How God Called Me to be a Missionary

I have been impressed to write the story of how I initially heard God’s call to come to Thailand as a missionary nurse, and according to His guidance, devote my life to helping the Karen people in the jungle. I am being brutally honest in this story, with the prayer that it may strengthen and encourage you in the Lord, as you struggle to cope when the agony of a dreadful crisis comes upon you.

HEARTBROKEN

It was December 25, 2008 on Christmas day that my husband of 21 years told me he was leaving me. Then the truth came out which had been well hidden – he had been unfaithful to me for the past 2 years! I was horrifyingly, overwhelmingly, stunned, and shocked, as I had no idea. True, things had not been going really well, but I always thought that he would get over it if I worked harder to please him, taking good care of the home, the boys, the garden, the cooking etc. It amazes me that in only 5 seconds of time, and one short sentence, your entire life can be instantly destroyed. We lived on a beautiful 40 acre farm in Montana, and I remember running out to the huge round bales of hay far behind our house to cry out loud with the sudden grief and shattering truth of the moment. It felt as if my entire life had disintegrated and lay in a heap of a million pieces in the dirt.

My boys were ages 13 and 15, they needed a father, but the worst thought is that this man had chosen the broad path that leads to destruction! Somewhere along life’s pathway that we had chosen, with Family Retreats, Church leadership roles, family worships, and country living, where did he go astray? As a nurse I knew that the second phase of grief is anger. I prayed right then that the Lord would keep me from anger. I always only had love for my husband, he had so many wonderful talents, skills, and character traits. We have had such great history together. Praise the Lord, I never experienced anger or resentment, only deep pity and a longing for his soul.

In our grief and crisis hour we humans reach out for human support. A retired minister picked us up to try to help salvage our marriage which I desperately wanted, however, I had only just now found out about his decision to leave, when he had unfaithfully contemplated it for 2 years! This pastor used many wonderful Bible verses which I clung onto. He emphasized that I must forgive, forgive, forgive. I had no problem with forgiveness, I just wanted to help my husband to turn from his wicked ways using God’s strength. Over the next 4 months I knew it was not working. God made it stunningly obvious to me because at times when he was gone on business overnight, I would fearfully and tearfully call him on the phone. Mysteriously his phone would not ring, but just open up as if he had answered it, and I could hear what was going on with him and another in a motel room, -things that I didn’t want to hear. That happened a total of three times. I knew the truth, it was not working, and I was dying a little more each day. No it’s not working!

STRUCK BY HEAVEN’S LIGHT

I was walking amongst the hay bales one day 4 months later far behind our house. My husband was walking into the house ahead of me when suddenly I heard God’s voice in my right ear, louder and clearer than I have ever heard it before! This is what He shouted to me:

“Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17

I stood transfixed. I knew that was God’s voice. Here, for the past 4 months I had been doing what the pastor told me and forgiving, praying, and longing for a reunited family, but in this instant it was made clear to me that was not God’s will. He was telling me to leave this man alone! But my mind raced. Where would I go? What should I do? How is this going to happen? Here is where faith is seen, when all is dark and you cannot see your way, trust God, He knows. He had told me already with a LOUD voice to stop, He won’t just walk away and leave me now – I’ll take the first step backward…

CS Lewis once said that God whispers to our conscience, speaks to our joys, and shouts to our pain. In my lifetime I have found that to be true, and now in my pain I needed the shout of God. How thankful I am for it!

That night at the kitchen table I sat up all night crying, reading, and praying. I had been dazzled by the light from heaven. The work that I had been engaged in to keep our marriage at all cost, was wrong. I must make a 180 degree turn around! I cried and prayed to God all night that night. Where do I go from here? During the wee hours of the morning my pen wrote a poem. It was not me writing but God’s hand that held the pen. In the past I never had been able to write a poem, the meters, the rhythm and rhyme were always wrong. I would cross out and write, cross out and write. But that night the poem flowed out of my pen easily without mistake:

OH DEAR JESUS TAKE CONTROL

Oh dear Jesus take control
Of struggles, fears and doubts.
When life’s fierce storms oppress my soul,
And I am tossed about.

Oh dear Jesus take control,
My life is but a thread
The skies are dark and billows roll,
And I am filled with dread.

Oh dear Jesus take control,
I see You through my tears.
Your look of love! You’re all-in-all,
Oh please forgive my fears.

Oh dear Jesus take control,
This long night has an end.
You’re always here, You’re in control,
On You I will depend!

Oh dear Jesus — my control,
The darkness You erase.
You guide my feet toward the goal!
You whisper: “By My grace!”

Oh dear Jesus — my control,
Through fiery trials You trace,
Your work for good, Your future plan,
To see me face to face!

Oh Lord I love you!

From that moment on, Jesus did take control of my life! He had held the pen. He had written the words! JESUS TAKE CONTROL has become the theme of my life! I use it for my email address: Jesustakecontrol@gmail.com

THE CALL

From that moment on, God did take control of my life. It was only 3 days later I received a call from my friend. She said:

“Gayle, we need you to go to Thailand to relieve some missionaries on the border of Thailand and Burma for 3 months while they go on furlough to America. You’d be perfect because you and your boys all have passports, and you are a nurse!”

In my mind were these thoughts: No, I am not at all perfect for that because I am a broken woman, this is the worst time of my life, I am a destitute woman, I am half dead, skinny as a rail and in a huge state of confusion. I knew this was the last thing that God wanted me to do! But out loud all I said to her was that I will pray about it.

Pray I did! The road around our house is a country block. One mile on each side. I am in the habit of running those 4 miles. So I ran 2 miles and prayed. The last 2 miles I listened, but I didn’t hear anything. However, when I opened the door to the house I heard God’s voice saying, “Ask God for the money if He wants you to go!” Oh, I thought, that’s a good idea because I don’t have any money. I did pray that if it was God’s will, he would send me the money. The next day as I was driving my car, my phone rang. It was my friend again saying excitedly: “You’ll never guess what? We have the money for you and your boys to go to Thailand round trip, and for your visas, and a box of medical supplies!” My mouth flew open, I stopped my car right there and exclaimed: “That WAS You Lord!”

