Spend and Be Spent
2 Corinthians 12:15. “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
This verse puts me in tearful empathy, for Paul. For all he went through and the times he almost died in bringing the gospel to all the then-known world, you would think he at least could have people love Him. But in spite of everything he kept pouring himself out completely in order to save the lost.
We feel like we are spending and being spent at times here. It seems everything is a test of endurance. It takes a big effort to reach the people in different villages in the mountains. To treat patients 24/7 at all inconvenient times. Preparing sermons, worships and Bible studies that they can understand and follow, can keep you up late into the night! Everything requires a lot of energy. But I know most of the people we help, though they really don’t understand what we go through to help them, in their ignorant way, unlike Paul, we know they have love for us.
After 6 busy weeks in America, I arrived in Bangkok September 5. I could not return to BYT immediately because the flight I needed to take from BKK to MaeSot was fully booked. Usually I have no problem purchasing it at the last minute. I have now learned my lesson to book my flight on-line early. It was wonderful to be back with BletJhaw and family once again, but going into BYT was once again blocked for a few days because patients seem to find me wherever I go. I must take care of them as best I can. Finally Tuesday, September 12, in the pouring rain, we ventured out on motorbike to BYT. I was so excited to return, that the rain and the mud did not dampen my spirits one bit! However I have never seen the roads as bad as they were this time. We went spinning around, and tackled the gnarled up breathtaking descents that had no similarity to a road! It takes nerves of steel in many places. Surprisingly we only wrecked once.
But the rainy season had taken its toll. We heard of 2 patients who had been involved in serious accidents in the rain about 2 months ago. They lived in different villages quite some distance apart. But we had to go, because they were asking for us. So one fine, rainy day, we took off for an all-day trip. Our plan was to make a big circle, stopping off in MeDeLeGwee, (MDLG) Village first, then on to Hoe Pado, (Big Pagoda). From there we will go completely out to BletJhaw’s home, get the truck and go to MaeSot to purchase medical supplies. The inventory in the clinic had been seriously depleted. I was so thankful to God because most of that day it did not rain, although the roads were extremely difficult – words cannot describe. Our motorbike began Mal-functioning making horrible noises. With prayer and a few tools, BletJhaw was able to make it work temporarily. Finally we arrived at MDLG to see a 22 year old guy, who had a serious motorbike wreck 2 months previous. He and his friend had been totally drunk when it happened. He had broken his femur, the big bone in his right thigh. It was dislocated and angulated. At the big hospital in Chaing Mai he had a surgical repair of that bone, leaving a scar the entire length of the thigh! What I couldn’t understand, was that he was given crutches but he had no cast and was told he could have partial weight bearing right from the start! He also had been unconscious for some time due to a head injury. A five inch left parietal wound had been sutured. Now there was a new complication. He had been walking all along, but suddenly 4 days ago his tendon behind the right knee had tightened up along with the quadriceps, (Muscles on anterior thigh) causing his patella, (kneecap) to be raised and driven upward. His knee was swollen and extremely painful. We helped him with his pain, but we cannot take him to the hospital for a recheck until the rain stops and the roads are improved.
Driving one hour to our next village, Hoe Pado, was a BIG struggle in the mud. I only got thrown off the back one time! Seems like I landed gently though and was none-the-worse for ware!! It was very sad here! Two months ago, a young woman, 30 years old, had been in a truck with her husband, 3 year old daughter, and 3 other people, when the truck they were in went out of control and fell off the cliff! To look at the location, we estimated that it fell straight down 150-200 Meters! Two people who were in the back of the truck jumped out and were not badly injured. Amazingly nobody died. This woman was the most badly injured. She sustained many broken bones including both arms in several places, a completely mangled left leg, along with shoulder, clavicle, and head injuries. She had remained unconscious for hours, and had undergone extensive surgery. She now is recovering at home unable to move around or do anything for herself. It’s a miracle she did not die. Her husband had to lift her to a sitting position. In spite of this most serious, life threatening incident, and having suffered so very much, her beautiful smile greeted me as I entered her house and my heart was indeed totally touched and melted. Some of her toes she cannot move. She asked me if she would ever walk again. I encouraged her and told her yes, she will. I gave instructions on how to do active and passive exercises, and gave her advice on diet. These people think that they should not eat anything sour after an accident and are afraid to eat anything at all! We plan to take her to the hospital for her recheck next week, as they live very near the paved portion of road and we can get our truck in there. Her husband was not hurt significantly. Her little daughter had a fractured clavicle, which had not healed properly. The broken bone can be seen and felt – unattached to the proximal clavicle. Medical care here is sometimes shocking.
Next we travelled all the way to KhaneJew where BletJhaw lives and from there took the truck to MaeSot the next morning to purchase supplies. We spent 4 and 1/2 total hours on the motorbike that day. When we reached our final destination, after all the jostling, jarring, jolting, knocking, bumping, slipping and sliding, we felt as if we had just stepped out of a giant blender! Hats off to BletJhaw the skillful courageous driver! Praise the Lord for him and his firm determination to press forward in this work whatever the cost!
We are so dependent upon God each and every day. The rewards cannot even be estimated on paper!! I simply love this work God has given me to do for each and every one of these lovely people.
….“And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you!”