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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Videos and Elephants

Just came out of BYT for a couple of days for new brakes and new tires, and could not resist to urge to send you 2 videos that Jonathan Hill made while visiting BYT with the media truck last December during our evangelistic campaign.
The drone captured beautiful bird’s eye views of our village, clinic/house, and surrounding jungle mountains.
In other news, the poor, the sick, the elephants, the snakes, and difficult pathways are always with us. Now in the dry season the dust lies 6-8 inches deep, covering the rocks and roots making the motorbike rides very difficult and hard to breath even with a mask.
Church attendance is still very good. It is absolutely wonderful to see the young people and adults taking part leading out in Sabbath school, mission story, special songs, prayers and testimonies.
We have invited a pastor to come and do a communion service this Sabbath.  (It’s been over a year since our last communion)!  I was able to preach about the deeper significance of the Lord’s Supper this Sabbath, ending with the lovely scene in heaven when Jesus sits down with us again to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb pleading with them to make things right with Jesus.  Oh please pray these people will be there!
   “Even in the most difficult fields..Everyone is to hear the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”  EV 21   
Just 3 days ago a man in GeGhah village went hunting in the jungle during the evening hours.  He met an elephant that charged him.  He fled for his life and barely made it to a rocky section where he dove down in between 2 large rocks.  The elephant stood watch over him trapping him in all night long and into the morning.  Finally he was able to pry himself out and make it home.  In LaGlah village 2 wild elephants have been coming every evening and morning.  They have partially destroyed one poor person’s hut and many of their garden crops​​.  I am constantly praying for the safety of my terrified people.
Our water supply has stopped up several times only producing thick mud, however there is amazing news!  The government of Thailand is very good.  They are planning to do 3 things for our village:
1. Put in a huge water system for BYT!
2. Bring in electricity via hydro power!  (Already starting with huge pipes)
3.  Internet is also predicted for all of BYT by the end of May!
4.  The news is also circulating that they plan to make solid roads to 3 villages that have horribly difficult access.  GeGhah, NyaLeGwee, and CoDeJo.
So incredible way out here!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
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The Vicious Dog

Just a common black and white dog, like so many Thai dogs in the jungle mountains.  They are not pets, they are seldom loved and cared for.  Many are sick, infected, mangey, skinny, and unlovely, and all are hungry and looking for something to eat.  People eat dogs around here.  Sometimes I see 6 puppies bouncing around every day.  Suddenly they are gone.  Three village boys killed and ate them. I once made a pet out of a terribly sick and mangey black dog that had 5 puppies.  A truck ran over her foot and it got infected.  I put a charcoal poultice on it and treated her eyes and skin.  I fed her well and she became healthy and beautiful with shining black fur.  I named her “Blackie.”  She followed me to all the villages and never left my side.  I really loved that dog.  One day Blackie made the mistake of chasing a neighbor’s chicken.  I could not find her anywhere after that.  The boy next door had shot her and eaten her.  I still miss Blackie!

I am in the habit of running almost every morning, and have come across unfriendly threatening dogs in many different places.  So far I had not been bitten, but surely thought I would be a couple of times.

One morning at 5:30a.m. I began my run in the dark as usual. I have to go through BYT first, so I  wait to run until I am out of the village because I don’t want to start the dogs barking and wake everybody up.  I crossed the first river footbridge and walked past the first house. It was perfectly silent everywhere in the village.  Suddenly something vehemently struck my right leg with great force.  There was no growl no bark.  In my shock my throat spontaneously let out a loud croaking nose, but nobody heard or saw, thankfully.  I shone the faint little light from my iPod at the black and white dog that was making a retreat!   Wow that really hurt, but I did’t know how bad it was because I was determined to run, and I didn’t want to look until my run was finished, even though it was painful.

I have 3 puncture wounds and one tear about 3/4 inch long. I have to receive 5 rabies shots and 3 tetanus toxoids shots over a certain time period.  Thankfully I have my own tetanus and the hospital let me purchase the rest of the rabies shots and give them to myself.  I could never make it all the way back to MaeSot 4 more times on the exact day.  I let BletJhaw learn how to give shots and he did a great job with the rest of them.  That place on my leg still hurts to this day.

My Mother told me she always prays that the elephants and snakes won’t harm me, but she never thought to pray about vicious dogs!

It was only a week or two later that a Mother from GeGhah came to our clinic carrying her 7 year old daughter, AhReeAh.  AhReeAh had been bitten by the same dog that day, only her bites were 4 times worse than mine!  That dog had chewed several times on her left leg. Poor poor child!  I cleaned it well and applied a charcoal poultice, then she went for rabies shots and now returns every day for cleaning.  It is healing well, although she refused to walk for an entire week.

This dog has now bitten a total of 6 people.  I am indignant and ready to kill that dog myself or go tie it up.  Why in the world doesn’t somebody kill that dog and eat it?  These people of the jungle eat anything that moves – like rats, snakes, dogs, spiders, flies, bees, frogs, turtles, crawdads, grubs, and worms.  This is actually not a complete list of the various creatures that get eaten around here.

