“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light”
-John Keith Falconer
Gayle Haberkam, a retired nurse, operates a clinic in the mountains of Thailand. She serves over 30 villages in the area with her medical skills and always looks for ways to share Jesus with the people. She is on fire for God and could not be happier doing His work.
Gayle had committed to a three-month stay in Thailand in 2009, but fell in love with the Karen people, and could no longer see a life for herself in the USA. Her ministry is medical, which in-turn results in Bible studies with the people. Gayle is an exciting, passionate missionary who loves her work! She currently runs a clinic up in the mountain jungles of northern Thailand, but travels around to the villages around offering not just medical help, but spiritual as well.
I am a retired nurse working with the Karen people deep in the high jungle mountains of Northwest Thailand. I live in a small village called BeYoTa, and for seven years have been working with a young Karen man who shares my goals to reach these people for God, so they can abandon their bad habits and be prepared for heaven. This is a primitive area with no electricity, phone service, Internet or shopping. The people are very poor living in wooden or bamboo structures with no medical care. Most of the adults cannot read or write. Many people living in surrounding villages had never even heard the name of Jesus before.
Opium is the main source of income in these mountains, most everyone is addicted to it and many mainline it as heroin. Opium along with alcohol, homemade cigarettes, beetle nut, and eating pigs, rats and anything that moves, destroys their brain cells and removes the precious few vitamins and minerals that the people need so badly. Consequently it is slow and difficult to teach them about the Bible, the health message.
The people here live like they did 100 years ago; full of superstition, devil worship and witch doctors. People have now come from 76 different villages to receive health care and learn a few basic health principles. The medical work is definitely a bridge to reach the hearts of the people. When God brings healing or when a life is saved, they want to know the God you worship. Where only 4-6 people used to attend our church, there are now over 30 every week. God has supplied all our needs. Our faith has grown as we witness His miracles from day to day with the people. Our faith grows when He saves us from poisonous snakes, wild elephants, and the constant, dangerous traveling on these impossible roads.
We feel such urgency as we have never felt before to reach these people before it is too late. We appeal to you to realize the call of God on your hearts to reach the lost.
“In these last days, there is a great work to be done in a short time. While many are getting ready to do something souls will perish for lack of light and knowledge.”
Gospel Workers 376