My flight on Korean Air touched down on Thai soil in Suvarnabhumi Airport, October 5, 2022, I was ecstatic! Best of all, there was BletJhaw to greet me! All jet lag was forgotten, and sunshine flooded my soul, even though it was raining outside! This year, the rainy season continued through October! (Almost 6 months)! BletJhaw had a driver to drive our new truck to Bangkok. (We are jungle people and do not feel comfortable driving in that big city of Bangkok)! I had forgotten how nice our new truck is! It had been an amazing gift to us! We had mentioned that we needed a 4 door truck. Patients needed to open their own windows because they got car sick. They needed their own door, more room, and better circulation of air. This truck has proved itself numerous times, and we find it to be so much stronger going up the steep places! The windows of heaven have truly opened up with blessings pouring out just when we need it!
I could not go to BYT right away because it seemed I had a problem with immigration. On my other trips I had no requirements to enter the country, but this time they were having me fill out 5 forms, go and get my house registration, a signed citizen’s card of the owner, the bank letter of guarantee, the passport picture and copies of my entire bank book, and passport. When I brought the things that they asked for, they sent me to do other requirements. There were so many hoops to jump through, that I wondered if I would be denied entrance. I was perplexed and praying all the way through. You know, immigration rules can change any time without notice. You could be sent back to your country any time. After about one and a half weeks immigration was finished. They showed me my visa – Lo and behold I had completed my year-end visa! I had no idea what was going on but praise the Lord, I now am approved through November 2023!
Finally we drove our motorbike into BYT. The weather is unpredictable. Sudden rain put us in terrible mud and that’s never fun, but I did not mind it because I was in my peaceful jungle with my beloved jungle people!
A king cobra greeted us at our gate, that was not quite the greeting I had anticipated!
As soon as we arrived, patients piled in to see us. People in our villages now own walkie talkie radios, and the news went out quickly to the nearby villages that I am back. I believe entire villages emptied out upon us! We were so busy there was no time to cook rice and eat! Seemed like the people waited for a long time to come to us! There were so many old terrible infections and chronic diseases. We were called out at midnight one night because a man had a sudden acute asthma attack!
I do have an oxygen concentrator! After many breathing treatments and an IV he recovered nicely. A thirteen-year-old boy, JaNoe, was badly mauled by a dog in the village. I have never seen such terrible wounds from a dog bite before. I calmed him down and cleaned his wounds.
We took him to the hospital so he could receive his rabies routine. We did not get home until midnight, but JaNoe was well taken care of. Someone killed that vicious dog. (Probably they made a nice meal of him)! One lady in our village suffered severely from a tropical disease. We put her on the appropriate antibiotic and gave her an IV.
She recovered quickly! We rushed a small 6 year old girl to the hospital. She had a tropical disease and her high fever would not come down. We returned home at 2am. BletJhaw had to drive that excellent new truck 7 hours total that day on difficult roads! But the girl got the help she needed. Prayers and trusting in God is healing people in these jungle mountains! His name is glorified!
This young boy was severely burned on his right knee several weeks ago. His father told us that he refused to go to any hospital or clinic, he only wanted to come to BYT and see me! They waited until I arrived. My heart was touched. His knee was terribly infected. In fact he was septic because he had a high fever. He rechecked with me 3 days later and recovered nicely. Praise the Lord!
Gospel Workers 367.3 is a lesson well taken for me in BYT.
“Too often the work is left in an unfinished state, and in many such cases it amounts to nothing…He, (The minister), should finish the work begun; for in leaving it incomplete, more harm than good is done. No field is so unpromising as one that has been cultivated just enough to give the weeds a more luxuriant growth. By this method of labor, many souls have been left to the buffeting of Satan…Many are driven where they can never again be reached. A minister might better not engage in the work unless he can bind it off thoroughly.”
So many people tell me that I’m too old to continue so strenuously here, and I must return to America. I tell them that I will do just what I have done all along – “What’s that?” they ask. I tell them that I will do whatever the Lord tells me to do. He has clearly renewed His contract with me again and again, year after year to continue this work in BYT. I am full of energy and joy to do this work. It is the desire of my heart!