In less than a month my boys and I were on an airplane heading to Thailand. I never came back to live in America. I fell in love with the Karen people and devoted my life to helping them. I lost all of my earthly possessions forever! I have nothing in America. I never looked back, but rejoiced in gaining so much more – an intimate relationship and companionship with Jesus and heaven!! In my darkest hour, He filled my hands with work to do for Him. You can read most of my missionary accounts here in these web pages of God’s miraculous leading, the tender lessons He has taught me, and the great rewards of leaving everything in faith and going into a strange country which is not my own, not knowing the future! Step by step He has faithfully upheld, protected, supplied my needs, and directed me. We can safely trust all to Him. I am not working for God, but He has taken me over in His enterprises. May each step simply be a carrying out of His master plan, in His will and in His way of reaching the lost! Oh glory to His name! Those who at last walk with Jesus in the heavenly places have been called, and chosen and faithful! Revelation 14:13. Let’s be faithful, by His grace alone, for He has called and chosen us!

“The consecration of Christ’s followers must be complete. Father, mother, wife, children, houses, lands, everything must be held secondary to the work and cause of God.” ST June 30, 1881

Lessons learned from this experience:
1. Counselors can give good advice, but only God knows what is best for your life, the use of your talents, and your influence on others.
2. You cannot go by your feelings. So many times I think something IS definitely God’s will and I find out it IS NOT, or I’m sure something IS NOT God’s will, but then I am shown it IS His will.
3. When you give God everything and He takes everything, you never look back, you do not miss it. You are not poor, but rich in the companionship of heaven and joy of service.
4. God came to heal the broken hearted and to bind up their wounds! And He doesn’t do a half-way job! When He begins a good work in you, He will finish it. He promises to perform it!
5. Put God first: God will help us to place our love and devotion to Him, far above everything that we hold dear on this earth. Even so far above our own family and loved ones, that in comparison the word, “Hate” is used to show the vast difference! See Luke 14:26
6. We must have our ears open to hear God’s voice. How sad when He is trying to speak to us, but we are hard of hearing and miss His words.

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

Cannot add my pictures!

Sorry to say, but for the last 9 stories I have posted here I cannot attach any of my pictures.
A technical error on my part I’m sure. As soon as I can speak to a technical savvy person I will be adding all the pictures, because they paint 1000 words and I use this web page as a diary, posting many pictures just in case my computer or phone crashes I will still have the pictures.

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

Urgent Prayer Request

We desperately need your prayers.

I have been concerned about BletJhaw’s wife, WaNeePaw, age 41. Her right eye has bothered her for a couple of months with blurred vision and difficulty reading. I got her reading glasses which did seem to help, but one week ago it got much worse and involved the left eye as well. I took her to the ophthalmologist last Tuesday who referred us to a clinic. (I do a lot of gues work in this country)! The clinic was a brain clinic and we saw a neurologist. He did a quick check and ordered an MRI for January 3. I asked him what his thoughts were on this and he impatiently told me – “Brain Stem Lesion!” This instantly went through my heart like a knife. I said nothing but as we were driving home that neurologist called us back and said he didn’t want to wait till January 3, we will do it tomorrow. I sensed it was an emergency.

The MRI was done last Wednesday and they told us we would receive the results on January 8, however, they called us Friday saying the MRI had been read, but didn’t call us back any sooner for the check-up. We will go and get the results January 8.

I have told BletJhaw what “brain stem lesion” means and a surface definition of what that might entail. I suffer more with my background of medical knowledge! We did not say anything as of yet to WaNeePaw to make her frightened.

So we are on the verge of something huge! A big threat for our work in BYT. But I cannot imagine the Lord allowing devastation to come upon this most loving, close, godly little family. WaNeePaw is just as much a missionary to our people in BYT as we are. I have told her so on numerous occasions. We rely on her. She does a lovely job of caring for her boys, cleaning and cooking. She is meek, loving, shy, quiet, hard working, and lovely. BletJhaw has always adored her. Two days ago he was talking to his boys telling them that their mother had to go to the hospital because something was wrong with her head. He told them they must be good to their mother and be obedient and helpful. Brayden, 8 years old, immediately piped up, saying: “Oh, I will take her to school with me and help her every moment! I will care for her myself! I will not let anybody else take care of her!”

So here is our situation up until now. We are trying to be optimistic and think perhaps it is not as bad as we thought. We were not called in to be checked any sooner. Still waiting for January 8. But the medical care in this country is not as organized as in America. Many things fall through the cracks here. Also I become exceedingly alarmed as I see WaNeePaw’s eyes looking worse. Also she is becoming exhausted after just a little exertion. Our hearts want to break, but God is holding onto us and we are cleaving to Him, because so great is the Lord!

“Cleave unto the Lord your God!” Joshua 23:8

I have contacted both of my missionary prayer groups that I am on here. That includes 67 people. Today I am writing this newsletter asking for prayers! It would bring us much peace as we know you are praying for her also! God is in control. His power is supreme, and we only want His perfect will. May His name be glorified here!

BACKING UP IN TIME NOW
Updates on DeeGaLer and our recent evangelism

DeeGaLer
After much earnest prayer, the devil strings which were binding this little boy to Satan, were removed! The little mother had contemplated our prayers and worships. She decided to believe God and cut off all those strings which previously meant so much to her. It is a HUGE victory for these people to cut them off because they sincerely believe the tradition that they keep them safe, well, and prosperous. So to cut them is very scary, maybe meaning death – so strong is Satan’s deceit! Right away this child of God came to his right mind! He is healed! Please see the comparison photos below. Now we have an entering wedge for the gospel in this village as they see God’s power far exceeding the devil!

EVANGELISM
Oh if only you could have been here December 5-9! Pastor Mark Kent and his wife Angela were a great blessing to us all! They sing lovely duets! I had just bought a full size electric piano which we brought to the church. Pastor Mark really plays with inspiration and power from above – same way he preaches. Each message was packed with love which drew in the people! Our little church never saw such good attendance! On Sabbath over 120 people packed in, until it overflowed! I was so overjoyed I could hardly breathe! My heart explodes with love to God for bringing this pastor and his wife to minister to our precious little people in the jungle! After church Sabbath the baptisimal candidates were called to the front. There had been 10 people but the invitation was rushed and those outside with babies could not enter soon enough. Two people were baptized that day. The others will have a special baptism the next time a pastor can visit us.

