Be Strong and of Good Courage!

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Deuteronomy 31:6

I constantly feel the need of my Saviour’s presence.  He tells me that I am loved with an everlasting love! Jeremiah 31:3

And underneath are the everlasting arms! Deuteronomy 33:27

At times I can almost feel His arms around me!  How comforting and secure is that?!

Elephants are sticking around our area now.  In fact, the government felt it necessary to put up signs all around the areas of danger.  The first sign was put up right next to the BYT sign!  December 12 we again met a wild elephant while driving home with seven people in our truck.   Two of them were small children.   Even the smallest child who was almost 2 years old could sense the danger!  His eyes were big as saucers and big tears rolled down his cheeks.

 I started to sing them a song and the mother began to show him cartoons on her phone.  We waited and watched that gigantic beast.  It did not charge us, but oil was  running down his face indicating that his testosterone level was 60 times higher than normal making him extremely dangerous.  As we watched we heard two trucks approaching from the far side.  They didn’t notice him until they were right upon him.  Quickly they backed up.  The elephant was still coming toward them but not running.  The guys in the first truck panicked, ran into the jungle and climbed a tree.  We were all waiting for him to get off the road so we could drive through.   Finally he went towards the two trucks and they backed up quite a way.  BletJhaw walked ahead to watch the elephant until he got off the road.  We had cell service up there, so the plan was that BletJhaw would call me when the road was clear, and I would drive past and pick him up.  It took a long time because that beast was walking a long way down the road.  Finally I got the call to come very quickly because he was barely off the road.  I raced that truck down the hill and around the corners.  I stopped, just enough for BletJhaw to jump in the back, and we flew safely away with the Saviour’s everlasting arms around us!  The entire ordeal took 70 minutes!

Not long after that BletJhaw went behind our house to fix the water pipe and almost stepped on a deadly yellow banded Krait in the tall weeds!  The neurotoxic venom from this snake rapidly shuts down the heart and lungs!  You can easily guess what happens shortly thereafter. I am still thanking and praising God for saving his life.

I did not take this picture. I came out of a book. This is exactly what he came upon-so close right next to his foot (only flip flops on)

Now for the good news!   BYT Evangelism December 2022!   This is our 5th one.  We are so happy that Harvey Steck consented to leave his busy demanding job, managing the studio in Chiang Mai, to come with his wife for one week!  Two other groups were planning to come from America to do it, but  they had complications.  We are so thankful to Harvey Steck for agreeing at the last minute!!

We started the week out by visiting every home in BYT and WST to invite them to the meetings.  What a lovely time we had going house to house.  Here’s what we found people doing:  spreading their rice out in the sun, sorting out their harvest of red kidney beans, weaving Karen skirts, repairing a motorbike, preparing betelnut, working in the garden, sadly one person was found smoking opium, which they quickly hid.

Visiting

Visiting

Motorbike repair

Sorting the betel nut

She was caught smoking opium. Look closely and you’ll see the opium pipe. She hid it quickly

So cute!

The meetings were very well attended.  I was so happy as I shook hands at the entrance.

Trio

The little church filled up.  Our long and earnest prayers for these meetings were rewarded!  Our job is to faithfully sow the seed!

Sabbath attendance!! …and to think that 12 years ago when we began only about 4-5 people came to church here! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Nobody knows the results of all these efforts, but God is in charge of the harvest!

“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.”  Ecclesiastes 11:6

May we be faithful till Jesus comes, not grow weary in well doing, and may our longing for reaching the lost exceed every other desire in our hearts!

 

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First 2 Weeks Back in BYT

My flight on Korean Air touched down on Thai soil in Suvarnabhumi Airport, October 5, 2022, I was ecstatic!  Best of all, there was BletJhaw to greet me!  All jet lag was forgotten, and sunshine flooded my soul, even though it was raining outside! This year, the rainy season continued through October!  (Almost 6 months)!  BletJhaw had a driver to drive our new truck to Bangkok.  (We are jungle people and do not feel comfortable driving in that big city of Bangkok)!  I had forgotten how nice our new truck is!  It had been an amazing gift to us!  We had mentioned that we needed a 4 door truck.  Patients needed to open their own windows because they got car sick.  They needed their own door, more room, and better circulation of air.  This truck has proved itself numerous times, and we find it to be so much stronger going up the steep places! The windows of heaven have truly opened up with blessings pouring out just when we need it!

