July 30, 2020 was a day to be remembered and yet a day we wish to forget! BletJhaw was wheeled into the surgery room at 11:20a.m. We had put this procedure off for several years, but now it was imperative that it be done. Hemorrhoids had set in over 5 years ago, and despite all the remedies and treatments, they continued to get worse, until his quality of life was greatly compromised, and his days were filled with pain.
I reminisce on the past 10 years of medical missionary life with BletJhaw by my side. When God gives you a job to do, He gives you what you need to accomplish the work. For me, He gave me much more than I asked or even dreamed of, He gave me BletJhaw who has a heart just like mine, with a passion to reach the lost before it is too late. We are united in this work. I marvel at BletJhaw’s wisdom, common sense, courage, preparedness, longsuffering, diligence, integrity and humility! Together we have faced the danger of snakes and elephants as we take care of the physical and spiritual health of the people. We have braved the impossible roads and many times barely escaped with our lives. We have trudged for hours with medical supplies on our backs, balancing over the water on narrow logs or a bridge of 2 bamboo poles, and climbed up – up – up the steep mountains in the pouring rain, water rushing down as we made our way against the tide! Leeches fasten quickly to our feet and legs before there is time and balance enough to pull them off, and snakes get in the way and have to be killed. The mountains often produce large landslides which suck our feet down deeper with each step! We have driven in the truck sometimes 4-8 hours for days on end, getting patients to the hospital and taking them home. We have rushed to distant villages on the motorbike in answer to the call for help. Patients pour into our clinic any hour of the day or night and usually at the most in-convenient moments, interrupting our cooking, eating, bathing, gardening, sleeping, and even interrupting our sermons – midstream at times! We meet in hut after hut, village after village to relieve the sick and suffering and offer hope and freedom from their fears and superstitions, praying and telling the simple Bible stories. BletJhaw faithfully and accurately interprets all my sermons, putting in all the emphasis, earnestness, pleading, humor, or sadness, that the topic calls for. He sings and plays the guitar with all simplicity and beauty. Alone on our knees we plead for our little Seventh-Day Adventist church, the church members, the none members, the Buddhist, the Devil worshipers and those so ignorant and poor they don’t worship, don’t read, don’t write, and don’t know there is a better way!
Yes, we can count many times that our lives should have been taken, (Eight times for me personally that I know of), yet with God at the helm here we are today! And the privilege and thrill of this sacred work gets more and more intense as this old world plunges rapidly into it’s final hours. We see more and more of the beautiful glory of God and feel the intense longing that He has for His children in these heathen villages to be with Him eternally!
Life has come to a screeching halt suddenly. Our lives are in a totally new dimension. BletJhaw’s surgery has brought him so much suffering and pain. I see him writhing in agony. Jerry and I just sit there and cry with him. What can we do? My heart is torn and aching for him: ‘ThaGaNya Pado’ -is the Karen word for, ‘Great heart pity.” We are in the city; I am a jungle girl driving in great metropolis of Chiang Mai city, out of my comfort zone! When BletJhaw is feeling some better we can travel the 7-hour drive back to his family and wait for his complete recovery when we will return to BYT. But until then we pray and wait on the Lord! He has a grand purpose in all our painful situations and when we get to heaven we will see how our trials helped us and others get there. I pray that somehow through this experience we were a shining light to others. My sister said, “God never wastes our suffering! It is the greatest privilege to suffer with Him!” We are comforted and content to be reminded that God knows what He is doing. It is time to be quiet and search our hearts. The all-important question: “Is my robe spotless?
“The rapidly diminishing space of time between us and eternity should more deeply impress us. Every day that passes makes one less left us to complete our work of perfecting character. Mar. 220.5
(Now it is Friday, August 7. I drove the long way back to Khane Chue 2 days ago. BletJhaw handled the trip quite well. Each day finds him improving! Praise the Lord! We both want to thank you with all our hearts for your lovely prayers)!