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

God’s Presence Seen and Felt

The day began with ominous clouds and occasional thunder. We had to go to WST (WaSuTa) to do an early morning worship for the son of an SDA family who was being drafted into the army. I had prepared intensely for this worship, as I felt he would meet many temptations of the devil, and I wanted to encourage him to stand firm for God. On the trip back to BYT a big snake slithered out in front of us. (We were on the motorbike). Was it poisonous? I don’t know.

The rainy season has been long and difficult. For 6 months we were unable to drive our truck into BYT. This means we can’t bring in a lot of supplies each time on our motorbike. Only what I can put in my backpack and BletJhaw can handle in the front, plus the treacherous everlasting MUD! MUD! MUD!

We have been very busy in the clinic, as the rain and clouds seemed to give everyone tonsillitis, asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughing. Finally we had a break in patients and we packed quickly to drive the motorbike all the way out to purchase supplies. With the heavy patient load we had exhausted our supplies. We wanted to hurry because the clouds were hanging low over the mountains and should we get caught in the rain, it would give us a tremendous struggle up and down those steep mountains. Finally we got out of the rutted bad pathway and reached the concrete. Going faster, it was more dangerous when we passed 2 cobras trying to get warm on the concrete! So many close calls make us acutely aware of the presence of God. His hand seems to be laid on my shoulder much of the time! He brings so much peace and love to my heart and there is so much more that I have not tapped into! Oh the sweetness of His presence!!!

On one of the dirt road turn offs, we met a 2WD truck in trouble. The man had never travelled this way before and thought this pathway would take him to the next village. He didn’t know how impossibly steep it was and that it only goes to a cornfield. Now he was stuck. He couldn’t go forward as it became exceedingly steep, and he couldn’t back out as his back right tire was just spinning and the rubber was wearing off the tire as it screamed and smoked and spun in the rocky dirt. We stopped to help, but there was only that man and his wife, an old grandma, and 4 little boys! BletJhaw and the man tried many things, but were powerless to get the truck out! I felt so sorry for them all and realized how impossible this situation was for us. I prayed:

“Oh dear Lord, please help us and send 10 strong young men to push this truck up out of here!”

A very simple pleading prayer indeed, but it wasn’t even 3 minutes later when I heard the sound of loud motorbikes. Must be several bikes coming up the mountain, I thought. Louder and louder, closer and closer, until we could see them – 8 motorbikes with 10 young men firing up the mountain all gung-ho and happy looking! BletJhaw jumped out on the road and flagged them down. I pulled the little 3 year old quickly out of the way as they zoomed in one at a time parking those bikes in a small space. Those young men all jumped into position and quickly pushed that truck out. Everyone was so relieved and happy. As we were saying goodbye to the man and his wife, I told them that I had prayed to the God in heaven to please send 10 young men to push this truck! He looked astonished, but I had no time to explain further. May he come to know and believe in the One and only true God of all the earth!

I soon discovered that my backpack was gone! One of those guys must have grabbed it unknowingly in their haste! BletJhaw quickly jumped on our motorbike to chase them down. I had my passport, and a lot of money in that backpack ready to pay salaries, purchase supplies, and buy food for two families. So grand to have a Father in Heaven who loves to communicate with us and answer our prayers. Those guys had stopped somewhere up the mountain and my backpack was brought back!

THE DEVIL ATTACKS AGAIN!

It is evangelism time again! Each year since 2017, (with the exception of one year for COVID), we have had wonderful evangelistic meetings here which have been so powerful. This year through much prayer and planning, God made it possible for Mark Kent, a pastor I had met in N. Carolina last summer, and his wife,Angela, to come and conduct our evangelism. We are all very excited and see the hand of the Lord in our plans. The date is set for December 5-9, and their airline tickets have been purchased. This has been planned since early in the summer. Suddenly, however, we were informed that the Thailand Mission president, and the Union president were planning to come and hold an entire week of evangelism in BYT, and guess when they were coming?? The very week just before ours, November 26-December 2!! (Actually people from the Mission never come here to our isolated jungle, let alone the Union president)! But the timing is the worst thing. We only had one week to try to do something about it. So we prayed, claiming Proverbs 21:1, and the next day we set off for MaeSot to try to meet with the president of the Mission. We were able to see him, but our hearts sank as he told us to just tell the church members that they will have a double blessing of 2 evangelistic meetings in a row this year. That would never work for our simple little people in the jungle. What we had planned would definitely not work out. BletJhaw and I silently sat there and prayed. God will take care of this because success is all up to Him. Finally the mission president called the Union president and tried to explain the situation to him, but the Union president could not fully understand so he asked to talk to me! He didn’t know that I personally live in BYT and have evangelism every year. This one had been approved by the local lay pastor, but not communicated. When the Union president understood that both the pastor coming from America, and I, had put out a lot of prayers and money to make it possible and that it had been planned 5 months ago, he understood and told me what a good job I am doing. He definitely would not want to interfere with our meetings. He was so kind and personable, saying he would love to meet me someday, but for now they would postpone their visit. He wished me God’s blessing.

This miracle is so encouraging to our hearts because it means that God will do great things during our evangelistic meetings. It never ceases to amaze me how many creative things the devil throws in our pathway just before evangelism. This year was certainly no exception, but the Lord has always defeated him! Why shouldn’t we expect Him to because it is His enterprise!

DEE GA LER

DeeGaLer is a 9 year old mischievous boy. He lives in MooDooKey village and one day a month ago, he urinated on a Buddhist idol and did something to the devil trinkets which were centrally located in the village. Immediately the devil knocked him down. He got quite sick and has not been able to talk ever since. He is incontinent of bowels and urine, and very retarded. He cries and moans. He cannot eat properly and drools and spits. He cannot go to school. We were notified of this boy and went immediately to his village to visit him and another sick man.