 

I could not go to BYT right away because it seemed I had a problem with immigration.  On my other trips I had no requirements to enter the country, but this time they were having me fill out 5 forms, go and get my house registration, a signed citizen’s card of the owner, the bank letter of guarantee, the passport picture and copies of my entire bank book, and passport. When I brought the things that they asked for, they sent me to do other requirements.  There were so many hoops to jump through, that I wondered if I would be denied entrance.  I was perplexed and praying all the way through. You know, immigration rules can change any time without notice.  You could be sent back to your country any time. After about one and a half weeks immigration was finished. They showed me my visa  –  Lo and behold I had completed my year-end visa!  I had no idea what was going on but praise the Lord, I now am approved through November 2023!

Finally we drove our motorbike into BYT.  The weather is unpredictable.  Sudden rain put us in terrible mud and that’s never fun, but I did not mind it because I was in my peaceful jungle with my beloved jungle people!

A king cobra greeted us at our gate, that was not quite the greeting I had anticipated!

As soon as we arrived, patients piled in to see us.  People in our villages now own walkie talkie radios, and the news went out quickly to the nearby villages that I am back.  I believe entire villages emptied out upon us!  We were so busy there was no time to cook rice and eat!  Seemed like the people waited for a long time to come to us!  There were so many old terrible infections and chronic diseases.  We were called out at midnight one night because a man had a sudden acute asthma attack!

 I do have an oxygen concentrator!  After many breathing treatments and an IV he recovered nicely.  A thirteen-year-old boy, JaNoe, was badly mauled by a dog in the village.  I have never seen such terrible wounds from a dog bite before.  I calmed him down and cleaned his wounds.

 We took him to the hospital so he could receive his rabies routine.  We did not get home until midnight, but JaNoe was well taken care of.  Someone killed that vicious dog. (Probably they made a nice meal of him)!  One lady in our village suffered severely from a tropical disease.  We put her on the appropriate antibiotic and gave her an IV.

She recovered quickly! We rushed a small 6 year old girl to the hospital.  She had a tropical disease and her high fever would not come down.  We returned home at 2am.  BletJhaw had to drive that excellent new truck 7 hours total that day on difficult roads!  But the girl got the help she needed.  Prayers and trusting in God  is healing people in these jungle mountains!  His name is glorified!

This young boy was severely burned on his right knee several weeks ago.  His father told us that he refused to go to any hospital or clinic, he only wanted to come to BYT and see me!  They waited until I arrived.  My heart was touched.  His knee was terribly infected.  In fact he was septic because he had a high fever.  He rechecked with me 3 days later and recovered nicely. Praise the Lord!

Gospel Workers 367.3 is a lesson well taken for me in BYT.

“Too often the work is left in an unfinished state, and in many such cases it amounts to nothing…He, (The minister), should finish the work begun; for in leaving it incomplete, more harm than good is done.  No field is so unpromising as one that has been cultivated just enough to give the weeds a more luxuriant growth.  By this method of labor, many souls have been left to the buffeting of Satan…Many are driven where they can never again be reached.  A minister might better not engage in the work unless he can bind it off thoroughly.”

So many people tell me that I’m too old to continue so strenuously here, and I must return to America.  I tell them that I will do just what I have done all along –  “What’s that?” they ask.  I tell them that I will do whatever the Lord tells me to do.  He has clearly renewed His contract with me again and again, year after year to continue this work in BYT.  I am full of energy and joy to do this work.  It is the desire of my heart!

