by Melony Teague
In Canada, when you have a problem with your teeth, a toothache or a cavity, you call your dental office, make an appointment, and are sometimes able to see the dentist the same day.
For the rural Burmese people, this is not an option. Dental care is not available, and even if it is, during certain months of the year the roads are impassible. If you have a toothache in monsoon season, well, you’ll have to wait a long time for relief.
Among those who lined up to see our dentists in April this year, were those who were abundantly grateful to receive dental care. For them the two-day trip to the village in order to see the visiting doctors, pharmacist, nurse, and dentist was worth it.
“Why would the medical and dental team, come all the way to serve the Burmese people?” they asked.
“We came because of God’s love,” said Linda Ling.
Working in partnership with Hands in Missions, the April 2017 mission went off extremely well. The aim was to serve the displaced Burmese who live in poverty and without hope; for these people there is next to no dental and healthcare on a regular basis.
Like the disciples so long ago when the crowds gathered to see and hear Jesus, Linda was concerned about what the people would eat. She knew that some of the villagers would have travelled for days. They would be staying with friends or family, and they would need to travel back home. Linda wanted to provide some kind of ‘food ministry’ for the people. Yet, like the boy so long ago spoken of in Matthew 14, with only five loaves and two fish, the food ministry budget was not enough to feed everyone if each person was to receive three meals a day.
With the budget being low, the team was able to purchase a cow for the people. Since there were two villages, they purchased one cow per village. Would that be enough? In our way of thinking, how could one cow possibly feed everyone, but Linda trusted God to provide, just the way He had done when He used the loaves and the fishes to feed the multitudes in Matthew 14:14 – 21.
The team watched in awe as one cow provided enough meat for all of the families who had come from afar, nothing was wasted.
Christina, the team’s prayer coordinator said, “It’s amazing to see how one cow can feed not only one village, but also many who came from the surrounding villages! And it’s not just one day, but three days! And it’s not just feeding the body, but also the soul!”
How was their souls fed?
The villagers came for morning devotion for 90 minutes before the team opened the clinic. After they had treatment during the day and had dinner, their souls were still hungry. So, they came back for a time of worship at night. For three days, they came everyday, morning and night.
When the team started out to the next village, there were numerous obstacles: flat tires, heavy rain, foggy night, narrow winding road, traveller’s diarrhea, tiredness, bumpy ride in a rock truck, etc. By faith, and by the prayers of over 50 overseas prayer supporters, Jesus led the team victoriously onto the second village. Without internet in the remote villages, the people overseas knew nothing, but they followed the itinerary and kept praying. And the Lord honoured their prayer and protected the team. Yes, He is faithful and mighty!
God’s ways are not our ways.
Our international EMAS team of five Canadians, two Australians, and one from the USA, working together with local Burmese volunteers travelled to the remote villages in an 11-ton ‘rock truck’ which is one of the few vehicles able to navigate the muddy rural roads.
1,269 patients were served, receiving medical/dental care, spiritual teaching, and even meat enough to share with their families!
Many are praising God for the generosity of our donors in providing with such kindness the funds that made this mission possible.
James and Linda Ling are EMAS Myanmar HIM Team Members
James was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but did his computer studies in London, England before immigrating to Canada where he met and married Linda. Linda was born and brought up in Mandalay, Burma. Together, they want to bring hope and the love of Christ to the people of Burma.