And I can see many rewarding examples why I stay here so long. Here is only one:
MaLoWay is a 42-year-old male that wanted us to help him get off opium 6 years ago. It was very successful . He was a changed man and for a while he looked great, but soon after he went back to opium worse than ever before. My heart broke but we kept praying for him. He looked terrible and would not come near us. Just now after I returned from America, I found out that he had been very sick with an infection in his left calf. Apparently, he was in the hospital for 4 weeks. He had surgery to remove the pus all the way up past his left knee! During his time in the hospital he had no opium and now is totally free of that addiction. I have been cleaning and rewrapping his wounds every day.
It was extremely painful, but after I put TeaTree oil mixed with antibiotic cream and prayed for him, it healed up quickly. He now can walk normally without pain. He is so thankful. He is clean and his face is now bright and happy. We told him that when you get rid of a bad habit you need to replace it with a good habit. He must replace it with God otherwise, just like before he would go back worse than before. I will never forget the joy I felt when he told us he wanted to know God and would go to church with us every Sabbath! Who wants to miss an opportunity like this? To stay here means souls for God’s kingdom! Praise the Lord!
Do not ever relax your efforts to save a soul – even the ones you feel are the most hopeless. Keep praying for them without fail. Never relax your efforts.
My first sermon back was thrilling for me. God is here! Over 80 people attended, and we had a meal together afterwards. Look at their happy faces! (The picture shows only part of the women’s side of church)
THE NARROW ESCAPE!!
We met an enormous wild elephant face to face again. As BletJhaw backed the truck up, he came toward us. Finally we got to a wider place to turn around. We waited in safety for quite a while, but decided to advance again to see if he was off the road. Suddenly we heard his loud trumpeting and froze in our tracks. Should we advance? Praying all the way we crept forward until we came across a big boulder on the right. There on the boulder were a man and his wife with a little baby. They were terrified and were running for their lives. They had been on their motorbike when they came around a corner and met that elephant. They dropped the bike and ran through the jungle with the elephant in hot pursuit, charging after them. Just when he was sure to stomp them into the dirt, he stopped. They leaped up on that big rock and just then we came along. We called them into our truck.
The elephant was coming again, but we were able to back up quickly and get away. If that elephant had not stopped, these people would both be dead. I do believe that because we belong to God, the angels that surround us made that elephant stop and saved their lives, and of course ours also! We have met so many elephants during our 12 years here.
I hear many people say they want to come visit us and see a wild elephant. Let me tell you, it is no joke to meet these wild ones. If you knew you’d get out alive and unharmed, it might be a high adventure for you to go home and talk about, but the reality is that it is extremely dangerous. Each time your life is on the line. People die each year this way. I will tell you that 3 people near us died in the year 2022! One lady was working with her rubber trees. When she did not return home they went there and saw that an elephant had torn her body in pieces all over the place. You must be certain that you are in the center of God’s will, then God will be glorified whether by your life or by your death. Philippians 1:20,21
This is the time of year that all the mountain rice must be harvested. It is a tremendous job. Usually families go in together to work the huge fields. Our neighbors, DJ, his wife and 3 children were alone this year to harvest their mountain rice. BletJhaw and I decided to join in and help them. We had never done this before, but wanted to get closer to them to encourage them in the Lord etc. The day was sunny and hot. I wore two long sleeve shirts because those dried stalks of rice scratch your skin. The mountain was huge and very steep. I wondered how I would keep my footing because we must walk all over it.
I am good at going up the steepest places, but not good at coming down. Today I learned I can do it! All day we worked. Up and down we went. The rice had already been cut and lay in clumps all over the mountain side. I did not carry the huge mats of rice down the mountain to the threshing floor. I only gathered the bunches of rice and loaded the mats. I give glory to God that people are amazed I can work so hard in bad conditions all day. God has given me health and strength all my life! I am so thankful!
As I saw so much reaping over such a vast and difficult mountain, I thought of Jesus words in Matthew 9:37,38
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.”
The spiritual harvesting needed in this old world is far bigger than this one mountain that we were working on all day, and vastly more important! I also say, where are the labourers? This gospel has not been preached in all the world! Let alone in thee jungle mountains!
I pray for you to stay in the center of God’s will, faithful to the end. May you unconditionally surrender your all to Him day by day.