(When you are a missionary and you hear that someone out there in the surrounding villages has died, you feel a gut wrenching urgency to find the lost souls for whom Jesus died and impart the knowledge of God. –But for some it is forever too late!)
Jesus said, “My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge.” Hosea 4:6. Could it be that these people are killing themselves because we are not bringing the knowledge to them in time? Could the blood be required at our own hand because we failed to tell them? Isaiah 33:8
It was Sunday morning and icy cold here in the mountains. We were waiting for DJ, our neighbor to return from a trip because he had agreed to hike with us and show us two new villages today. We needed to start early in order to get back before dark. The backpacks were loaded with a fresh supply of medicine. We were ready, but he was very late!
Suddenly our thoughts were interrupted by a rapidly approaching motorcycle. The young wild eyed driver, breathlessly told us that a man in another village had shot himself in the ear and lay dead. Could we come? —What to bring? I guess my job was something like a coroner! I grabbed a towel to tie around the bleeding head, a BP set to pronounce him dead, and a mat for the back of the truck in case they needed us to haul his body to the place where they would burn and bury him. (Karen people cremate their dead).
As we turned the last corner where 3 huts stood on a hill to the left of the road, my heart was wrung with sorrow. Some weeping children ran out to meet us. Nearing the hut, it was obvious that a great calamity had just taken place. People were gathered around not knowing what to do but gather sobbing children in their arms, squat on the small piece of level ground outside of the hut and weep with them. I quickly entered the troubled hut. Imagine my astonishment when I saw the young man approximately 36 years old, DuPe, slumped against the wall of the hut, blood coming from his right ear, breathing and speaking a few words! He was shocky, but his eyes were PERRL (Pupils equal, round and reactive to light)! I took his BP and it was decent. Oh how I wanted to start an IV, but I had no supplies. Several men brought him to the truck under supervision and we began the long trip to the clinic. From there he would go to the small Omkoi hospital and from there to Chiang Mai for surgery. How earnestly we prayed for God to spare his life if it was His will!
The story was ever changing. Some said he was fooling around and didn’t mean to do it. Others said he was angry at his wife for telling him to stop using opium and go to church, others said it was an accident. How could it be an accident when a pistol is poked inside the right ear and the trigger pulled? I was glad that the word accident rung in my ears because that’s what I told the worker at the clinic. (The healthcare workers treat suicide patients very poorly, in fact they do not mind if they die).
Later we heard the entire story. This poor man is addicted to opium. He becomes very angry at times and has threatened to kill himself many times before. He had purposely pulled the trigger with the gun in his ear. For some strange reason the bullets did not seem to have gone straight through his brain. His gun must have slipped before he pulled the trigger because it seemed the bullets went through at an angle, but I was not sure. Oh dear Lord I cried, please give DuPe another chance to really know you and Your power, please “Proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound!” Isaiah 61:1
DuPe may have another chance at life. He is in Chiang Mai hospital now and we do not know the outcome yet. He leaves behind a pregnant wife and 5 small children.
I believe with all my heart that the great providence of God delayed DJ long enough for us to respond to the call that day. We should have left our house 1 or 2 hours earlier. If we had DuPe would have died. I can only conclude that God wants this man to live. We may have the chance to give him knowledge of the living God, however, 2 other men I know about have committed suicide successfully this way, and one man just died from bleeding ulcers 2 weeks ago, a complication of opium use. For them it is too late! Many people old and young are dying from dehydration, malnutrition, massive infections and diseases to name a few.
We need help over here. The medical work is important. The clinic in MeDooGlow, 2 hours away is not good. There is much sickness and much teaching to do. We simply cannot let the people die in their superstitions, chained to bad habits from which they are helpless to overcome. They know no better way unless they are told. They are God’s people and He says they are destroyed from lack of knowledge. We must tell them.
Our plan is to put the first clinic in BYT because it is a central location. Then, if it is God’s will we want to build one clinic per year in the villages that need it most. Because of BYT’s location, we want a physician to run this first clinic and be the medical director for the others which will follow. This will ensure optimum healthcare and also provide education for other healthcare workers coming in later.
If you and your family feel God’s call to work in this location of the Lord’s vineyard, to help heal the sick and bring the good news of the living Saviour to many who don’t know, -then we long to have you here. Please help us bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ. Jesus said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24
“The life must be cast into the furrow of the world’s need.” Desire of Ages 624