here for You.”

 

Just then we heard the faint sound of a truck’s motor in the distance. Would it turn off at the last road or come past us? Soon it comes to us – a beautiful new black truck! The driver is a Thai man who asks us where we are going. He is going that way and will take us to the shortcut by the pagoda!

 

“Thank-You Lord! We could never thank You enough for all Your loving care!” It seemed that this truck saved our lives as well as saving us 2 hours of walking up-hill. A direct answer to prayer!

 

Once at the pagoda we thank the man profusely and now only have a little over one hour to walk downhill to BYT.  We only had to walk 4½ hours today.

Last stretch before home!

Steep downhill.  Last stretch before home!

 

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:13,14

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First Sabbath in BYT

October 11, 2014

It is Sabbath morning. We have been in BYT since Wednesday evening. I preach about William Miller, the value of the Bible, and the value of our precious Seventh-Day-Adventist church. There is an exceptional attendance today, including several from WaSuTah. I am so very happy to see them and make an appeal for them to prepare for Jesus second coming just as the people did in 1844.

Yesterday several people had come from GeGhah village to be treated. They told us about a man who is very sick. He is swollen up all over especially his stomach. He does not eat or drink much. Another man said his daughter had a high fever and she seemed to shake heavily for 30 minutes. (Febrile seizures)? So, after church and after eating a small dinner, we left for GeGhah.   BletJaw and I were so happy to share the contents of our heavy backpacks with Tucker! He ably carried more than his share!

Patients flocked in to see us. They were so happy that we were back after so long. We spent 3 hours caring for the sick. Many of them were very sick, but the man with the swelling was the worst. He was dying. It is liver failure, perhaps caused by cancer, but most likely the use of opium.  He is a heavy opium addict.  I could tell his organs were shutting down. The stomach swelling was severe, (Ascites).

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The family told us they had no money but hey were all going to take a trip to the Pagoda the next day to worship the devil and ask him for help and healing.

We went into the main part of the house because I suggested we have worship.  Everyone in the house thought that was a good idea. I began to talk. I told them to go to the pagoda and worship the devil would not help a bit, because the devil is the cause of all the trouble, sickness and suffering in our world. Only the God of heaven can bring healing because He made us to begin with. I asked if they would like to hear a little bit about God.  They did!  I thanked the Lord in my heart for an opportunity to share truth with them, and asked for words and wisdom!

I told of the 7 days of creation.  How God made the trees, the flowers, the sun, moon and stars. He made everything good. I told about he seventh day.  God has written us a special book called the Bible that tells us how much He loves us. We obey everything He tells us because He always keeps His promises. He can see, hear, love and help us. No other god can do these things. We love Him because He loves us, He is alive and answers our prayers. The devil is the opposite; he does not want us to know about God. He hates us. He lies and is the cause of all the sickness, pain, sorrow, death and every bad thing. God is asking you today to talk to Him and get to know and love Him. We prayed for the poor man and for all the sick people. We asked for God to help them all to know God as we know Him – a personal friend. What a lovely way to spend the hours of the Sabbath! My heart is full of love for these dear people and to the God of the universe who can give understanding to them. The lady of the house fixed us rice and chili peppers for lunch, and gives us a cucumber. Cucumbers are not the size of those in America, they are about 7-10 times bigger!  (We already have about 30 at home that people have given us.  This happens every year.  Last year we ended up with 50)!

 

The children love Tucker.  They immediately drape themselves over him!  He is happy!

The children love Tucker. They immediately drape themselves over him! He is happy!

 

Tucker and BletJaw with the children.

Tucker and BletJaw with the children.

 

 

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Tucker has a great camera. He has taken many of thee pictures.

Tucker has a great camera. He has taken many of these pictures.

 

We are called to visit several other houses where people are sick. We see the girl who I thought might have had a febrile seizure. I believe the medicine I gave the Father yesterday must have helped her.

We visit a poor old grandma who has fallen down the ladder of her house 15 days ago. She has not walked ever since, and has a decubitus ulcer on her bottom. Her son does not think anything is broken, so he feels she does not need to go to the hospital. I know her hip is broken because her leg is shorter and externally rotated. I long to take her to the hospital right away. How I love this poor lady.

We go to yet another house, where a 42-year-old man has just returned from Omkoi hospital. He seems to have been given some wrong medication for his problem. He has extreme pain over the left kidney. I check his urine and find gross blood and leukocytes, which indicates infection. After treating him for that, I feel satisfied about his treatment. We stay in his house for another 2 hours treating more sick people. Every time we think we have treated the last one, some more people enter. It is now pouring rain outside. I am glad to be in this little hut. We pray with the people. My heart is so full of love that I cannot explain it to you.

 

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The lady of the house is preparing something for us to eat.

 

 

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We eat the rice and pumpkin she has cooked. It is delicious.

 

We notice that the lady is preparing us something to eat even though we already ate at the first house.   I wonder if it is a good idea to wait that long to eat because the sky is growing very dark – night is falling and we did not bring flashlights with us. I shudder to think about that treacherous path out there in the rain and in the dark! I inwardly pray for a flashlight. However the kind lady has prepared a nice meal and suddenly I feel hungry. I did not eat much rice and hot chili pepper before. We now eat again.  It is delicious. We thank the dear people. They give us 2 cucumbers and a bag of rice. As we leave, the man gives me a flashlight! My heart is full of love.