The news just came to us that someone did kill that vicious dog and he will no longer be attacking innocent people and children!  Won’t heaven be marvelous, where you can have a beloved pet that stays close to your side?  They will not be vicious to you, nor will the people be vicious to kill and eat them.

 

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Flowers

Roses in my garden! Forgive me for putting common roses on my webpage, but they grow well here and I never want to forget their beauty, fragrance, encouragement, and cheer that God gave me through them during difficult, lonely, trying times!

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BletJhaw

Here is my faithful worker!  Today I want to express my appreciation and gratefulness for his courageous, and untiring work.

He has heard God’s calling to his heart to work in these jungle villages for the past 8 years.  He is one out of thousands of young people who has not answered God’s call with the words:  “I pray thee, have me excused!”  He has answered by saying:  “Here am I, send me!”  He has put every self denying effort into making the soul saving work for God first priority in his life. ”

People have incredulously asked him,

“How can you stay in this place, so far away, so isolated, so difficult to get to, and so dangerous, for 8 long years?”  It seems that nobody else wishes to “Throw his life away.” like this.

Haven’t they read and understand the scriptures saying:  “He that findes his life shall lose it:  and he that loses his life for My sake shall find it?”  Matthew 10:39

Sometimes our work gets very tiring when we have to go to other villages and check patients, they refuse to go to the hospital, we sometimes have to return several times to treat them physically, then finally they consent to go.  These trips sometimes go back to back throughout the entire week or two.  Sometimes we must go in several different directions every day to take care of the sick.  BletJhaw is doing all the difficult driving for hours and hours, and days upon days.  Yet he does not complain, and when I ask him on a scale of 1-10 how tired he is, ( I am tired mostly from sitting so long and getting jolted and tossed around the entire time), yet he has always answered “0”  or “1.”  He will often say after arriving home late at night:  “I could make it back to Meta hospital right now if I really had to.”

Just the amount of driving is not the whole story.  It is the difficulty and danger of steep drop offs, rocks, roots, ruts and tight squeezes between passing trucks in dangerous places.   One time we were going straight up the steep place on the concrete section, when a big government truck was coming down.  When you stop on this grade of steepness, it is dreadful and scary to start back up, plus the concrete edge of the road was sharp and dropped down, and the weeds covered up the sheer drop-off down the side of the mountain.  It was a time when we held our breath and prayed out loud.   I leaned out the window examining the tiny strip of land that may not be solid, that we had to drive on, while BletJhaw pulled his mirror in and put a hair’s breath between us and the big truck.  BletJhaw is praying as he is driving and the angels respond by one miracle after another.  We are traveling in places where and when others wouldn’t dare to go because of the wild elephants.  With his hand in God’s hand, he courageously will drive right through time and time again in order to help the sick.  . . . And I haven’t even addressed rainy season! No words to describe that.

Driving the motorcycle is also his job – another amazing feat!  You need nerves of steel to make it in many places where there is no smooth strip of land between a cliff and  long huge ruts.  Put that together with a big bag of medicine in front of him and me on the back!  Rainy season is sheer torcher to all!  And the danger of poisonous snakes while on the motorbike is a huge threat.  One week ago a young man was driving these roads when he came across a huge cobra right across the road in front of him the size of a large man’s  upper arm.  It was a bad place and he could not stop.  He had to run right over him.  That snake lifted up his body and fanned out his hood toward him.  We had a similar experience but did not have to run directly over it!

Walking in the rain is another adventure that we do not look forward to.  In these mountains there is hardly any flat easy places.  It is either straight up or straight down.  You are wet, muddy, tired, shoulders aching because of the heavy backpack, and feet are trying to slip away under you.  At times you cannot find a suitable place to rest your next footsteps, and at times you fall down.  Leaches add to the discomforts and they will itch like mad for the next 2 weeks at least!  All this is done with joy and thanksgiving because we are carrying supplies to take care of the people’s physical and spiritual needs.  God goes with us and He promises all of heaven!

I also want to thank BletJhaw for all his preaching, teaching, worships, prayers, and leadership with the youth Sabbath School.  Though the work is slow and unpromising at times, he keeps a cheerful spirit and applies himself to the work whole heartedly.  I haven’t even addressed all the interpreting he does for me with patients and for all my sermons, worships, prayers and Bible studies.

 

BletJhaw is very humble and takes no credit for anything himself, even though he has a lot talent to add to this work.  He is musical and plays the guitar for church and worships constantly.

He sings beautifully for God and has quite a lot of wisdom in handling our most difficult situations.

He loves the babies, little children and elderly people all the same.  He cares for each patient with tender loving care even though we may not have eaten for a very long time, or may be dead tired, or woken up in the middle of the night. I might add that after working alongside with me for so long, he can handle most of the the patient load if he had to.  He is a wonderful Father to his own children, husband, and missionary.  I find myself thanking God for him and his family every day!  What a privilege to work with a young person who has the same heart and passion to save souls as I do. Who is a totally consecrated worker – awake to the worth of the souls for whom Jesus died!  Please pray for him as much as you pray for me in this work, as I depend on him for so much!

“Ten truly converted, willing minded, unselfish workers can do more in the missionary field than one hundred…working without deep love for souls.” Testimonies 4:602

 

 

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