PYC (Philippine Youth for Christ) 2018

Here is a feeble effort to relate my experiences at PYC (Philippine Youth for Christ).
It was a quick turn-around for sure!  I had declined the invitation to speak at PYC last year and this year.  But after I said, “No,”  God said, “Yes,”  and I found myself hurrying through the doors that He had opened for me!
I needed to renew my passport because to enter the Philippines a US visa needs to be valid for 6 months and mine was one week short. Receiving my renewed passport in less than a week is definitely a miracle, because it had to be mailed to USA, processed, and sent back.  That just doesn’t happen.  But as I thought back on it, I believe the man who spoke to me at window #1, was an angel.  He had heard me ask the lady when my passport would be back and that I was flying to the Philippines in less than 2 weeks.  He stuck his head around the corner saying,
“I am not from here, I am from somewhere else, but I can assure you that your passport will be here by June 22.”
His voice was marvelous and the passport was back in less than one week!  They told me when I picked it up that they were very surprised, this was very unusual!
When God sends you on a mission, you know that great things are in store!!
There were over 1000 youth in the small town of Iloilo Philippines.  The town is messy and the streets under construction all the time. Those youth had no proper place to stay, but slept in offices and any spare space.  They seemed to all be dedicated to God.  We met for united prayer every morning at 5 a.m.  You should hear them pray, thankfulness, confession, intercession, commitment and praise!!  Someone would break out in singing a song or chorus that applied to someone’s prayer, and all joined in singing.  They sounded like a choir of  holy angels!  I was so so blessed.
The break-out sessions were held in the morning and afternoon.  There were several of them and the people chose which one they wanted to attend.  Mine was in the afternoon, and I was astonished at the turn out.  The room was quite large but people had to squeeze in and press forward until I was standing against the wall,  Many were turned away.
Thursday was outreach day and they all split up into small groups.  Some gave out literature and sang at the mall, others did children’s programs, visited the sick in the hospitals, orchestra concert and testimonies in the park, health expo, and I was involved in the medical outreach to a community, teaching the 8 natural laws of health.  We did massage and met a lot of wonderful people who really enjoyed the massage.

Got to ride in the Philippine jeepny

This is our entire health outreach team

Next we also sang for a little terminally sick boy in ICU.  I said a special prayer for him.  His family was so appreciative and touched by our words of encouragement and cheer, as they had been there for over 2 weeks. I was so privileged to be included in the young people’s group that day.
That evening after outreach my voice suddenly went out.  I could not speak!  It was as if the devil just snatched out my vocal cords!  I still had one and a half hours Friday to speak and one hour with everyone in the main hall on Sabbath morning.  I prayed:  “Oh dear Lord, if you just give me my voice back for 11/2 hours tomorrow and one hour on Sabbath I don’t mind to loose my voice the rest of the time!”
Friday I was able to do my break-out with no problem.  As soon as I sat down afterward, however, my voice went out completely!  Praise the Lord.  On Sabbath morning I woke up not able to even make a squeak with my voice!  I messaged Jon Wood and asked him if he could do SS, but he could not. I really wanted to reach everyone with the message God had given me, but it was such a foreboding concern when there were over 1000 people ready to hear my stories! Many people came to pray with me that morning.  Just before my time to go up a group of us prayed.  By God’s wonderful grace, and the help of a good microphone I was able to speak to that huge crowd of people for over an hour!  I finished with prayer and as soon as I said “Amen” I felt a huge tickle in my throat, making me totally unable to stop coughing, and my voice went out as if you just turned off the light switch!  I cannot put into words the greatness of our God!  He says to Satan:  “Thus far and no farther!”
All the speakers were wonderful, godly and talented.  It was so inspirational to meet them each one. I would have loved to hear everyones message, but that was impossible.

These are the group of speakers.