And I can see many rewarding examples why I stay here so long.  Here is only one:

MaLoWay is a 42-year-old male that wanted us to help him get off opium 6 years ago.  It was very successful .  He was a changed man and for a while he looked great, but soon after he went back to opium worse than ever before.  My heart broke but we kept praying for him. He looked terrible and would not come near us.  Just now after I returned from America, I found out that he had been very sick with an infection in his left calf.  Apparently, he was in the hospital for 4 weeks.  He had surgery to remove the pus all the way up past his left knee!  During his time in the hospital he had no opium and now is totally free of that addiction.  I have been cleaning and rewrapping his wounds every day.

It was extremely painful, but after I put TeaTree oil mixed with antibiotic cream and prayed for him, it healed up quickly.  He now can walk normally without pain.  He is so thankful.  He is clean and his face is now bright and happy.  We told him that when you get rid of a bad habit you need to replace it with a good habit.  He must replace it with God otherwise, just like before he would go back worse than before.  I will never forget the joy I felt when he told us he wanted to know God and would go to church with us every Sabbath!  Who wants to miss an opportunity like this? To stay here means souls for God’s kingdom!  Praise the Lord!

Do not ever relax your efforts to save a soul – even the ones you feel are the most hopeless.  Keep praying for them without fail. Never relax your efforts.

Keep preaching

Keep praying

Keep on relieving pain and suffering

My first sermon back was thrilling for me.  God is here!  Over 80 people attended, and we had a meal together afterwards.  Look at their happy faces!  (The picture shows only part of the women’s side of church)

Church potluck! Pull up a chair and sit on the grass!

Wonderful fellowship!

THE NARROW ESCAPE!!

We met an enormous wild elephant face to face again.  As BletJhaw backed the truck up, he came toward us.  Finally we got to a wider place to turn around.  We waited in safety for quite a while, but decided to advance again to see if he was off the road.  Suddenly we heard his loud trumpeting and froze in our tracks. Should we advance? Praying all the way we crept forward until we came across a big boulder on the right.  There on the boulder were a man and his wife with a little baby.  They were terrified and were running for their lives.  They had been on their motorbike when they came around a corner and met that elephant.  They dropped the bike and ran through the jungle with the elephant in hot pursuit, charging after them.  Just when he was sure to stomp them into the dirt, he stopped.  They leaped up on that big rock and just then we came along.  We called them into our truck.

This is a very bad sight! The ears are out and he is fully charging!

  The elephant was coming again, but we were able to back up quickly and get away.  If that elephant had not stopped, these people would both be dead.  I do believe that because we belong to God, the angels that surround us made that elephant stop and saved their lives, and of course ours also!  We have met so many elephants during our 12 years here.

One week later the mother brought her baby in to be treated! Beautiful people!

I hear many people say they want to come visit us and see a wild elephant.  Let me tell you, it is no joke to meet these wild ones.  If you knew you’d get out alive and unharmed, it might be a high adventure for you to go home and talk about, but the reality is that it is extremely dangerous.  Each time your life is on the line. People die each year this way.  I will tell you that 3 people near us died in the year 2022! One lady was working with her rubber trees.  When she did not return home they went there and saw that an elephant had torn her body in pieces all over the place.  You must be certain that you are in the center of God’s will, then God will be glorified whether by your life or by your death.  Philippians 1:20,21

HARVESTING TIME

This is the time of year that all the mountain rice must be harvested.  It is a tremendous job.  Usually families go in together to work the huge fields.  Our neighbors, DJ, his wife and 3 children were alone this year to harvest their mountain rice.  BletJhaw and I decided to join in and help them.  We had never done this before, but wanted to get closer to them to encourage them in the Lord etc.  The day was sunny and hot.  I wore two long sleeve shirts because those dried stalks of rice scratch your skin.  The mountain was huge and very steep.  I wondered how I would keep my footing because we must walk all over it.

I am good at going up the steepest places, but not good at coming down.  Today I learned I can do it!  All day we worked. Up and down we went. The rice had already been cut and lay in clumps all over the mountain side. I did not carry the huge mats of rice down the mountain to the threshing floor.  I only gathered the bunches of rice and loaded the mats. I give glory to God that people are amazed I can work so hard in bad conditions all day.  God has given me health and strength all my life!  I am so thankful!

