Remember this post?
A few more doctor appointments, many hours of waiting, a few jumbled conversations, a few translated conversations, and a biopsy later, we know more.
First, I know that God is good and he ordained that entire day at the hospital. We now also know Woung Shin quite well after spending many more days at the hospital with him.
At the first visit, Woung Shin’s right eye was protruding from his face a good amount–almost like a golfball–and he was in a lot of pain. We learned that he has two brain tumors, one behind his nose and one behind his eye. They initially thought it was just one, so they did a biopsy through his nose. They learned that this tumor is benign and really isn’t causing him too many problems. Through a CAT scan,though, they learned he has another small tumor behind his eye, which has caused his eye to protrude and has caused pain. They don’t know at this point if it is benign or not, but they have recommended he get an MRI to know more and potentially pursue surgery.
But it’s more complicated than even that. While Woung Shin is lucky enough to have a valid ID here in Mae Sot, he cannot leave this province, and there are no MRIs available in our province. Also, while this card provides all his medical care for a $1-per-visit fee, that is only applicable in this province, as well.
So instead of $1 for an MRI, it will be more like $350. And he can’t legally get there, and will likely be stopped at each of the ten or so checkpoints along the way.
We have been trying to determine what to do and considering options. He could potentially get a travel pass from the local Burmese clinic, but they wouldn’t cover his MRI or surgery if it was needed. He could travel to Yangon legally, but do they have the right equipment? How much would it cost there? Do Stephen and I try to help? To travel with him is too high of a risk, but could we contribute to the cost of the MRI? But that doesn’t include surgery, so if they deem that necessary–where do the costs end?
How do value each human life while recognizing your own limitations? How do you wisely spend each dollar without devaluing the life behind the dollar?
There are a lot of difficult questions running around our heads while we want to respect his wishes, determine what he wants, and consider the risks for his family even–the possibilities for him to keep working, the possibilities for the tumors to grow, the possibilities that it is cancerous?
We have been praying, and otherwise just unsure about what God was doing and what our role should be in the entire situation.
Last night, we sat down to talk with him about the options. First, we saw that his eye is doing significantly better; his eye lids are just slightly swollen, but he can now open his eye and see clearly. He has no pain, which feels like a miracle in and of itself. He is hopeful that it is getting better. He’s quite nervous about surgery and not so interested, because he fears something could go wrong and he might not be able to provide for his family.
There are a couple options for why its getting better. It could have been a misdiagnosis, and perhaps he just had an infection. They gave him antibiotics after the biopsy, so there is a chance this helped to treat the infection. We told him this is a possibility.
We also took the chance to tell him that we were so sad to hear the diagnosis, and we have been praying every day for him. We told him we hope God will answer these prayers!
We also told him we will help their family to make ends meet. He has been nervous to go to doctor appointments and consultations because he means he can’t work those days. We have told him we’ll continue to go with him to appointments and we’ll help provide food for the family on those days.
And so we’re waiting.
We have more appointments this coming week to learn more–what the chances are of growth, what the chances are of surgery, why the swelling might have gone down and the pain reduced.
Really, I tell you all of this for one reason: Will you pray with us for Woung Shin?
This feels like such an incredible opportunity for God to work and heal this man. We are praying for miracles, but we want to include you in that, too. Please pray for him to see the power of the Lord in some way, whether it is through healing, God providing a way for treatment, or anything else! Just pray for God to use this sad situation for His glory.
I don’t ever want to forget the miracles we have seen here. I remember when Aung Moo was in the hospital, and the doctors were convinced he would die. They wanted to know how we wanted him cremated, and we refused to make a decision until it was final. Instead, a friend and pastor came to pray with us and the entire community, and Aung Moo was healed. Now a year later, he is walking, seeing, and talking. This is a miracle and a picture of the truth that God is working here.
Just last week, we saw a breech baby flip on its own, yet another answer to prayer.
Our God is a God of miracles, and He is working here. We really believe he has allowed us to plant seeds and water seeds, and he is making them grow! Please, please pray with us–for this, and so many other seeds, to grow.