“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” Psalm 57:2
There he lay, crippled and suffering, on a pile of smelly rags, in a dirty and broken-down bamboo house. This is actually the kitchen – complete with filthy old pans and rotten food! I step carefully, placing my feet where the wooden crossbars were supposedly holding up the bamboo floor. But gaping holes and rotten bamboo made me uncertain of even finding a suitable place to sit. My heart was suddenly broken as I gazed upon the wretched form of humanity before me.
His name is GwaDee. He is 47 years old. Everyone knows that he is one of many good for nothing, hard-core opium addicts, oblivious to everything honorable and good. Every day he just lives for more opium, finding work to do, so he can have a little money to buy more of that evil, life destroying substance, that he injects into his blood stream many times a day, to the neglect of everything else. His three small children are dirty and half dressed, wondering from house to house in search of food much like the mangy, starving, village dogs, composed of only skin and bones. His house tells the sad story also – strewn with yucky trash and ready to fall right down! Tears try to force themselves out of my stinging eyes. God is seeing this!
Exactly six months ago he had just injected a big dose of opium into his vein, when sudden pain in his lower back struck him down. His pain was so excruciating that he dared not move a muscle. In fact he had been lying in this position on his back unable to walk or even move for 6 long months!!
We first found out about this man when visiting LaGlah village and talking with his brother-in-law, PaJew, the only Seventh-Day Adventist there!
We visited with GwaDee that day and strategized together how we could transport him to Meta hospital. He was willing to go. The following Friday two young men tied him up to a bamboo pole and carried him to our waiting truck.
The trip was excruciating for GwaDee, but I was thankful to find out the cause of his pain. Because of COVID I was not allowed to enter the hospital with him, but I prayed God would open a way for me to speak to the doctor, because the information told us from the family was unsatisfying – they could tell us next to nothing. Finally a young paramedic took me in and I found the right doctor. I was able to photograph the xray and discover he had a compression fracture of Lumbar vertebrae L-4 and L-5.
The doctor told me that because this patient was illegal in this country and had no insurance, he needed to pay $500.00 for an MRI in Sukhothai first, (Four hours east of here). Then he would need surgery in MaeSot with extensive rehab, because his legs were already atrophied. So the total cost of everything not counting rehab would be approximately $5,000.
Sadly we had to transport that patient all the way back to his house in LaGlah village that night because we could not just come up with that kind of money. He suffered enormous pain after arriving home.
The good news about all of this is that we had several occasions to tell GwaDee and his wife BeGah, (Who is just as addicted to opium herself), about the great God in heaven who loves us. We told of His wonderful power to forgive sins and His ability to change their lives from one of drugs, hopelessness, sickness and neglect of their home and family, to a life of joy and peace and fulfillment. We told him that through this terrible injury, God is trying to get his attention and help him realize that his life needs to change. He needs to know God, love God, and prepare himself for everlasting life! We have prayed with him many times, and know God is working on his heart because during this time he is unable to work and buy opium, so he is off all drugs and has plenty of time the think.
At this time we are asking for two things:
- First and foremost please pray for GwaDee and BeGah to find the Lord and make a full change in their lives.
2. BletJhaw and I have never made a request for money in all our 12 years of labor in the Jungle Mountains. But today we are asking you to pray and see if God is touching your heart to make a small donation toward GwaDee’s upcoming surgery. We don’t have a lot of time because he is loosing more and more muscle mass, and there is a concern that he might bring more injury to the nerve and become a paraplegic.