Very heavy. We worked all day

End of the day

You get really close to the people when you work so hard together

As I saw so much reaping over such a vast and difficult mountain, I thought of Jesus words in Matthew 9:37,38

“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.”

The spiritual harvesting needed in this old world is far bigger than this one mountain that we were working on all day, and vastly more important!  I also say, where are the labourers? This gospel has not been preached in all the world!  Let alone in thee jungle mountains!

I pray for you to stay in the center of God’s will, faithful to the end.  May you unconditionally surrender your all to Him day by day.

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“As thy days so shall thy strength be”


“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”  Deuteronomy 33:25
 
“And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

I want to let you know that I plan to come to America this summer.  It has been a long time since I placed my feet in that country!  It looks like God is opening the door for me this year.  Jon Wood invited me to join the Jesus4Asia team as a speaker for the many Faith Camp programs in different locations across America.  I will be delighted to speak to the people because God has been so good to me, and I want to proclaim the wonderful works of the Lord and give glory to Him!  As you can see, we are GOING ALL OUT with a packed schedule to as many places as possible, because it may be our only chance before terrible trouble such as never was, sweeps the globe.  Jesus is coming!

Here is the tentative Faith Camp schedule.  Please keep in touch with JFA as the time draws closer because there could be some changes.  Here is what we have so far:
1.  Fletcher, NC June 22-26
2.  Springfield, MO June 28
3.  Hurly, SD  June 29  
4.  Hermosa, SD July 1,2
5.  Hayden, ID  July 5-10
6.  Orange Grove, Sacramento  July 16, 17 
7.  Cedar Lake, Michigan  July 20-24
8.  Chattanooga July 27-31
ASI August 3-7
9.  Zephyrhills August 8-11
10. Venice, Florida August 12,13
11. Fresno, CA August 26,27
 
Please note that numbers 2, 6, 9 and 11 do not have final confirmation.
I pray you will be able to find a Faith Camp near you that you can attend!  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see each other and talk face to face! —So exciting!  I would be so delighted to see you!   I’m so thankful for all of you.  It is because of your prayers and your support that we are able to continue this work and reach out to so many people in our little corner of the globe.
For other news in BYT.  Our clinic has turned into a covid care clinic because most everybody in BYT and WST are covid positive. It all began when 2 of the teachers at the school next to us checked positive.  They needed to go to MeDuGlow for a legal test but nobody wanted to take them!  We gladly took them.  They sat in the back of the truck.  Sure enough they were positive and had already spread the virus to many of the students, and from there it spread like wildfire through the villages. Some people are very sick.  I’m really concerned about 2 very sweet old ladies, one in BYT and one in WST. I gave an IV of vitamin fluids to the little lady in WST and prayed that she would rest comfortable. We are not closing our doors to the people at this crisis hour.  We will do all we can to help them and teach them.  So far BletJhaw and I remain well and strong, praising the Lord!
Elephants:  There are many wild elephants in our area right now causing devastating damage.  One lady in a nearby village was killed by a charging elephant just three days ago!  Another man barely escaped as he came around a blind corner and met one.  He wrecked his bike and ran for his life because the elephant charged him. Fortunately he got away.  I have never seen so much elephant dung on the narrow dirt road in all our travels here!  So many elephants!
For more positive news:  There is a 55 year old lady named BePo, living in WaGaLayCo village, (a long distance away), who has been suffering from gastritis, weakness, and loss of appetite for a very long time.  She had heard about our clinic and the different way we treat the patients.  She also heard that people get well when they go there, so she decided to make the long trip. We had a wonderful visit with her, assessing her physical problems, and giving her healthy lifestyle information and good diet suggestions.  We gave her 2 shots, one for gastritis and one vitamin injection, and vitamins etc. to take home.  When we prayed with her, she felt quite lifted, so she comes back every week now.  She told us that she has been to many doctors who give her a lot of medicine and she doesn’t get  well, but when she comes to us, she gets better!  And God touches her heart!
Oh let’s pray, pray, pray, continually with thankful hearts!  So many people in the valley of decision!
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Faithcamp 2022.org!