I will never forget these youth.  They are so loving, so thankful, and so teachable.  After every program they came in groups or singularly and took pictures with me.  At times I could not move from my place, for maybe an hour, so many of them waiting for a picture.  By Sabbath evening we had a farewell time when all the speakers and leaders stood on the platform and then all the delegates crowded around them and on the floor level for pictures.  After that I had so many photographs with so many people, I must have had over 500 photos taken in all!
Sunday morning we met for prayer from 4a.m. through 7a.m.  The room was packed with youth praising God and asking for continued strength as they went back to their schools or place of work.  There were many nurses, doctors, dentists and other professionals also humbly seeking God!  Songs of praise and thankfulness were offered. They gave their all to Jesus that morning.  Then they put all the speakers on a circle of chairs in the middle of the room and all the delegates gathered around.  They placed their hands on us and had special specific prayers for us all.  I was moved to tears at the love and earnestness of those prayers for BletJhaw and myself.  This was followed by more photos and such a crowd of people around me waiting for a photo, an autograph, a note in their Bibles, and a good-bye hug.  Tears fell down their cheeks and mine to as we said goodbye to each other!  They are so dear!  I will never be the same again – so touched by the love, sincerity, compassion and prayers of so many young people.
Every speaker was assigned care-givers.  These people were to show us where to go, calling the van to drive us,  help us get our food on time, carry our things etc.  I had two girls that helped me with the break-out sessions – Denice and ChaCha!  What a blessing, they helped me in every way possible.  We became so bonded, tear fell freely as we said goodbye to each other.  It was so hard for us to leave each other!
I had a 14 year old boy help me to the main sessions morning and evening.  I will never forget him! His name is Neigell.  He was absolutely wonderful.  I called him my guardian angel!  He really touched my heart.  One time we were all in the meeting when I really needed water for my throat.  He ran all the way back in the heat to the cooking place and brought me water, then fanned me throughout the entire program.  We walked, we talked and we prayed together.  He would always find me in a crowd, small as I am, and escort me back to the motel, or call a van.  Friday night when I could not speak, I skipped supper because I needed to pray about the Sabbath presentation.   He was concerned about that and brought me some delicious soup. He gave me a foretaste of heaven.  His mother was the main cook.  The food was delicious and all vegan Philippine style.
So as you can see I have been blessed beyond words.  My need for human companionship and love has been filled to overflowing and I have been brought further into the loving heart of Jesus.  It is with joy that I pick up my work here in BYT, to share with my beloved jungle people more about their wonderful Savior.
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Elephants Elephants!

They just don’t leave us alone over here!

Last week we were doubly warned not to travel in the early morning or evening hours, as the elephants were a big problem. The head man of our village put out a strong warning also because two of them had just destroyed two large trucks and broken down one wooden wall of a house.

We travel right through that place constantly.  In fact the very next day we had to take a lady to the hospital and go the long way around, which is very dangerous.  We passed several piles of elephant dung.  The lady was afraid, she said she could smell the elephant.  I never caught their sent, but I know we were very close to danger. Next trip out we passed 7 piles of elephant dung, but did not meet the brutish beasts!

Next we were trying to get to BlaGlow village by motorbike with medicine and lo and behold we were following 2 wild elephants and a baby.

 

The fresh tracks in the dust told us the story!  We could not carry on – that would be suicide.  The next day we heard that a man in that village heard loud noises in the middle of the night and went out to investigate.  I don’t know how far away from his house he went, but it was a wild elephant and it charged him.  The man fled for his life and barely made it into his house.

Recently several elephants made their hangout in and around LaGlah village.  Every evening they would walk through or around the village.  One night an older lady who lived in a small hut by herself, became nervous and decided she would go to her son’s house on the other side of the village and sleep there.  She is quite deaf and did not hear the people yelling at her because an elephant was following her!  She never knew it until they told her the next morning.

PaJew and his family heard noises outside their bamboo hut in the middle of the night.  They peered out to see a very large elephant walk around their house.  He rubbed up against the side of the house, causing terror to the people inside.  Then he walked away through their vegetable garden eating their banana trees and bananas on his way!

