Water was dangerously low this year making the rapids impassible...
We took 4-wheel drive trucks in instead. Four hours
of bone bruising 4-wheeling averaging 8-10 miles an hour. You get knocked,
banged and tossed every which way...I jokingly refer to it as "mountain massage." I promised the team
we only had an hour walk after the 4-wheeling part, but three hours hiking
later we finally made it to the village on a trail that just never seemed to
quit going up. Mae Hae Village was our final destination...
Pastor Dan Carroll and his team from Water of Life
Church made the trip with us. I think the team forgave me but they did seem a
bit leery about my travel time estimates after that! We conducted a medical
clinic ministering to 240 patients. The clinic along with various outreaches to
the children and villagers melted the hearts of the people as the love of Jesus
was demonstrated in such a practical way. The outreach gave great momentum to
our evangelist's efforts to plant a church in this previously unreached
village. Carried out on a pole...
In all the years we have been trekking into remote
areas I always wondered what would happen if someone got hurt or very sick.
This year we had an incident with one of the team members; he didn't quite "bite the dust" but he was in pretty bad
shape after becoming dehydrated. No problem....the villagers cut a bamboo pole,
strapped this guy on a pole and "ran"
him down the trail! They literally ran saying it was easier to carry heavy weight
by running rather than walking. We got our man out, revived him and all was
Refugee Camp School...
We have been working the camps since 1995, but I
think this trip in was my favorite. First stop was a briefing by the camp
commander who oversees the 40,000+ people at Mae La Refugee Camp. We were then
permitted to enter the camp to visit our Living Word Ministries School and Orphanage where we
care for and provide education for over 500 children.Our visits to the camp are highly anticipated... the children hardly sleep the night before...
They outdid themselves this year with a grand
reception ceremony; a 15 minute presentation with drums, dancing and singing.
The next four hours our team ministered to the children through a multitude of
ways....if a tear didn't come to someone that day I would think they were made
of stone! Most of these children were born in the camp and don't know any
other life. Many are orphans from the ongoing war inside Burma. This
past year over 100 were added to our ranks. Over 40 of the "new additions" were teenagers that we rescued from being
conscripted by the Burmese Army to serve as porters and human shields in fierce
battles. Now the children are learning the Word of God in the safety of our
school and orphanage.Every bone in my body ached...
A trip like this pushes you to the limits, but the
rewards are indescribable. Isolated villages, refugee camps along a jungle
border, people living at the edge never knowing what the next day will bring.
What an honor to bring the life giving Gospel of Jesus Christ to these precious
you for partnering with us to make all of this possible...
As we have said many times....it is a privilege to
represent you in foreign missions.
God Bless You Richly!
Charlie and Cathy Milbrodt