By Dr. Dwain Illman, M.D.
This is one of those days where we say: I see The Lord at work. We journeyed to Hope Orphanage and gathered our supplies and the local team then drove to a village church called La Pa Da. The building was erected in 2009 by Asian Children’s Mission to be used for children to receive free after school tutoring and as a Sunday School.
This village had a terrible reputation and was known for its witchcraft. But the Sunday School children evangelized their parents, and soon this small church was fully established in this Buddhist community.
There is a small road that runs in front of the building with some shade trees on one side. The providers set up patient care there – we had to keep moving as the sun moved. Dr. Jere moved back into this one house. I noted some odor. The family toilet was in a small shelter 3 feet from Dr. Jere’s chair. He said: “it doesn’t bother me.” In the same vein, we only had an outhouse that was compounded with a pig tied up next to the church building. The area is so populated that it was difficult for men to find a “private tree.”
By the numbers we treated 152 patients, dispensed 30 pairs of reading glasses and welcomed 24 new believers. All in all it was a good one. This area was very poor, very hot and very simple agrarian. The Lord provided a corps of local believers who helped us. I served my Jif peanut butter and Smuckers jelly for lunch. We had Myanmar made coca colas. They are good. Regular cokes around the world are better than those made in America because of the use of cane sugar.
There was a huge banyan tree 100 yards from us. At the base was a Buddha idol with offerings. The people consider this a special tree and compare it to the Lotus tree Buddha sat under when he did his writings. They also believe in some fashion there are evil spirits dwelling there. It was a little spooky.
We hurried back to Hope Orphanage to participate in a closing time with the pastors. We had about 42 or so there who had participated in the conference. Each of us was given a chance to say a few words. Marilyn then distributed a “When there is no Doctor” book in Burmese for each of the pastors. They were thrilled. What a blessing that they just came into the store 2 days ago. Phoebe served dinner for all 60 of us. Wow. She has done the service of Mary these days.
My most interesting medical case was a pure hyperthyroidism with goiter. I can confirm that when I get my blood tests back!! She had all the symptoms. I sent her on. The other case that touched my heart was a 45 year old woman. She was nicely dressed in a green skirt and white blouse indicating a school connection. The complaint was she could not sleep and was anxious all the time. I spent considerable time with her determining what was behind this. She has 238 students that she is head mistress over; then she has 2 teen age sons at home; and tragically her husband died 3 years ago. We prayed over her and tried to direct her steps.
I have had a medical student translator the last 2 days. He is a 3rd year medical student in Yangon.
Chris and Marilyn enjoyed their last session with the pastors. Jeff has done a fabulous job in relating and teaching these men. They are so very grateful for this opportunity. Some will get home after 3-5 days of travel. Don’t complain about an overnight flight!
More clinics and work to do. We have lots of travel to do this around Yangon. What an opportunity this is to serve.