By Dr. Dwain Illman
Dwain C. Illman, M.D
Is it possible to start clinics with two wonderful days? The Lord has been so good to us. I am convinced this comes from a host of prayer warriors interceding for this ministry.
The crowds were heavier during the morning. Yesterday it was more “in and out” with little waiting by the patients. Today I am sure some waited over an hour. Again we had lovely sunny weather with temperature in the high 80’s.
The Pastors Conference is such an enriching experience for all the men and women attending. Pastor Jeff is really enjoying the experience. Marilyn and Chris are helping in the afternoons. Today they asked Barb Fox to talk about some physical therapy pointers. Then Dr. John Brang from northern Burma spoke about TB. He is an excellent young, Burmese Christian physician who has helped us for two days. We will miss him as he left today.
I had a Buddhist monk who wanted eye glasses. I have a simple eye chart with John 3:16 in different fonts and is written in Burmese. I asked him to read the smallest one he could. So I listened to a Buddhist monk read the key verse in Scripture to see if he needed glasses – he didn’t. He read the smallest line.
We treated several of the pastors and some of the children from the home. My first pastor had decided he had high blood pressure was taking medicines when “he didn’t feel right.” His pressure on no medicines was normal today. My translator and I had a hard time communicating. It took me 10 minutes to figure that out about his random use of the medicine. Blood pressure medicines and most other medicines are readily available over the counter. Another issue he had was “epilepsy.” I struggled with him to figure out what he meant. Eventually I determined he was having nocturnal leg cramps!
This man preaches at a very remote area 2 days journey from where we are. I am so touched by all these men who have journeyed so long to receive leadership training in their ministries.
I should mention Phoebe Aung. She and some young girls are preparing the noon meals for all 50 plus of us. The food is excellent, local flavors and attractively presented. I mentioned her as my “Jesus sighting” today. Marilyn leads us in this each evening as we consider where we saw someone acting like Jesus today. Josiah, her husband, said that on Thursday he wanted to have a dinner with all the pastors and us after clinic. That was to be at 5:30. Phoebe was going to make lunch as well. Our medical clinics are down the road so I thought we could have peanut butter and Jelly for lunch and have Phoebe prepare only one meal. I have lots of PB and J for this eventuality. Just give me the bread and we can have lunch.
Chris and Marilyn want to give the 40 pastors a copy of the very good book “When there is no Doctor.” Timothy Pungsar looked in Yangon and could only find 6 copies in Burmese. He called again today and they now have over 40. That should be a really nice gift for these men. Their ministries are mainly very remote. Medical care is grossly inadequate in urban areas and nearly non existent in the north. This will allow them to do some practical care. I remember when I read J. Russell Morse’s book “Escape to Hidden Valley” that Mrs. Morse developed some basic medical skills and ministered to hundreds over the years.
At least three Burmese in the clinic were trained by M Power to do basic dentistry. In this program 6 days of training are given, the people are given dental instruments and a basic portable dental chair and go out and pull teeth. One young man who was doing some of this at our clinic said he has pulled over 1000 teeth.
By the numbers we had 198 patients, dispensed 30 pairs of reading glasses and had 28 people accept Jesus as Saviour. All in all we could see God’s blessings upon our meager efforts.