South East Asia
Summer 2018 Mission Trip to Myanmar Thursday, July 12 – Saturday, July 28.
Today we drove from Yangon to Mawlamyine which is approximately 200 miles. In the U.S. it would take us approximately 3.5 hours to make this drive. Because of the poor road system and intermittent rain, it took us 8 hours with stops for lunch and to fill up with gas. Luckily we didn’t run into very heavy rain during our journey.
The scenery during the drive was beautiful. Going from a bustling city congested with cars, to a hilly jungle terrain with lots of green trees and plants was breathtaking. Unfortunately, as the environment became more beautiful, the poverty became more apparent as well. Malnourished migrant workers manually planting rice in the rainy, wet fields; small broken down bamboo huts where families lived; and road crews fixing potholes with hammers to smash small rocks into gravel and shovels to fill them lined the drive intermittingly into Mawlamyine. Mawlamyine is a pretty city with a very large river running through it. The hotel we are staying at have small bungalows nestled next to the river.
Once we checked into our hotel we had a meeting with the head doctor and matron of the leprosy hospital. They provided the team with valuable information about the hospital and adjacent leprosy village and answered all questions we had. The most important information we received, even though there are effective medicines for a complete recovery for leprosy, there is still a great amount of prejudice and misunderstanding against leprosy patients and their families. As a result, many former patients become destitute, alcoholics and drug addicts. They need much help.
After the meeting we had dinner and called it a night.
Tomorrow we start our ministry to the leprosy hospital and village.
Since it was raining the day was dreary and bleak, so I couldn’t capture any good outside scenery photos. As a result, I am attaching 3 photos. The first two is from our lunch and the last is from our meeting with the leprosy hospital staff meeting.