“For He that is Mighty hath done to me great things; and Holy is His name!!” Luke 1:49

God has done all things good for me!  I can see many reasons why He sent me to America this year, (God knows more)! It has certainly been full and productive.  It has been 3 years since my feet have touched American soil.

I came this summer at the end of May to preach in the Eurika, MT church. They have supported me all along the way.  I love those people dearly!  By June 9, I joined with the Jesus for Asia team to travel America with Jon and Natalie Wood, founders of JFA, and coordinators of this huge, God ordained project they had arranged! Instead of the usual 2 Faithcamp programs per year, we had 10 this year starting in North Carolina and going all the way to Hayden Lake, ID, and back again to Michigan, Florida, and ending in California.  We traveled over 10,000 miles, not counting California!

I had the privilege of riding with Jon, Natalie, and Israel Prasad from India.  The van we drove was old. Jon actually didn’t think it would make it all the way – but praise the Lord, it did!  Jon amazingly trusted me to be the relief driver because, well, there was nobody else to do it!  Natalie had an injured foot and ankle.  So here I am driving at speeds of 70 mph on the right side of the road! In Thailand we drive on the left and shift with the left hand.  The lights are on the right side of the steering wheel, and the windshield wipers on the left.  So here in America at first when off the freeway and driving around I’d always tell myself: “Stay right – lights left.” Through South Dakota the speed limit on the freeway was 80!!  I finally got it up to 75 because of Jon’s coaxing!  We did meet with driving rain and even hailstones at one point but after a quick prayer to heaven the hailstones stopped!  Praise the Lord for all those miles in all sorts of weather. God kept all of us safe!

Several of us missionaries were able to leave their fields of service and preach their miracle stories, inspiring people to surrender everything and work for God!  We were all truly blessed!  I particularly loved getting to know the other missionaries.  We all work in our separate areas of Asia, and rarely meet.  Now we travelled so far together, prayed together, listened to each other, got exhausted together and helped each other through the hard times. Those two and a half months of Faithcamps were very busy.  So many people!  So many conversations! So many hugs! So much love and support, So little sleep! … but people I love and will never forget! All in all I have presented and preached 30 different times in America this summer by God’s grace alone.

You can watch all the Faithcamp presentations on:  Faithcamp 2022.org

These are the comments I personally heard from people across the country:

“I’m not doing enough for God!”

“My faith is very weak”

“I have not surrendered all to Jesus.”

“I thought I was doing enough for God all along”

“What is the first step out of Laodicea?”

“I want to be a missionary like you!”

Oh how I love them all!  I pray for God to bless and lead each one to do His work in His way in their lives, be ready for Jesus to come, and bring others with them!

I was also blessed by attending ASI in Orlando before my last Faithcamp in Venice Florida.  (I did not go to California). ASI was a huge blessing with throngs of people to meet.  So many people want to come to BYT! I feel a great fire is being ignited.  So many people want to do their part and know God’s will for their lives in this last hour of earth’s history.

The eighth Faithcamp that I participated in, was in Venice Florida. Both my sons, Bradley and Micah, live in this area. So I have been able to spend a little over a month with them!  Bradley and his wife, Shelby have a one-year-old girl, Twyla Ann, (which I got to be with for the first time ever)!

Bradley, Shelby, and Twyla Ann

I am putting all these pictures in because they are so dear to my heart!

 Also Micah and his wife, Marinna, just had their first baby while I was with them, Greyson Cole, born August 30 weighing in at 9 pounds 6 ounces.  God is so good to allow me to be here at this special time. I also got to spend time with my beloved sister! My heart is overwhelmed with joy and love for God and my family!!

Micah, Marinna, and Greyson Cole!

This baby was 9lbs 6 oz. Marinna was such a hero!

A blessed rest and meditation alone on the beach!

May I hold on to the peace and fellowship of God in that hour!

My flight back to Thailand will be October 3.  I am absolutely torn to leave my loved ones, and absolutely thrilled to finally return to BletJhaw and our work in the jungle.   I am always leaving someone and greeting others.  Always happy to meet and so sad to say good-bye.  This world is not our home and what a blessing not to feel at home anywhere here below, but  until we get to our heavenly home, home is wherever God sends us.  And when His arms are around us and His smile is upon us, we are right at home!!