DeeGaLer and his parents were all wearing devil strings. They profess to be Christians, but we discovered that they know nothing about God. We explained the difference between God and Satan and simply told the gospel story. The strings connect you to Satan. Each person must choose between Jesus or Satan. We prayed with them and returned the next day to bring them food and have a little simple worship about the power of God. BletJhaw told the story of the boy that Jesus would not cast the demons out while the father did not believe in Him, but when he cried out that he believed and asked God to help his unbelief, then Jesus cast the demons out. We told them it is their choice to believe in God, remove the devil strings and turn to Him. Now we are earnestly praying that they will believe and that God will show His glory to this family and the entire village. We will visit again this week.

Please pray for our evangelistic meetings December 5-9, and for DeeGaLer.

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

The Presence of Jesus

I do not know what I will do from day to day, or how to do it!  All I know is that God knows what He is doing with me, and I can trust Him entirely.  Each morning when I wake up, I go out of everything that is mine, and I depend upon my miracle-working God who does know.  I am practicing the presence of Jesus as I go through my days.  God is right here – right now!  So comforting!

March 22:  I landed in Thailand Wednesday, March 22 and on Friday, March 24, I returned to BYT.  I had travelled in America for 7weeks.   It is always thrilling for me to return and mingle with my people again. What a privilege is mine!  How can I thank God enough for sending me out!  Here is how He occupied and filled up my first few days
March 25:  Sabbath, I preached on “How to be Saved!”  The church was quite full.  Shining faces greeted me.  Oh how I long for them to come to an understanding of God!  After church we had a church meal together.  Always rice noodles with curry. 

We had planned to go to MooDooKee and visit Bli. But the patients poured in, there were teeth to pull and breathing treatments to give.
Time is running away! This time of year, the people are burning their mountain sides where they will plant their rice.  It is even hard for us to breathe because the air is so dense with smoke.  I am appalled at how many people, old and young have high fevers, coughs with mucous, and headaches and sore horrible throats.  Medicine is running out!
It is a little after 2 p.m.We still can make it to Bli, but on the way we must check 2 patients.  An old grandma, burning up with fever, and suffering abdominal pain.

She will not go to the hospital and just as well. She hasn’t long to live. I claim a quote from CS 528 as we talk and pray with her and her family:

Next, we pass the house where a lady lives that was bitten by a green pit viper snake just 3 days before I left for America.  BletJhaw told me that she had spent almost 2 months in the hospital.  Wow, that is unusual.  The green pit viper is poisonous, and very painful, but they usually stay only 3 days in the hospital while receiving antivenom.  When I entered her house, I was shocked to see that they had cut her legs all up trying to drain the poison.  I’ve never seen it so bad! She had been bitten 3 times, therefore received a lot of poison.  Poor lady can hardly walk now. We were able to instruct her to some natural remedies that might help limber that leg up and relieve the pain and stiffness.“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?”  Jeremiah 23:23. Once at Bli’s house we were warmly greeted as usual!  We gave him a new hearing aid, (They are only cheap ones here and do not last very long).  What a blessing to make our way up the mountain to his beautiful little church and spend time with God in songs, prayer, and Bible study.

“Heaven is much nearer to the Christian who is engaged in the work of soul saving than many suppose!” MS 17, 1908

My first Sabbath in BYT was not over yet!  There was Sabbath vespers in our church, then more patients to treat until late into the night.

Sunday, March 26:  We are invited to a wedding in GeGhah village not too far away.  Weddings are not formal occasions here.  Just a simple worship, (If it’s not a Buddhist wedding), with the couple in a place of honor, decorated a little bit.  BletJhaw did the worship, but I was not expecting the stunning aftermath of this wedding!  Crowds of men, young and old, came into the house and yelling, shouting laughing, even screaming took place, while the couple were asked to do crazy things. There were too many people in that crowded house for me to see or know what it was all about, but just as well!  It was not a good spirit.

Next we were asked to check an old man, LeeChray, in the next village for skin eruptions on his chest, arm and back.  He and his wife are very old.  Nobody knows how old, but neither one can see or hear very well.  BletJhaw had to yell into his ear and repeat his words two or three times.  It was 5 years ago that we saved the wife’s life.  It was rainy season, and she was desperately sick with UTI and sepsis. She should have been in the hospital in ICU!  But after IV’s, foley catheter, and antibiotics, by the grace of God, she recovered, a complete miracle of the Lord!  Now I look at her.  She has no teeth but sits by her husband all day long.  Neither of them can do anything or go anywhere.  We prayed for them, but nobody could hear it!  God hears, knows, cares, loves, and answers!

“Never does the gospel put on an aspect of greater loveliness than when it is brought to the most needy and destitute regions.  Then it is that its light shines forth with the clearest radiance and the greatest power!” 7Testionies 226

A few days later we did something that we’ve never done before – helped our neighbors burn their rice field on the mountainside!  Kind of scary as the fames raced up and around engulfing the entire mountainside.  We finished up by hiking the top of it, putting out the flames around the border.  I did not swat at the flames because I would have fallen in!   The mountain was so steep it was enough for me just to climb straight up it!

March 30:  Got called to go to NeLeeGwee village and see a grandma, LePo.  We know her well. We took the motorbike the short cut way which is very technical through the rice gardens and on the narrowest strip of path winding between the precipice and the bank! Nerves of steel for sure!  The mountain is so steep and rough.  BletJhaw is a great driver – must trust the driver! We cross the water 5 times through the rocks, but never wrecked by God’s grace!  I was sad to see LePo so weak, dizzy, and faint, I even thought she might need hospital care, but she refused. Her vital signs were good. I had no idea what was going on with her but did the best with what we had brought and prayed earnestly.  I saw slight improvement before we left, which was very encouraging!  Many people here suffer from the fry smell. (That’s hard to explain, but it is very real to these people – some even die of it)

Of course, now we must return the same way we came only straight down hill!  Hang on!  No way I could video that descent!   So much joy in my work.  How boring it would be in America!

There is not enough space or time to write about everything in this day-to-day life, just know that God is in control and in His presence is fulness of joy!