We really have no cause to fear because God always has protected us and He will not stop now!  Some of the villagers have noticed that we travel a lot during dangerous times, and they tell us that they know we pray and that is why we have not run into the elephants they notice that God is protecting us!

Please pray for all the village people.

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Birthday

During the very first week of April I told BletJhaw to please forget my Birthday this year because:

  1.  His parents are visiting from Burma.  (He hasn’t seen his Father for 3 years, His Mother for 2 years).  The reason being that it is dangerous for them to travel in Burma. They cannot enter Thailand without a great risk.
  2. They have no real home to call their own.  At present they are living with his wife’s aunt in a location near where his oldest son, Jonathan will go to school.
  3. We are very busy in BYT and struggling with many things.
  4. I am too old anyway!

His only comment had been:  “Well that will be hard to do.”

I said no more, but come my Birthday time, BletJhaw took the truck out by himself to buy supplies.  That is unusual.  I saw him pile the food up in the house.  Because my Birthday was on Sabbath, he secretly told the people at church that it was my Birthday and they would have a meal together after church that day!  Well, I preached a sermon titled, “Finishing the Race.”  I was delighted at the presence of God, and the enormous crowd of people attending.  Afterwards we all went under the church where it was shady and breezy and BletJhaw served wonderful food that he had prepared all by himself!!  He served almost 70 people!!  I think that is super incredible.  They sang Happy Birthday and many people gave me gifts of hand made Karen bags, shirts and skirts.  Even hand written notes by some who had children who had learned to write!  I was so blessed!  After that BletJhaw said we had to go to his family, they were expecting us.  We drove all the way out and there was a Birthday surprise of cake and food and a pastor to do a special worship in my honor!

So you can conclude that BletJhaw does not listen to me, or heed my advice at all!  You can also conclude that he really cares and appreciates me and I am so blessed beyond words!  Furthermore everyone in BYT knows when my Birthday is now, so here come 2 youth that we have sponsored through school at ChiangMai Adventist Academy!  They each one are carrying a gift!

Look what it is!!

Isn’t it beautiful?  Hand made with love from those 2 families.  This missionary’s heart is so warmed!

Things are not always easy here – it’s a hard road at times, but what God told Mrs White to write is so true:

“When He, (Christ), gives us a bitter draught to drink, He also holds a cup of Blessing to our lips.”  2SM 270.3

We really have no hardships at all when you think of this!  —

“Can we look upon Him whom our sins have pierced and not be willing also to drink of the cup of humiliation?  Our sins mingled the bitter cup which He removed from our lips and drank Himself, that in its place He might put to our lips the cup of blessing!”  HP 36.3

Oh, Lord, You are the giver of all good gifts and I love You so much!

 

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Sudden Rain!

 

We have 2 Philippine girls with us for 4 days this week.  We have sure put them through a lot because it has been busy.  On the first day we went to NeLeeGwee village to treat the sick and teach them about God, the next day did not go as planned we had to make an emergency trip all the way to Omkoi with a 28 year old BYT girl, ChiYe.  She is a very close friend and new church member.  I had taken her to Omkoi 8 days before and the doctor ruled out cardiac disease and lung disease, so he thought it was thyroid.  However she went into a crisis this morning with severe chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness  and fainting spells – hence the emergency trip to Omkoi, (My worst favorite place to go)!  The winding, rotten road seems to go on forever!  They could not find out her problem so she was taken on to a larger hospital in ChiangMai.  Now we wait anxiously and prayerfully for news about her.