God loves us with an everlasting love the Bible says, and underneath are the everlasting arms!!

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Reviewing God’s Leading

My feet have touched American soil for the first time in 3 years.  I will be joining the Jesus for Asia team as they put on Faith Camp meetings across America.  In the past they only had two Faith Camp programs per year, but this year we are going all out for God and doing nine!  We feel a great urgency, as this world is spinning out of control, and it seems to be our last chance to reach and motivate our churches.

Last year the Lord forbade me to go to America, and I surely see a few reasons now why God held me back.  God knows more reasons than this, I’m sure!

  1.  I learned an important lesson last rainy season while being locked down for 2 weeks in a house with 10 people during the rainy season.  What a difficult time for us all with food and water in scarce supply, and for me – language barriers and total loneliness, plus I discovered a plague spot in my character – I cannot handle being dormant!  I learned to give that to my wonderful Saviour who said to me: “Whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content!”  Philippians 4:11

After this horrible experience of lockdown, we also were locked out of BYT because a huge breakout of covid swept through our villages there.  However, to my delight, we were called by the government and by the villagers to please come back and help the sick people.  So we entered BYT and flew into action.  Our clinic became a massive covid clinic!  The people soon recovered.  These children really missed me.  They dressed all up in their best clothes and put together the prettiest flowers they could find.  They showered me with hugs and kisses!  I shall never forget it!

The warmest greeting ever imaginable!

  1. We had a wonderful opportunity to spread the gospel to a far away village, GweeWaWaKee.  We were asked to have a worship and do a house dedication for their new house. Six young men and I walked 2 hours up a mountain in the pouring rain with leeches all over our feet and legs!

House that was dedicated that day

But it was so well worth it.  I felt the Holy Spirit as we presented Jesus and His tender watchcare over them.  He offers more than a dedicated new home here on earth, because He has prepared a marvelous home for them in heaven and everlasting life there!  We took longer walking back to BYT because of the downpour of rain!  However, my heart was singing the entire time, as I prayed for the people we had met that day!

3. We also found a poor 42-year-old man, GwaDee, who had not been able to walk or even move for 6 entire months!  He experienced intense lumbar pain.  We were able to begin vital medical care for this man, taking him to different hospitals which involved 5 full days of travel and waiting for MRI’s etc.  As time went by, we were able to pray with them and teach him and his wife of Jesus, how to pray, and the strength He can give them to overcome opium, smoking, and betel nut.  We have seen God gradually healing him without surgery which is a complete miracle!

Unable to move for 6 months, now walking and working

4.  We also experienced many instances of dangerous, evil spiritpossessed people, needing us desperately during this time!

In a room with him for over an hour in the dead of night. He had a knife in the back of his pants and mad horse medicine. Out of control.

He had a really messed up Thai Bible. There was hint right there of the Holy Spirits pull on his heart

5.  We were able to save the life of this dear old lady!

Attached is the schedule where our group of missionaries will present.  We pray for the power  of the Holy Spirit to attend our words!  Will you join your prayers with ours?  I am so excited to be with this team, and to have a chance to meet you!  Hopefully you can find a location that is near you.

Faith Camp Schedule:  

June 22-26  Fletcher Academy,  Fletcher, NC

June 28   Springfield SDA Church,  Springfield, MO

June 29  Hurley SDA Church,  Hurley SD

July 1,2  Hermosa SDA Church, Hermosa, SD

July 5-10  Hayden Lake Church, Hayden Lake, ID

(July 11-19, I personally will be going to New York State and will preach at Kingsberry SDA church, Sabbath July 16).