“Nothing in this world, no earthly favors or enjoyments can take the place of the presence and favor of God!”  

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

ShurLaCaTee Village

Back in the jungle surrounded by extensive corn fields, lies the village of ShurLaCaTee. It boasts approximately 80 dwellings, and is 9 kilometers east of MaeLaCamp, (Refugee Camp). There is a small Seventh-Day Adventist Church at the entrance to this village, of 30-35 church members. BletJhaw’s brother-in-law, Jerry has been the lay pastor of that church for 4 years.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Mission here in Thailand has just been divided so that the Karen churches on the western border of Thailand can run their own mission, and the present mission will serve the Thai side. This will officially take place the first of the year, but already the Karen mission is being organized. They specified that churches are required to put on a 4-part series with the theme: “The Time is at Hand.” Jerry invited us to come and do this 4 day series, in his church, Wednesday through Sabbath. I had some misgivings about it, because I felt my loyalty should be in BYT. But after praying about it, I felt God’s hand leading me to go forward and do it! So we agreed. Little did I know the shock that awaited me there!

The weather was certainly not agreeable. The devil was definitely working against us. Of course we prayed for the rain to stop so that it would be easier for the people to come. Usually bad weather means a bad attendance, however, the Lord saw fit to let the rain pour down continuously! We did not do this series without a huge struggle. I did not have much time to prepare. I’ve never done series of meetings back to back before, just a sermon with several parts Sabbath after Sabbath, but this was different and I longed to give the people what they really needed. I stayed up late into the night praying and preparing. I did not know these people! Oh how I pleaded with God, not only for HELP to do it, but that He would have to DO it, and let the Holy Spirit throw it out with great power!! On top of my struggles to prepare it, BletJhaw had his own struggles to interpret it. He had developed a dry cough which has lasted almost 3 weeks now. It’s an annoying cough because the tickle will not be reached or go away even with hard coughing. This has happened to him before and lasted for 3 months! I have used all the natural remedies that I know, and he has also taken medication. So far nothing has helped. We are praying constantly for relief.

It’s a muddy hilly road leading into ShurLaCaTee. We drove our truck to the turn off just past MaeLaCamp and Jerry met us there with a friend, both on motorbikes. They let BletJhaw and I drive one motorbike together. It was a disaster from the start. We became soaking wet and muddy, even with rain jackets on, but we arrived without wrecking. I had to change my clothes in what you would call a tiny, dirty, outhouse, but over here it is the proper bathroom, with the exception that this day they had no water. The heavy rain had clogged the pipes and the people had a muddy stream to wash in. As I entered the little church as clean as possible with my Karen clothes on, I thought we would be very fortunate if maybe 10 people came that night in all this rain. I told BletJhaw that this will be worth all the hardships, if only one person could be saved because of it!!

Jerry was happy, he rang the church bell (An old cog to a machine), with a metal stick, and it rang out into the evening air. It is Wednesday evening and the people began to trickle in. One after another they came, slipping down the steep grade to the church yard. I was amazed as I got up to preach that there were about 40 people there! My topic that night was:

“Come to Jesus as You Are”

This presentation was based on my discipleship class I took with Don MacLafferty last August! I had great freedom to talk because the people were paying strict attention. Eager to learn how to prepare for the time of the end! I was delighted as they responded to my questions and sat riveted in their seats! They were encouraged to come again the following night and bring a friend or two.

Wednesday: “Come to Jesus as You Are
Thursday: “To Hear His Voice”
Friday: “Walking with Jesus”
Sabbath: “Courage to Stand in End Times”

Thursday night over 53 people came. This meeting stressed the importance of getting up in the morning on God’s time. I told them to ask Him the night before, to wake you up when He wants to talk to you. Spend unhurried time with God in the morning. Don’t just rush off without waiting to hear anything from God. All these people work in the corn fields for a living, so I asked them how to plant corn – step by step. They all responded with many things to do. I then told them we will pretend I have a field and I want to grow corn, but I never did that before, so could they teach me how. Let’s pretend I became distracted and left in a hurry without even listening for the instructions that I needed so badly. How would my corn field do? Why, it would be ruined – no good. One man quickly spoke up and gave the meaning of this illustration.

“Oh,” he said, “It’s like us coming to church and listening to your sermon, but when we go home and don’t apply it, it won’t do us any good.”

I was amazed that he understood the meaning and spoke right up, even though my meaning was to be a little different – that we do this to God,- run off without listening or taking time. Then we make a lot of mistakes that day. This leads to our eternal ruin!

On Friday evening and Sabbath worship hour over 60 people crowded in that little church.

This group of people reminded me of a reenactment of a video I watched one time of William Miller’s preaching. The group of believers packed in that little church were so attentive, interested, and eager to learn how to face end times!! They were nodding, eyes fixed on the speaker, even leaning forward in their seats! Oh why can’t people wake up and be this attentive all over the world, because the time is at hand, when we cannot have a second chance?!

At the close of the last meeting, those people sang us a song, and presented us with gifts. Then there was a big meal that followed. These poor people that work so hard and have so little, yet they give so much! Lovely people! May we meet them in heaven is my prayer!

They will be forever in my heart!

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

Spend and be Spent

Spend and Be Spent

2 Corinthians 12:15. “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

This verse puts me in tearful empathy, for Paul. For all he went through and the times he almost died in bringing the gospel to all the then-known world, you would think he at least could have people love Him. But in spite of everything he kept pouring himself out completely in order to save the lost.

We feel like we are spending and being spent at times here. It seems everything is a test of endurance. It takes a big effort to reach the people in different villages in the mountains. To treat patients 24/7 at all inconvenient times. Preparing sermons, worships and Bible studies that they can understand and follow, can keep you up late into the night! Everything requires a lot of energy. But I know most of the people we help, though they really don’t understand what we go through to help them, in their ignorant way, unlike Paul, we know they have love for us.