The next day, (Friday), was already scheduled to take 2 ladies to Meta hospital for cataract surgery.  Once in a while an Ophthalmologist surgeon comes to this small hospital and can do simple surgeries there.  We had high hopes that these ladies could receive their eyesight again.  What joy that would be!  We had 2 other patients that day also.  So the Philippine girls, BletJhaw and I, plus a caretaker for the cataract ladies, and 4 patients equals 9 people in all on this trip.
We were in the midst of a sea of people at Meta that day.
 The 2 ladies were checked and indeed needed surgery, but because of the huge number of people needing surgery, they were referred to MaeSot hospital one month later.  After seven hours in that hospital we are ready to go home.  We all piled in the truck to return to BYT.
Surprise! A thunderstorm struck after we hit the shortcut!  This shortcut is extremely dangerous when wet.  BLetJhaw struggled at the wheel.  At one time we went sideways down the slope and almost hit a fallen tree. Thankfully it could have blocked us from going down the cliff!  We could not make it any further and had to leave the truck and walk a long way home in a torrential downpour.  I felt so sorry for the 2 ladies who could not see well.  One lady could hardly walk on the flat surface of the hospital.  When she had been checked she could not even tell if the man had 1-2-or 3 fingers in front of her face, let alone down all these steep hills in the mud and rain, plus it had become very cold. Torrents of water was exploding down the steep grades with great force.  Our feet fought with the water and were slipping and sliding in all directions.  Everyone made it home finally, praise the Lord.
One of our visitors preached the sermon the next day.
 They both had a good spirit and put up with all the hardships without complaint!   I don’t think they will forget the experiences they had in the jungle mountains last week!
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Privileges in Hardships

Every season here is harsh – the bitter cold of November through January, the stifling heat of March through May.  The dreadful rains of June through October!

It is 112 degrees today, the dust is choking us and the smoke is burning our eyes.  Sure glad we have strong lungs, even if I am clearing my throat all the time!  However, many patients young and old do not handle this well.  I have used up all my Salbutamol for the nebulizer treatments.  The floor in our house is covered with fresh black soot/ashes every day.  We drove the truck out and barely made it because the fires had gone over the road.  Yesterday we would not have made it through those fires. I was told that our shock-ups under the truck will blow up if they get too hot!  We have to be careful. In some places you can barely see past the next corner the smoke is so thick!

Many mountainsides or naked as the people clear more and more areas to grow their rice.

Fires burn here in Thailand every year, but this year it seems to me like the entire country is burning up.  It is very dry here.  All along the main highway fires have been started from people’s cigarettes.  We can tell the government is trying to stop it, but they cannot.  Fires are roaring up into the jungle, but unlike America, it does not kill the trees.  Even if the leaves are all burned off, the rainy season will bring that tree back to perfect life again.

Even with all the heat, dust, and smoke, I personally like this hot season much better than the cold season! …..And all the seasons are total bliss compared to the rainy season!

But listen to this!!

“When the Light of the world passes by, privileges appear in all hardships.”  CH 26.3   (You will fall in love with God and leap out to work for Him when you read this entire chapter:  “The Outlook.”)

 

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Brendon and Elani

Elani and her new husband, Brendon, visited us for one week.  Elani has visited BYT twice in the past, but not as Elani Dodd!  They got to visit 2 villages, NyaLeeGwee and LaGlah. They helped treat the sick, and presented Bible stories in these villages.  On Sabbath Brendon sang “In the Garden” (Beautiful voice)! and Elani did the sermon – her own testimony.  They were loved by all, especially BletJhaw and I.  Thank you for the time, money, and energy that it takes to come and visit us.

This is Omkoi hospital in the background. This is my worst favorite place to drive to. Probably for them also, but they did not complain!  It takes SO LONG to get there and such a curvy road. But we made it and the patient was well taken care of.

Elani organized one of my medicine storage cabinets, and they each got to help with some medical procedures such as pulling teeth and finding a foreign body lodged way up in a man’s leg, locating it, and finally succeeding in pulling out!  This kind of thing is like looking for a needle in a haystack!!  Very difficult.  Thanks for your help Brendon! Elani worked with me to revive a poor little girl who was about to go into anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction.  She was only 3 years old, but needed 2 injections as quickly as we could draw them up.  We were rewarded as we watched her breathing ease and her redness and swelling go down!  Close call!  We saw her later that day playing.  God is so good!