Next we are invited to one more house. The man of this house sets a flashlight up on a stick and the lady brings out a beautiful ‘knee’ (shirt) that she has woven for me. They are so happy that we have returned after such a long time. They have missed us and wanted to show their appreciation. I model the beautiful knee and Tucker takes a picture. They give us a huge bag of rice and then hand BletJaw and Tucker each a flashlight. My heart is overflowing with love.

 

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I am thanking the Lord on the walk back because it does not rain. We are loaded down with cucumbers and rice! However in my heart there is rain and heaviness because we do not have a truck to carry the 2 patients to the hospital. The needs of the people are great in this village as they are in every village. They need us to do more for them than what we are doing. A man is dying! We have been gone a very long time and the people are just waiting for us! What can we do? How can we take them somewhere?

 

This is a double rainbow arching itself completely around BYT!  Thank you Lord!

This is a double rainbow arching itself completely around BYT! Thank you Lord!

 

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The next day it rains heavily and afterwards we see the most beautiful rainbow.  It is a double rainbow and arches itself all the way across our little village of BeYoTa!   “Oh dear Lord” I whisper, “You are telling us that You have everything under control. You have supplied me with so much courage, faith and love! You are full of mercy, and Your love is everlasting.  You are connected with us and the people here who so desperately need what You have to offer – healing, health, life and a knowledge of You!  I trust You!”

I kneel by my bed tonight and pray: “Oh Lord, please send us a truck if it is Your will. You will supply our needs and the needs of the dear patients as You have all along the way! These are Your people. We wait on You.”

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Five Loaves and Two Fishes

October 11, 2014

I am starkly reminded of the reality of living in a heathen land. Today the sun streams down with scorching heat. The people around me are sick – really sick. In every village the plaintive woes of the people greet my ears.

 

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It seems they have just sat at home, sick and waiting for me to return from America. They are so dirty. They need to make so many changes, but they are so steeped in the practices of their culture. It takes so long and so much work to see just a little tiny change in their lives.

 

Our first week back in BYT we are very busy.  Two men stagger into my clinic just now. One is drunk and holding a major abscess on his right jaw.

Abscesses to the jaw.  A charcoal/psyllium poultice along with an antibiotic will help.

Abscesses to the jaw. A charcoal/psyllium poultice along with an antibiotic will help.

 

The other man is just skin and bones. His temperature is 103 degrees.  He is septic. He fell twice just trying to make it to my front door. I recognize him as the one who almost died one year ago. He was bleeding out from everywhere at that time. We got to him just in time and His life was saved. But he continues to use heavy doses of opium. What will it be for him today?

 

He is so very sick.

He is so very sick.  He fell twice just trying to make it to my door!

 

I see the heinous results of sin. Smoking, alcohol, and opium seem to be at an all time high. I look into the sunken eyes and note the shaking arms and legs before me and want to weep. His blood pressure is around 80. To start an IV on him is very difficult because he is shaking badly, his veins are already hard and knotted from main lining heroin, and his blood pressure is so low.  I add vitamins to his IV.  We wait and pray.

 

Two other men enter with fevers, dysentery, loss of appetite and gastritis.  The smell of alcohol is strong.

 

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Many babies and children have asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.  I used up almost all my salbutamal in breathing treatments this week.

Many babies and children have asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. I used up almost all my salbutamal in breathing treatments this week.

 

This dear lady picks up a broom and sweeps our entire house out including the porch and the surrounding cement!  We treat her son for seizures and she is so very thankful.

This dear lady picks up a broom and sweeps our entire house out including the porch and the surrounding cement! We treat her son for seizures and she is so very thankful.

 

I want to be overwhelmed at the great need around me. Just tonight, after we retired for the night, we heard voices outside. A baby just 3 weeks old is septic.  Her breathing is irregular.  She breaths rapidly then nothing for 11 seconds.  She is septic and has a HUGE cough!  I tell them they MUST go to the hospital right away or she will die.  Fortunately they have a motorbike and they go.  (The baby lives)!

Also that same night, a small child was intensely sick with pneumonia and a temperature of 104.8 degrees. She has been sick a long time they tell me.  Her lungs sound frightful.

 

104.8 degrees!

104.8 degrees!

 

Now there are 4 people that I would have taken to the hospital immediately if only I could, but for the first time in my four years at BYT I have no truck. Here at my house are three workers, BletJaw, Tucker and myself. We have strong legs to walk and carry backpacks, and one motorbike, but what is that compared with so many desperately sick people?

 

My words here remind me of the story of Andrew in John 6:9. When Jesus asked, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Andrew answered, “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes, but what are they among so many?”

 

Mrs. White makes this comment: “He has bidden us: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Mark 16:15. But how often our hearts sink and faith fails us, as we see how great is the need, and how small the means in our hands. Like Andrew looking upon the five barley loaves and the two little fishes, we exclaim, “What are they among so many?”…But Jesus has bidden us, “Give ye them the eat, His command is a promise; and behind it is the same power that fed the multitude beside the sea.”

 

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WHEN THE DEVIL COMES IN LIKE A FLOOD!

July 1, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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God Cares for the Elderly

June 26, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now I prayed that the Lord would stop the rain.

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

We start out.

The rain stops!

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

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

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

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

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

SawHtu, grandma,

SawHtu, grandma, DeaJayCa

 

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

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

 

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

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God Cares for Those That are With Young

June 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m going to try one more time.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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America

June 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

In His care,

Gayle

 

 

 

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My Birthday!

June 24, 2014

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two things worry me about leaving today.

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

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

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

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

WeeTeeSa

WeeTeeSa

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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CEMENT BLOCK AND THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE

May 28, 2014

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

IMG_9597

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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