After 6 busy weeks in America, I arrived in Bangkok September 5. I could not return to BYT immediately because the flight I needed to take from BKK to MaeSot was fully booked. Usually I have no problem purchasing it at the last minute. I have now learned my lesson to book my flight on-line early. It was wonderful to be back with BletJhaw and family once again, but going into BYT was once again blocked for a few days because patients seem to find me wherever I go. I must take care of them as best I can. Finally Tuesday, September 12, in the pouring rain, we ventured out on motorbike to BYT. I was so excited to return, that the rain and the mud did not dampen my spirits one bit! However I have never seen the roads as bad as they were this time. We went spinning around, and tackled the gnarled up breathtaking descents that had no similarity to a road! It takes nerves of steel in many places. Surprisingly we only wrecked once.

But the rainy season had taken its toll. We heard of 2 patients who had been involved in serious accidents in the rain about 2 months ago. They lived in different villages quite some distance apart. But we had to go, because they were asking for us. So one fine, rainy day, we took off for an all-day trip. Our plan was to make a big circle, stopping off in MeDeLeGwee, (MDLG) Village first, then on to Hoe Pado, (Big Pagoda). From there we will go completely out to BletJhaw’s home, get the truck and go to MaeSot to purchase medical supplies. The inventory in the clinic had been seriously depleted. I was so thankful to God because most of that day it did not rain, although the roads were extremely difficult – words cannot describe. Our motorbike began Mal-functioning making horrible noises. With prayer and a few tools, BletJhaw was able to make it work temporarily. Finally we arrived at MDLG to see a 22 year old guy, who had a serious motorbike wreck 2 months previous. He and his friend had been totally drunk when it happened. He had broken his femur, the big bone in his right thigh. It was dislocated and angulated. At the big hospital in Chaing Mai he had a surgical repair of that bone, leaving a scar the entire length of the thigh! What I couldn’t understand, was that he was given crutches but he had no cast and was told he could have partial weight bearing right from the start! He also had been unconscious for some time due to a head injury. A five inch left parietal wound had been sutured. Now there was a new complication. He had been walking all along, but suddenly 4 days ago his tendon behind the right knee had tightened up along with the quadriceps, (Muscles on anterior thigh) causing his patella, (kneecap) to be raised and driven upward. His knee was swollen and extremely painful. We helped him with his pain, but we cannot take him to the hospital for a recheck until the rain stops and the roads are improved.

Driving one hour to our next village, Hoe Pado, was a BIG struggle in the mud. I only got thrown off the back one time! Seems like I landed gently though and was none-the-worse for ware!! It was very sad here! Two months ago, a young woman, 30 years old, had been in a truck with her husband, 3 year old daughter, and 3 other people, when the truck they were in went out of control and fell off the cliff! To look at the location, we estimated that it fell straight down 150-200 Meters! Two people who were in the back of the truck jumped out and were not badly injured. Amazingly nobody died. This woman was the most badly injured. She sustained many broken bones including both arms in several places, a completely mangled left leg, along with shoulder, clavicle, and head injuries. She had remained unconscious for hours, and had undergone extensive surgery. She now is recovering at home unable to move around or do anything for herself. It’s a miracle she did not die. Her husband had to lift her to a sitting position. In spite of this most serious, life threatening incident, and having suffered so very much, her beautiful smile greeted me as I entered her house and my heart was indeed totally touched and melted. Some of her toes she cannot move. She asked me if she would ever walk again. I encouraged her and told her yes, she will. I gave instructions on how to do active and passive exercises, and gave her advice on diet. These people think that they should not eat anything sour after an accident and are afraid to eat anything at all! We plan to take her to the hospital for her recheck next week, as they live very near the paved portion of road and we can get our truck in there. Her husband was not hurt significantly. Her little daughter had a fractured clavicle, which had not healed properly. The broken bone can be seen and felt – unattached to the proximal clavicle. Medical care here is sometimes shocking.

Next we travelled all the way to KhaneJew where BletJhaw lives and from there took the truck to MaeSot the next morning to purchase supplies. We spent 4 and 1/2 total hours on the motorbike that day. When we reached our final destination, after all the jostling, jarring, jolting, knocking, bumping, slipping and sliding, we felt as if we had just stepped out of a giant blender! Hats off to BletJhaw the skillful courageous driver! Praise the Lord for him and his firm determination to press forward in this work whatever the cost!

We are so dependent upon God each and every day. The rewards cannot even be estimated on paper!! I simply love this work God has given me to do for each and every one of these lovely people.

….“And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you!”

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

Sowing Beside All Waters

“Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters.”  Isaiah 32:20

And yes it is all water today.   Indeed, we are beside, and under and over and through water all day long.

You see it is rainy season.  God has called me to stay in BYT this year instead of my usual trip to America.  The days are long in BYT.  Not many patients are coming to our door, maybe for 2 reasons – One, they might be afraid of COVID and school is closed down, but more likely the second, too much rain!  It has just pelted down non-stop solid for weeks now, causing the bank to collapse behind our house etc!  Actually it has been raining for 2 months already, but this is exceptionally fierce rain!

Yesterday we decided that we should travel to NyeLeeGwee village with our medicine the next day.  But while I was cooking breakfast that day I had serious doubts about it.  The rain was so heavy that as I gazed out the kitchen window, I couldn’t even see the fence line just behind our house.  As we ate I told BletJhaw that I didn’t want to go to NLG today.  He told me that it was my decision, whatever I say, that’s what we would do.  Now I hate to be the one to call the shots, because it is him that takes the brunt of the battle when we travel in the rain.  He is the driver, and that motorbike in this rain and mud is no piece of cake!  It is exhausting labor to keep the bike upright, and NLG is far away!

I thought:  “Maybe someone over there really needs us.  Maybe we can have worship with someone over there, which will really plant a seed that will grow.  Maybe God wants us to go.”   I prayed about it.  Just then there was a lull in the downpour.  I kept praying about it while I packed up the baby syrups, and put the urine dipsticks, otto-scope, blood pressure equipment, stethoscope, and thermometer, in my backpack.  I carefully wrapped my little black Bible in a plastic bag.  BletJhaw noticed what I was doing and went to put gas in the motorbike, the chain on the back wheel, and a black trash bag around our rainbow bag of medicine.  He wrapped plastic around his neck to cover his front, and another plastic trash bag around his neck to cover his back, I have a plastic raincoat that is torn, but good enough to cover over my backpack.  We have never found good waterproof raincoats or pants in this country.

