Friday, January 26, 2007

the boat keeps taking more water...

Today I went to the hospital and didn't find Lah Poh Say or his father. The hospital didn't inform me because I am not family. But I found out the results for the biopsy were positive for cancer. The agency that he was being cared for by said his prognosis for recovery was 50-60%. And that with such a prognosis there were too many other children with better prognoses ahead of him, so he was sent away. The only other option they gave him was to stay in a refugee camp and hope to go to a third country. The father told the agency he will return to his home, wife and other children, and Lah Poh Say will go with him. I can understand this because his family is so far away and for him to go back to get them and then return to the camp, and not wanting to be in a refugee camp to begin with... I told the doctors that I would like to get in touch with Saw Tah Dee, the father of Lah Poh Say, before he returns and tell him that we were willing to help with the costs, although I don't know how. They said he would need one year treatment of chemo-therapy in a stable environment, maybe five thousand dollars. So if Lah Poh Say's father will agree we would like to bring him back to Chiang Mai for the treatment at McKean Hospital, the 100 year old leprosy hospital that now treats other marginalized patients similar to Lah Poh Say. Please pray we can make this happen and this boy will survive.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

the enemy

This is a Burma Army soldier in a lookout carrying a Burmese K-4 rifle. He is in a new camp with about forty other soldiers near the area where the Burma Army shot the nine year old girl earlier this year. Could be the same soldier. We were on a ridge nearby and took this shot, glad he didn't see us.

Friday, January 19, 2007

things are gonna get worse

If you travel through areas that are not under attack and ones that are, you can better understand the need for freedom in Karen State. In the areas that are still relatively safe from attacks, (although this is becoming extinct because of Burma Army camp expansion) there is still a sense that life is good. Children play, people farm and life has normalcy. It makes you wonder why someone would want to take it away from them. And in the areas that are under attack there are few signs of peoples natural way of life. Farms are left unplanted and homes and schools are empty or burnt down. These children are now living within thirty minutes of a new Burma Army camp and their way of life is getting ready to change for the worse. How many people do you know who know their children's lives will get worse?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

who loses?

It is definately the children who lose the most. This child is four or five and cannot walk or talk due to cerebral malaria. If the child had been able to get treatment it could have been avoided. The SPDC policies of attacking and displacing villagers in order to control the Karen homeland is genocide. This is what it looks like. The child was sent to Thailand for treatment.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bright Little Moon

This is Lah Poh Say (translates to Bright Little Moon) and his father Saw Taw Dee. We met them on the frontline in Mon Township. Because we could do nothing to help him in the jungle we asked if they could come with us back to Thailand for treatment of the boys tumor. So they walked with us for over a week and then onto a camp for transfer to a hospital. I was deeply impressed by the father's care and patience with the boy. The boy was very uncomfortable and irritable and the father was more patient and caring that I have ever seen anyone for and extended amount of time. He carried the boy probably 150 miles. Yesterday I found them in a Chiang Mai hospital. We were happy to see eachother. His condition is being investigated and after tests it will be determined if operation is possible. Cancer has not yet been ruled out and is considered likely. Please pray for Lah Poh Say and his father. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

born running

This mother had to flee the Burma Army and while doing so went into labor and had this baby on the trail. When we met the baby he was two months old. A harsh start. They are from Northern Mon Township. The problem is large and overwhelming, but this is who pays the heaviest price and their struggles are painfully real.

Monday, January 01, 2007

faith, hope and charity

The writing is from Amos 12:4 "be prepared to meet your God". This scripture and the song being taught to the students are especially applicable for where they were. This is from a boarding school only 30 minutes from a new Burma Army camp. We could see the hill the camp was on from the grounds of the school soccer field. They had recently just returned from having to run from soldiers and it seemed likely to happen again. I heard a few days ago the Burma Army had sent mortars into the grounds of the school. Most have fled now. The man teaching the song is a KNU leader, he was in the area to meet with villagers under attack and he stopped in the school to talk with students and teach them some songs, this one happened to be in English. A true servant leader. He also helped coordinate several medi-vacs for patients we met along the way that were critical. When I meet people like him and the students alike I am part confused why the don't give up and also humbled by their faith and deep commitment.