By Dr. Dwain Illman
People filled the small courtyard of the church in BaGo. We were welcomed in a wonderful fashion. The bus trip was just under two hours. The last 10 minutes were on the road that road-builders forgot. The pastor’s house was on the left the and the church was on the right. Pastor Ngwa See Yaw has built his house in the traditional way – it is up on stilts about 4 feet and made entirely of wood products. Beds are mats on a platform elevated about 4 inches. The church floor was covered with mats so the people could sit there.
The pharmacy was organized in the church building as was Marilyn’s reading glasses clinic. The providers took the shady space between the buildings knowing the afternoon sun would be all over us. Triage was in front of the house. We had to move around because of the sun after lunch.
Lunch was prepared behind the house. A grey waste water stream flowed just behind the cooking area; some pigs looked on beyond that. Stacks of vegetables were on plates resting on the dirt. A big pot was over a wood fire simmering with red stuff. Unfortunately wood smoke poured through the provider area at times creating coughing and sneezing.
We enjoyed our patient times in BaGo. We had some very sick patients. Some have been TB patients or are current TB patients. Many of these presented with coughs. This is not good! Hypertension and diabetes were prevalent. I had two patients bring the pills with them to show me what they are taking. Metformin and Amlopine are popular for diabetes and blood pressure respectively.
The NUMBERS: 146 patients; 41 pairs of glasses and 20 decisions for Jesus. We are on track to meet my estimated number of 1200 patients. We have two clinics Sunday and one on Monday in this area. Sunday we will split the team and work out of two churches after morning worship. Jeff is preaching at one and I am preaching at the other.
Two of our team memebers stayed at the hotel today; 6 total have gastrointestinal problems – perhaps more as not all tell me. We are eating a lot of meals in the village areas. Cooking and cleaning conditions are not as hygienic as our intestines require. I would say: “this too shall pass” but I will resist.
This was our special night out. The team went to Karaweik Palace for buffet dinner and cultural show. We had a lot of fun. I believe our favorite was the dancing elephant. Two people were inside a great elephant costume and did several routines. Pam almost fell out of her chair when the elephant “jumped” down from the stage at her feet.(we had front a row table). That was funny.
It is such a privilege to represent The Lord and FAME leading this outreach to Myanmar. We love the people and admire our hosts and hostesses so very much. There is a wonderful group of mature Christian leaders and servants. Thank you to the pioneering work of Baptist MissionaryAdoniram Judson 200 years ago, and the J. Russell Morse family who came to Burma nearly 70 years ago.