We knew we were in for trouble as soon as we descended our hill.  The river was boiling and very high.  Tree trunks were propelled under the old, rickety, half broken wooden bridge, which we have to cross over in order to go anywhere.

The pathway was covered with water, loose sand, and squirmy mud.  Already we were in a fight to make any progress.  I told BletJhaw that perhaps I made the wrong decision to go – because this was terrible, but he kept pushing forward.  I had no choice but to hang on behind him, feeling the jolting, the jarring, the fishtailing, and the water hitting my face.  We had about one and a half hours of this, but ended by fording a fast flowing stream, and walking up a couple of steep places, while watching BletJhaw spin and struggle to get the motorbike up.

It seems like everybody is happy to see us in NyeLeeGwee.  We set up our clinic in a house that has a little more space inside to treat the patients.  Several people had serious health problems including some of the children.  All schools are closed down due to COVID, and the people were finished working in their rice gardens for the most part, so many patients came.  We prayed with them.  My heart longed to watch God reach down into each heart and wake them up to His love and His soon coming.  These people are so ignorant, yet so easy to love!!

The lady fixes us rice noodles with pumpkin greens, and eggs, done village style.  I can never eat as much rice as they try to feed me, but the lady is so very kind.  We treat  over 40 patients today, but finish up by hiking up the steep mountain where ShePaw lives with her 9 children.  (The tenth baby died just a week after delivery 4 months ago).  She Paw was delighted to see us.  She hugged me for a very long time! This is not customary for these Karen people, so it meant a lot to me.  Because she moved so far up the mountain we usually don’t have time to get up there.  We treated the sick in her family, and visited the next house up the mountain.  These people asked us to please have worship with them.  This was music to my ears!  I had my little black Bible and read John 15:4,5.  Explaining what God meant by the vine and branches, just like their pumpkin vines cannot live if you cut off the vine from the main stalk.  I pray they will be inspired to connect to Jesus in their lives and experience His presence.

ShePaw in the mean time had fixed us food to eat!  You sometimes have to eat several times when you visit these kind people!  I tried to get by with just a little of her eggs and DaBaDau, (Greens), they were very salty.  That’s how they do it when they have a lot of children, to keep them from eating so much!  We walked down the steep mountain and found several more patients to treat – A bad burn, and others who wanted my vitamin shots.

Our ride back home was even more notorious.  It was a downpour all the way!  The stream we had crossed coming in, was now twice the size and moving rapidly.  I needed to wade across because we were not too sure if the motorbike could make it.  The water was very deep and so fast that I slipped and caught myself on a rock.  My boots filled with water and I was soaking wet from the waist down.  BletJhaw made it safely across.   The rain was blinding.  At this point I didn’t worry whether we would wreck or not because everything was so tiring and dangerous, but we finally made it home.  We were so wet and so cold for so long!

“Oh dear Lord,” I cried, as I laid myself down to sleep under my mosquito net,  “We have sowed beside a lot of water today.  I pray You can please wink at their ignorance, and please help the seeds to grow!”

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

Eleven Year Old, NawHtu

Her name is NawHtu, 11 years old. She has been having seizures which began when she was 6 years old. She has had a total of 15 seizures since that time. On April 5, 2023 she had a seizure while squatting near the open fire in her house.These split bamboo houses are frequently just one room with a fire place for cooking right down on the floor. She fell in! Only her father was in the house, but it was early morning, and he was sleeping. Somehow, he heard her scream, and he was able to come and lift her out of the flames, but her left arm, hand, and fingers were badly burned with spots of 3rd degree burns to the fingertips. There were also 2nd degree burns to her forehead and nose. The family was able to take her to the clinic initially, but did not return for treatments, instead they painted her burns generously with a concoction of tree sap and pounded rice! It hardened like a black plaster cast, causing some of her fingers to contract, and the infections underneath sent the pus oozing out.

By the time I saw her she had a high fever from the infections, and there was no way for me to remove the black “Cement” stuff. I had her soaking in coconut oil and messaging the fingers. In a few weeks we saw a lot of improvement. We must get her medical treatment for her seizures, but in this area the doctors won’t do anything unless they witness the seizure. I can treat her myself, but she also needs plastic surgery to her hand. So far, she has had 5 more seizures.

When you are a citizen in Thailand you need to go to the hospitals in your province for care otherwise you pay the entire bill! But we decided to take her to MaeSot’s International Hospital in a different province. The reason being that in this private hospital you get excellent care, at a price! It was worth it to us for this girl to be evaluated and treated properly. She was placed on anti-convulsive medication and advised to see a surgeon for plastic surgery on her hand. Next we took her to a hospital in ChiangMai province, her province, where her care would be virtually free! She was evaluated in Omkoi, but referred to a larger hospital in northern ChiangMai province 6 hours away. Traveling now is desperately difficult, because rainy season began super early this year. We are praying for the Lord to help us get NawHtu out for her surgery. It will take two trips at least, 6 hours away! Seems impossible, but God is a God of impossibilities!

Another patient we are very concerned about is ChaLee, 62 years old. He has a young wife and 7 children. The youngest child is 7 months old. This man somehow developed an infection in the upper left anterior chest wall. This caused him so much pain that he went out and hung himself on a tree. Fortunately his 17 year old son found him and got him down – still alive. One week later when we were told about ChaLee and visited him. We saw the marks around his neck. His fever was high and the place of infection caused pain all through his chest, neck, and head. He said he didn’t care about his wife or children, all he wanted to do is get away from the pain. I put a charcoal poultice on his infection, and started him on antibiotics, but as we checked on him 2 days later, the infection looked the same. He doesn’t own a Thai citizenship card at all, therefore we must to pay for everything done in any hospital, but we know a way to purchase an insurance paper for people at the local hospital. After it is approved it will pay for many things, but not the real expensive treatments! We were able to purchase it successfully. We returned to his house 3 days ago, ready and willing to take him to that hospital the next day. It was raining, we were driving the truck so hard for us, plus the patient refused to go with us the next day.