I think the most humerous episode was when we visited a sick man in WST.  This man’s aunt was sitting near Brendon and could not help but check him out.  I don’t know if she had ever seen a foreigner before, but definitely not this big and tall or with such white skin and light red colored hair all over him. She looked and looked and then felt his arm carefully and said:

“This feels like the hairy caterpillar!”  She laughed and then touched his beard.

“Oh,” she said in surprise, “This feels rough like elephant hair!” Next she felt the hair on top of his head.

“Oh, soft again!”

We explained to Brendon that they were not laughing at him or making fun of him at all, They liked him.  They were curious because he was simply new and amazing.  We all had a good laugh!

God bless you both

 

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Never Alone

 

                                                                I’M NEVER ALONE

I’m never alone, though at times I seem to be.

I’m never alone, though the ones I love are far from me.

And though my travels take me down the road, and far across the sea,

There is One who never leaves me, though life’s trials often grieve me,

As I fix my eyes on Jesus I’m never alone.

 

I’m never alone, when trouble comes my way.

I’m never alone for you see I’ve learned to watch and pray.

And when the trials come I know they’re for the trying of my faith,

And these trials lead to patience , and God’s spirit says to me,

I don’t need to fight this battle cause I’m never alone.

 

And theres been times I took a road as He was leading me

When another than the spiritual I could see.

And though I long for human understanding from friends and family,

The still small voice speaks to me continually:

Cease from man, and look to Me for in time, the truth they all well see.

 

I’m never alone I’m beginning now to see.

I’m never alone, for in His school He’s teaching me.

And though at times the narrow road gets lonely,

It won’t be long you see, because I’ve fixed my eyes on Jesus

And He’s coming back for me as I sing the gospel song

I’m never alone  –  I’m never alone!

 

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Daniel Chapter Three

 

 

So many times we get to share Jesus with those who do not know anything.  So many times we see just a little flicker of understanding light up their eyes.  So many times we feel the Holy Spirit attending our words and moving upon the hearts of the people.  So many times we plead with God for the salvation of the people!

Two days ago we drove the motorbike to MeDeLeGwee village.  We try to come here as much as possible to work with the lady with numbness and tingling in her legs.  She has been unable to walk.  I give her vitamins, message her legs, and teach her exercises and ROM.  She is improving, but will not do the exercises on her own.

This village is a very long ways away and takes almost almost 2 hours to get there by motorbike, especially today, as the dust lies so thick on the road that we squirm all over the place and have to travel slowly. We are covered with dust. It is in our eyes, ears and even gets under the mask that we’re wearing and between our teeth.  Our hair is dry and brittle with dust.

Most of the people all came at once this time to receive medical help, which gave us an opportunity to pray with them all before we treated them.  We also invited them to return for a worship and Bible story after everyone was cared for and after we ate.  A kind lady prepared lunch for us.

We go to her house, sit and eat our egg and rice while they ate roasted rat beside us.  (Ours looks so much more appetizing)!

Next we go back to the first house for worship.  To my great joy, many people came in to listen. They marvel at the 2 songs we sang. We usually pray next, but these people all immediately jump up and leave after prayer, thinking that is the end of worship, so we launch into the Bible story immediately after singing and then pray at the end.  I am telling them about worshipping the only true God up in heaven and His great power.  Then I proceed to tell them about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. I really have their attention, as I show the pictures of this wonderful story.  Just at the moment when I want to tell them about Jesus in the fire with the 3 men, some children started fighting outside and a man in our group began yelling at them and 2 dogs also got in a fight under the house at the same time.  Suddenly there was complete bedlam and chaos, and we are unable to hear ourselves talk, so we sit quietly and listen to them, praying. (Interruptions such as this happen frequently in these villages with people who never knew what a worship is all about.  Satan usually causes it during the biggest appeal)!  Finally things got under control again and we continued, silently praising God as we see the people are really spellbound by the story. We end with a heartfelt prayer for these dear people and expect that they will all leave right away, but several people stayed to ask some questions.  They want to see the pictures again.  I show them and then hand a man my entire picture roll.  You would have loved to see the way they went through every picture, asking BletJhaw what each one was about.

