Naw Dah Blet
I had 9 days by myself in BYT in early December and needed an interpreter and helper. Bradley and Micah were going to visit our good friends the Sharon’s in Songkhalaburi, and Blet Jaw was studying Thai with our instructor Malee. I visited LKY school and spoke with the teachers there about bringing a 16 year old 7th grade student with me to BYT for those 9 days. Since school was out during the month of December it was good timing. Naw Dah Blet was thrilled to be my partner during that time. She had completed the medical course that Maria taught and had eagerly studied more with me. Her burning desire is to become a nurse and return to her village in Burma, teaching them about Jesus and helping them physically. Our 9 days together passed quickly, as we were busy with patients and started each day out with a brisk run. Throughout the day we climbed the steep mountain once or twice to speak to Bradley and Micah on the phone, so this gave us plenty of exercise.
Now let me tell you what I found out about Naw Dah Blet: She is a quick learner. In the evenings she would study the Thai language sometimes and the English language at others. To do this she went through her small dictionary asking me the meaning of many words. I asked her why she wanted to learn so many difficult words so soon, she told me it was because she wanted to be an interpreter and wanted to know everything. Might I add that she already speaks Karen and Burmese fluently and can speak enough English that I could easily practice my Karen words with her.
During odd times she practiced some songs on Bradley’s guitar. She was just learning a few cords, but could play and sing one particular sweet Karen song very well. I really enjoyed listening to her sing. Her last evening in BYT she sang that song for prayer meeting.
Naw Dah Blet was brought up in a small village deep in the interior of Burma. Five times she and her family had to flee from their huts as Burmese soldiers invaded and burned their village. One time when she was only 5 years old she was separated from her parents and fled by herself for miles in the dense jungle. She did not know if she should return later or keep running. During her short stay with me she found out from one of her friends that the Burmese soldiers had again attacked her village. She has no way of finding out if her parents are alright.
At the early age of 3 Dah Blet has chewed betel nut, eaten spiders, bugs and mice, smoked and drunk alcohol. “Everybody does these things and I had no idea they were not good for me.” The smoking is done in the rice fields by old and young to keep the mosquitos away. Karen girls get married as young as 15 years old. Several times a boy has been interested in marrying her, but her mind is set to get an education and go help her people. At 9 years old Dah Blet was sent to an Adventist school in Maramoo. It is on the Burma border. She learned at that school that she could not drink, smoke or chew betel nut. She missed these things and secretly called her father to please bring her some betel nut! Of course they were taken away from her and soon her young body did not crave them any more. She began to learn about God and attended the SDA church there. Her heart was drawn to the God of the Bible and she began to pray. After 5 years of school there she came to the LKY school where she was baptized and grew to love God with all her heart. She is very close to her Mother and told me that her mother cried and cried when she left home. Now that she has been baptized into the Seventh-Day-Adventist church and visited her home, she found out that her Mother is very angry at her. All her people are strong Buddhists and Christianity is hateful to them. Yet while Dah Blet stayed with me I took these lovely pictures of her and she will mail them to her Mother. I pray that there relationship can be restored and that Dah Blet’s dream of working with her people as a nurse and gospel worker will be fulfilled. Please pray for her that she will stay strong for her Lord and her life continue to be a blessing to others.