After eating at a buffet at the Thailand United Methodist Annual Conference, I was struck with food poisoning. This is not uncommon, and usually it takes me out of commission for 2-3 days, but this time was different. I had severe diarrhea and vomiting, and although I did my best to keep drinking water and electrolyte water, I could not stay hydrated. I passed out in the bathroom on the second floor of our house, and Sherri had to call Boy, one of our TMM staff to come help bring me down the stairs and drive me to the local hospital. The doctor put me on IV antibiotics and water, and I started to get a bit stronger and the vomiting stopped. After two days the doctor released me from the hospital even though the diarrhea was still severe.
I was at home for only one day, but I could not remain hydrated no matter how hard I tried to drink water and electrolytes. So Sherri drove me to Bangkok to go to the Bumrungrad International Hospital, which is the best hospital in Thailand. I spent four days there receiving a different set of IV antiobiotics and medicines as well as lots of IV water. I had to fast from food and drink for two days, and then for this next week I am on a diet of porridge and soft overcooked noodles to allow my digestive system to heal from the damage that was caused by the bacteria. Praise God the diarrhea stopped and I am feeling stronger.
Here is a picture of me at the Bumrungrad Hospital on my second to last day. We have a business training for bi-vocational pastors in Southern Thailand on the 17th of this month, and I had to get the curriculum complete now so there would still be enough time for staff to translate and print all of the materials. In this picture, I am writing to complete the materials for this training because the deadline was approaching. Through your prayers, I had strength to work on this in the hospital.
On a different note, a note of great praise we would like to tell you about how the Lord is working through the Pioneer Pastors in Southern Thailand in Chumphon province. Our Pioneer Pastors are working with the Gideons to hand out over 40,000 New Testaments to student in every school in the province as well as to prisoners in the detention facilities in Chumphon. We are grateful to the wonderful and vital ministry of the Gideons who make available New Testaments and Bibles to be given to those who do not yet know the Lord.
Even though almost all of the students are Buddhist or Muslim, the families will allow the students to take the New Testaments home and the families will read them because they were given out at school. School Principals and Teachers are highly respected leaders in the community, so when they give approval to give the students Bibles and New Testaments, the parents know that it is OK to allow their children to read them. We praise God because EVERY school allowed the Pioneer Pastors to hand out Gideon Bibles! This was a great answer to prayer!