“Not by might, now by power, but by My spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
…..And when that Spirit works it is a beautiful thing!!
Right “Out-of-the-blue,” or you might say, “Out of the woodwork” MaLoWay, age 46, came to see us – the last one you would ever think of who would have any serious thoughts in his mind to change his ways. He had NEVER attended our church, never attended any worships in our village, never prayed, and never even looked at us or greeted us on the pathways. With the exception of the time about a year ago when he got torn across the top of his head by a tree branch while riding on the back of a motorbike and I sutured him up. He has the skinny, gaunt, wiry look of an opium addict, who never takes a bath or washes his clothes. Dirt seems permanently ground into his feet and ankles, hands and face. Opium users hate water.
It was Thursday, December 8, 2016 and MaLoWay stood on our porch and told us that he wanted to quit using opium, could we help him? I looked at him with amazement and joy! I get his history: He has smoked homemade cigarettes and smoked opium ever since he was a small boy, and now he has main lined opium at least twice a day for the past year, which means he uses heroin! I know this is going to be a tough thing for him, only God can change this man from the inside out. I tell him that if he really wants to quit and he is willing to obey us and take the treatments that we give, then we will go all out and do whatever it takes to help him, but we need him to stop opium, smoking, and coffee all three, as each one is addicting and exacerbates the others. He agrees.
Because he has lived in BYT for many years and easily gets opium from others all around him, we suggest that for the first week, he should come with us out of the village. So we take him to BletJhaw’s house in MaeSalit.
The first 3 days of opium/heroin withdrawal is the worst, so I am prepared with medicine, vitamins and natural detox remedies. I am praying constantly.
Day one is the worst, he is very cold to the bones, and his arms and legs are very painful, (Which is normal), but I am surprised that his blood pressure dropped dangerously, because usually they have hypertension. Now I cannot give him the steam bath, or hot foot bath to cause him to sweat out the toxins, so I called my pharmacist friend in MaeSot, who told me they have a natural Thai herb that absorbs poisons out of the body, and they also can give me something for the hypotension. BletJhaw and I drive all the way to MaeSot for these things and we also buy him new blue jeans and several shirts. All this time, MaLoWay still cannot look me in the face or say one word to me. He always hides his face and draws away, but I continue to minister to him and pray aloud at his side.
On Day 2 he begins to feel much better and wants to go home, in fact he sounds desperate to go home. I think it is because he just wants to get opium and I feel badly and try to coax him to wait a few more days, but he tells us that he will cry and cry if he cannot go home right away! The night before he had a dream that he was putting a shirt on his little girl and he wanted to see his children. It is Sabbath afternoon, we pack up and take him home. What next?
Praise the Lord, on Day 3 he is staying with us in our home in BYT, alive, happy, looking at me, and talking to me! We are feeding him good food, and vitamins, and teaching him how to take a bath with soap and wash his clothes. He scrubs himself clean! We give him the new clothes! BletJhaw gives him a lovely hair cut, and now he looks and acts like a brand new person! A new person he really is! He seems to look at and admire his children like he never really knew them before. He is spending time at our house, playing with his children!
He goes home and cooks the rice for his family. It is like a person who has just come out of a life-long coma and wakes up to be alert and brand new! “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Today marks almost 6 weeks that he has remained off Opiates, tobacco and coffee. He told us that a year ago, before mainlining heroin, he had tried to stop opium, but it was painful and terrible – he could not do it, however, this time it was much easier and he was successful. He knew it was because I prayed for him! He sings our praises. He tells everyone that when his little girl was born, she and his wife almost died. We had come, treated them and took them to Omkoi hospital and saved their lives. He is so thankful. We tell him that it is not us, but God that gives him the victory, and does the healing, he must thank God and daily call upon Him for help to continue on successfully.
MaLoWay is now attending church and has even had us over to his house to have a special worship with his family!
Right now he is energetically building a new house for his family up the mountain! Radiance beams from his face.
No hardship is too hard to endure when the rewards are so great! Words cannot express my joy!
If God took this poor man out of the woodwork to save him from sin, then He will do it for others also. It is not our works, but the work of the Holy spirit to convict and convert. I am so encouraged that even now in this place we can see the results of the Holy Spirit upon hearts!
Please pray in your churches and in your home for MaLoWay never to return to the old habits. He needs your prayers.