Some of the people we take care of, have no idea what we go through to take care of their physical needs. We reach them by motorbike first for evaluation, then determine how best to handle their case. The hours of time, the difficult journey, and the weariness of travel. These people are too ignorant to even be thankful. But God knows! All our patients have no idea what happened in the hospital, what the doctor said, what the treatment or follow is, and no idea what the medication is for. When I accompany my patients through the local hospital system here, and the nurses and doctors see how much I care about them, they are given better treatment. I can talk to the doctors because they know English, and I can tell when they give proper care and follow up. During the Covid scare I was not allowed in the hospital which was very difficult.

O dear friends, I want to write so many more pages of experiences here, as we struggle from day to day meeting the needs of the sick and dying. These are all precious people. They come to my house for help at inconvenient times, just when I’m trying to cook, eat, or perform some function etc. Sometimes the cooking never gets done, or the eating doesn’t happen for hours! Our plans are ever changing. Sometimes we are called in the middle of the night, and we find ourselves half awake, on the motorbike, cold, wet at times, trying to avoid the mud and find smooth spots to drive on. But I always feel the hand of God, and His advice on how to help each precious sick and suffering one. Before leaving we always pray and lead them to Jesus that way! O praise to His Holy Name!

“When you neglect to offer prayer for the sick, you deprive them of great blessings; for angels of God are waiting to minister to these souls in response to your petitions!” Medical Ministry, 195

“However trying their labor, the true workers for God do not regard it as drudgery. They are ready to spend and be spent, but it is a cheerful work, done with a glad heart.” COL 402.5

(I am unable to add pictures to my stories now because they won’t upload any more. I’ll wait until I see a technical person who can help me)!

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment

Tragedy in NyaLeeGwee

The fate of jungle living, poverty, ignorance, superstition, devil worship, difficult travel, and remote mountain clinics.

Deep in the jungle, nestled between mountain ranges, lies the village of NyaLeeGwee, which consists of about 30 houses made of bamboo, or rough boards with leaf or tin roofs. A young mother, NawBlet, is experiencing difficult labor in her bamboo hut. It is her 4th child, but this one is past her due date and is too large. The women of the village who usually help with deliveries cannot get the baby out. They struggle, they pull, and finally a healthy baby boy is born, April 30, 2023

NawBlet however, is not well. For 2 weeks after the delivery, her condition steadily worsens. She is swollen, has trouble breathing, and cannot eat much of anything. She doesn’t want to go to the hospital because they chose to do it the devil way. The family believes that when someone is sick the spirits leave the person and must be called back. If they go too far away, the person dies. So, this family decides to offer sacrifices, do the special devil prayers and ceremonies to please the spirits and call them back. However, nothing worked and NawBlet only got worse.
Sunday night, May 14, she was so desperately sick they found some transportation to take her the hour and a half drive over dreadful roads to MeDooGlow clinic/hospital. This clinic has been upgraded and now includes X-ray, simple lab procedures, and a little in-patient facility. A doctor is there only one day per week, but NawBlet arrives late Sunday night when there is no doctor. She cannot walk and the family struggles to get her in the entrance. The hospital personnel quickly tell them:

“Go home. Nothing is wrong with her, what she is experiencing is normal!”

Karen people are submissive, don’t ask questions, never fight back, always look up to the educated Thai hospital personnel, and do what they are told without knowing the reasons why. So, they took her all the way back home. By 4 a.m.however, it seemed to them that she was facing death, so they took her back to the clinic, and she was finally taken to Omkoi hospital in a truck, another hour and a half away. This hospital is a small village hospital without specialists and cannot do surgery. So, she is then put in an ambulance to travel 3 hours to Chiang Mia!

In the ambulance, somewhere on the way, NawBlet called weakly to her husband. He came and took her hand, a small tear came from her eye, and she passed away.

(I’m crying as I write this)

NawBlet’s mother had 9 children. Now, counting NawBlet, 4 of her children have already passed away. This lady lost her husband when NawBlet was one year old. She struggled to raise all her children by herself and now she must raise all 4 of her grandchildren: A three-week-old baby boy, 2 year old girl, and 2 more boys I am guessing about 5 and 6 years old.

History:
1. Five years ago, this grandma broke her wrist and we took her to the hospital.
2. That same year the 5-year-old had just been born and did not thrive. He was dehydrated, feverish and not taking milk. We took that baby to the hospital. He had to spend some time in ChiangMai NICU. When they finally came home, we brought them formula, baby bottles, and supplies because they had nothing. Then the baby improved and thrived. His life had been spared!
3. Six years ago, HtuDah was bitten by a green pit viper and we took him to the hospital.

We didn’t know about this tragedy until this week. so, we immediately flew into action, purchasing diapers, formula, and baby bottles. We travelled by motorbike up that jungle mountain. I must tell you that the rainy season has begun already. We have had intermittent storms since May 1. Consequently the pathway to NyaLeeGwee calls for nerves of steel, balancing on a narrow, steep, ruttted pathway with the wheels at times 6 inches from the cliff! on both sides of the pathway. (Give or take a few). No room for error, that’s for sure. We had to cross the water 5 times. I wore a large heavy backpack and was barely able to hang on, my body weight wanting to flip right off the back! While BletJhaw skillfully and energetically maneuvered that motorbike. However, all those struggles paled into insignificance when I held that beautiful little baby in my arms and looked into the eyes of the other 3 children, the precious grandma, and the bereaved father! Best of all we could bring them hope for the future, and the sweet gospel story. We prayed with that houseful of people, bringing them into contact with heaven. They know absolutely nothing about God. Please include HtuDah, the grandma, and 4 children in your prayers because God has brought us into close contact with them under very emotional times. These are the times when God can be seen and felt more deeply. We will be visiting often.

“Never does the gospel put on an aspect of greater loveliness than when it is brought to the most needy and destitute regions.” 7T 226.2

It is most needy and destitute when devil worship is practiced and the people live in bamboo huts deep in the jungle living out the customs of their ancestors 100 years ago!

Posted in Updates | Leave a comment