By Dr. Dwain Illman, MD
It is so nice when someone remembers your name; even nicer when you can remember someone’s name when you meet them after a long absence. I think our clinics deserve names. Each had its own personality. Here is my appellations for clinics:
* Hope in the sun
* Pastor Time
* By the Way
* Calabash and Rice Paddies
* BaGo – Stilt house and pig sty
* Tamwe’s Healthy Christians
* Insein (pronounced insane) is not a mental illness but a church
* In the dark shadows of Yangon
Let me amplify and summarize God’s magnificence as He was certainly in charge; the results were more than I could have imagined.
The beginning was at Hope Children’s Home, a ministry of Asian Children’s Mission. The day was sunny and bright. We had the best beginnings I could have imagines.
We followed this with day two. Pastor Jeff was continuing the leading of the pastors conference, held in the chapel at Hope. We set aside time to do medical ministry to help the pastors; Marilyn provided many with reading glasses.
This day we left Hope and drove several miles to a very rural area where there is a small, but thriving church which was planted by Asian Children’s Misson. There was a variety of farming going on. We walked down an elevated dirt road to the rural church where we conducted our clinic. Pharmacy occupied the small, elevated church building. That left the shady strip along the dirt road where some small shrubs and trees were growing. The providers had to keep moving to keep out of the sun. People, bikes, motor bikes, etc. kept going by the way as we worked with our patients.
The following day we went to the Hope area to the site where the Myanmar Community Development Center is being planned, another Asian Children’s Mission project. The pastor had a small house and gardens across the dirt road and drainage canal. Large Calabash were growing and the rice paddies were around. There was more shade and coolness here.
Our long journey was to BaGo to a new church. The pastors home was built on stilts. He had pigs directly behind. Pharmacy and eye glasses set up in the church building – on stilts with the floor covered with reed mats.
Sunday clinics followed church services and lunch at Tamwe and Insein respectively. I call the Tamwe sessions – Tamwe Healthy Christians. It was a pleasant and busy afternoon. The other half of the group went to Insein – whose services I call: Insein (which is pronounced “insane”) is not a mental illness but a church.
The final clinic was far across town in the very poor, old section of Yangon. This area is very crowded. The roads are dirt and very rough. The ground is low lying and most building were built on stilts. My name for this day: In the dark shadows of Yangon.
I hope by just reading this you can get some visual pictures of our days of ministry. The Lord was very good to us. Unfortunately three-fourths of the team have had significant gastrointestinal distress. Most are doing better. We pay the price with village and local foods. Our American digestive systems are really protesting changes. We had plenty of pure bottled water so that is not a problem. Today we are flying to Mandalay for a night and then down to Bagan for a night before a late Friday departure home.