By Dr. Dwain Illman
“May you be wealthy and healthy in your life,” is what a patient said to me as she shook my hand and left my area. I can tell you that I am experiencing wealth here in Myanmar in the spirit-filled Christians and in the responses of my patients. Unfortunately three of our team of 13 have fallen with the GI’s and don’t have good health. Pray for them. I hope to round up a quorum in the morning as we depart early for our most distant clinic location in Ba Go (Pegu). Lonely Planet guide says: “situated about 80 km from Yangon, Bago is easily reached from the capital yet is just far enough off the beaten track to avoid tourists. The city was founded in AD 573 by two Mon princes. The city was prominent until 1819 and was a major port until the river changed course.”
Revelation 5 talks about the 24 elders praising God and singing: worthy is the lamb who was slain and has purchased people from every tribe and language. I experienced an appetizer of this this week as I listened to the 40 pastors singing hymns in Burmese with a tune that I recognized as hymns from my past. With near perfect pitch, parts and harmony they sang melodies of praise in Burmese. It makes me have goose bumps even now as I write this.
Another similar happening was in a prayer for a sick pastor. We had a pastor who was suffering with chronic, severe headaches for over 2 years. Sherry took him to the pastors conference and asked for prayer With extreme fervor and praying as believing it would happen they all joined in simultaneously praying for 5-10 minutes. And we are upset if the preacher prays more than 30 seconds.
There are several medical surprises for me. I didn’t think in this rice-eating extremely thin population I would see hypertension. It is very abundant. Unfortunately, even those who are diagnosed take their medicines like they would Tylenol for a headache. “Oh, I don’t feel well today, I will take my blood pressure pill.” I gave my lecture of taking it every day for the rest of your life.
Many complained of trouble breathing. But I couldn’t find any that I diagnosed as asthma. Jeff told me tonight that phrase just means they don’t feel well. That is very helpful.
My medical student translator was talking to me about the ever-present black dye around the gums and teeth. This is mainly from chewing a mix of the betel nut and something else. He said: ” tob a coe” I couldn’t get it till he spelled it: tobacco.
Dr. Derm told me an interesting thing about the many tattoos we are seeing. Many people had a tattoo of a snake on one hand and a spider on the other. That is to keep those creatures from biting them. I said: it must work because I haven’t seen any snake bites. I know, that is not a scientific study.
We had a monk with a sun-sensitive allergic reaction. Dr. Derm told him to cover his arms. The monk said: I can’t. I need to wear this robe. Dr. Derm: “what if I give you a note from the doctor.?”
Clinic today was at Nyaung Ywa at the pastor’s home. It is across the path from the land purchased by Asian Children’s Mission for the Myanmar Community Development Center. The plan is to construct a multi-use facility for meetings, teaching and also for a church. (Visit http://www.asianchildrensmission.org/portfolio/community-development-center/)
Pastor Jeff was really moved by the humility and simple life the local pastor lived. He has to support himself by selling squash for 10 cents each, has chickens in his house and a pig in the back yard.(I don’t want to describe thetoilet facilities). Yet he is happy in The Lord.
Today’s census was: 150 patients; 43 pairs of reading glasses and 29 people accepted Jesus.
Mendosa is a medical student, a Buddhist and translator for Sherry. She has him translate her prayers for the patients. She noted: I bet you have never prayed so much. He said that is correct. Pray that our Buddhist students . They are here because a Christian medical student classmate invited them. They began interpreting and want to continue for all 8 clinics.
One lady asked for prayer for her duck. She wants to give it to her church to build a new building. She got prayers.
We returned to our hotel after dinner tonight. Someone asked Jeff as we walked through the lobby: “are you volunteering?” He gave the affirmative; she said: “I thought so, you look very tired.”
With that I say good night!!