July 20-24 Cedar Lake SDA Church, Edmore, MI

July 27-31  South Bay SDA Church, Chattanooga, TN

August 12-13 Venice Nokomis SDA Church, Venice, FL

August 19-20 Fresno Asian & Community SDA Church, Fresno, CA

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An Urgent Request

“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” Psalm 57:2

There he lay, crippled and suffering, on a pile of smelly rags, in a dirty and broken-down bamboo house.  This is actually the kitchen –  complete with filthy old pans and rotten food!  I step carefully, placing my feet where the wooden crossbars were supposedly holding up the bamboo floor.  But gaping holes and rotten bamboo made me uncertain of even finding a suitable place to sit.  My heart was suddenly broken as I gazed upon the wretched form of humanity before me.

His name is GwaDee.  He is 47 years old.  Everyone knows that he is one of many good for nothing, hard-core opium addicts, oblivious to everything honorable and good.  Every day he just lives for more opium, finding work to do, so he can have a little money to buy more of that evil, life destroying substance, that he injects into his blood stream many times a day, to the neglect of everything else.  His three small children are dirty and half dressed, wondering from house to house in search of food much like the mangy, starving, village dogs, composed of only skin and bones.  His house tells the sad story also –  strewn with yucky trash and ready to fall right down! Tears try to force themselves out of my stinging eyes.  God is seeing this!

GwaDee’s house

Exactly six months ago he had just injected a big dose of opium into his vein, when sudden pain in his lower back struck him down.  His pain was so excruciating that he dared not move a muscle.  In fact he had been lying in this position on his back unable to walk or even move for 6 long months!!

We first found out about this man when visiting LaGlah village and talking with his brother-in-law, PaJew, the only Seventh-Day Adventist there!

PaJew and BletJhaw outside GwaDee’s house

We visited with GwaDee that day and strategized together how we could transport him to Meta hospital.  He was willing to go.  The following Friday two young men tied him up to a bamboo pole and carried him to our waiting truck.

The trip was excruciating for GwaDee, but I was thankful to find out the cause of his pain.  Because of COVID I was not allowed to enter the hospital with him, but I prayed God would open a way for me to speak to the doctor, because the information told us from the family was unsatisfying – they could tell us next to nothing.  Finally a young paramedic took me in and I found the right doctor.  I was able to photograph the xray and discover he had a compression fracture of Lumbar vertebrae L-4 and L-5.

The doctor told me that because this patient was illegal in this country and had no insurance, he needed to pay $500.00 for an MRI in Sukhothai first, (Four hours east of here).  Then he would need surgery in MaeSot with extensive rehab, because his legs were already atrophied.  So the total cost of everything not counting rehab would be approximately $5,000.

I explained everything the doctor said to BletJhaw, describing a compression fracture, and the need fore surgery and money. BletJhaw is telling the family. before driving all the rugged way back to his house.

Sadly we had to transport that patient all the way back to his house in LaGlah village that night because we could not just come up with that kind of money.  He suffered enormous pain after arriving home.

The good news about all of this is that we had several occasions to tell GwaDee and his wife BeGah, (Who is just as addicted to opium herself), about the great God in heaven who loves us.  We told of His wonderful power to forgive sins and His ability to change their lives from one of drugs, hopelessness, sickness and neglect of their home and family, to a life of joy and peace and fulfillment.  We told him that through this terrible injury, God is trying to get his attention and help him realize that his life needs to change.  He needs to know God, love God, and prepare himself for everlasting life!  We have prayed with him many times, and know God is working on his heart because during this time he is unable to work and buy opium, so he is off all drugs and has plenty of time the think.

At this time we are asking for two things:

  1. First and foremost please pray for GwaDee and BeGah to find the Lord and make a full change in their lives.

2.  BletJhaw and I have never made a request for money in all our 12 years of labor in the  Jungle Mountains. But today we are asking you to pray and see if God is touching your heart to make a small donation toward GwaDee’s upcoming surgery.  We don’t have a lot of time because he is loosing more and more muscle mass, and there is a concern that he might bring more injury to the nerve and become a paraplegic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isolation/Lockdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are behind this gate:  Time stands still

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

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

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

We are waiting at a great distance

Lisa brings the food to the table

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

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

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

“They also serve who only sit and wait!”

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

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

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

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

 I have meditated on this chapter for days now!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Seek Ye First

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

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

Super Sweet!

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

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

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