Every day out here fills my heart with more love and thankfulness to God because we can feel His presence as we share the Bible stories.

Let’s share the good news about Jesus to everyone who is sitting in darkness.  This is the only way that your own soul will flourish spiritually and you will thrill in the very presence of God!  Don’t neglect the ones that are the hardest to reach!

“Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”Galations 6:9

 

 

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BeGer

BeGer is 30 years old, and lives in LaGlah village.  She is a mother of five – the youngest is only 8 months old.  She has been addicted to alcohol and opium since a young girl. Most of the time she is going from village to village seeking work so she can purchase more opium.  She is very pretty and her children love her, but she cannot take care of her children, her baby or herself, nor can she do anything worthwhile because all she can think about is getting opium. Her house is disintegrating, she has no firewood collected for cooking or for rainy season.  Many of her belongings and blankets and clothes are strewn on the ground under her house, muddy and wet.

This tears my heart out because I love her and have known her a long time.  Her brother, PaJew amazes me.  He is night and day different.  He has  none of the bad habits and has just been baptized into our church and has been seeking a closer walk with God ever since, and here his whole family including his mother and grandmother are all in the same horrible condition.

Recently BeGer burned her entire right hand in boiling oil.  I thought parts of it were 3rd degree burns because she felt no pain there.  I cleaned and applied Silverderm cream and arranged to take her to the hospital in the morning, as it was already too late to go today.  When we came for her in the morning she was not there.  She just decided not to go!

 

We made a special trip all the way to MaeSot to buy cold pressed extra virgin olive oil so we could treat that burn and help her recover the use of the hand.  When we returned – alas – she had gone to another village for opium!  We returned on the motorbike that evening and she still was not home.  The next morning we made the trip to her house again.  Praise the Lord she was there!  We treated her, debrided her hand, exercised her fingers and taught her how to take care of herself.  As time passes by her hand is improving.  In spite of her lifestyle the kind heart of Jesus is healing her hand.

Some of you have read about this in FaceBook and have been concerned, so I wanted you to have this update!  Thank you for your prayers and your suggestions.

So many times we have travelled far to get the supplies needed for special cases, but when we return, the people either don’t want it, or don’t use it, or go to the devil worship rituals instead.  Consequently they get worse and never recover properly etc. ect.  Yet Jesus says:

 “In as much as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me!”   Matthew 25:40

How encouraging is that?!!  Let’s keep on helping others no matter what the cost!

 

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Graduation

We made the long trip to Chiangmai to attend the graduation of BletMu, a BYT boy that we sponsored to attend CAA (Chiangmai Adventist Academy) for the last 4 years.  This school is the only hope for my dear jungle children to learn about God and keep the Sabbath plus get a good education.  However most of our young people  have a horrible background and hopeless future.  The government schools in the jungle do not teach much of anything, the parents are on opium and other drugs and never learned in school.  They do not teach their children, consequently they grow up much like orphans roaming from house to house looking for food and something to do.

This young man, BletMu, comes from a family that actually deals opium.  Soldiers come quite often trying to find his parents and arrest them.  BletMu failed his entrance exams when he applied to CAA.  In fact he left the entire math section blank.  They did not want to accept him, but I told them that this is the reason he so badly needs to come, it is his only chance because they are not getting an education in my area.  So he was accepted, however, he has had some problems here with an ugly temper.  He almost got kicked out, but now he has successfully accomplished the entire four years!  I feel this is a wonderful accomplishment for him.  I have prayed a lot for him and feel that at this graduation he has shown true repentance and  appreciation of the help we have given him.

 

BletMu has future plans.  He wants become a forrest service worker and attend a vocational school.  Please pray that his number one future plan will be Jesus and heaven!

“Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shalt find it after many days.”  Eccl. 11:1

The graduation was very unique and wonderful.  Before the service the entire student body (over 900) circled around the graduates and sang them a song.  Then they shouted congratulations and bowed together, stomping their right foot.  I wish you could see it all. Very stupendous.   I was viewing it from second floor.

 

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