Stephen asked how I slept this morning. I told him it was awful: I tossed and turned and woke up multiple times, either crying or screaming. He asked if I had nightmares.
Well, I don’t know. My dreams had simply re-lived the previous two days, so does that count as nightmares?
We waited out a community-wide fight on Sunday night. We then woke on Monday morning to learn that our sweet friend, Daw Ma Oo, had been arrested the night before in the market. Perhaps this is where the tensions started: fear.
Daw Ma Oo is our friend that sells flowers with us every Friday, so this was particularly heavy news, and we weren’t sure how to respond. I don’t know how much detail we can share publicly, but the attempts to pay a form of “bail” were not accepted. Nor will she be deported. Instead, she’ll be kept in prison for 45 days.
She is the primary breadwinner for her home. Her husband does some farming and raises some animals. She has six sons, three of which live with her, in addition to one daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. Two more sons and their wives and kids live in other houses in our little community.
Her fifteen-year-old son was with her when she was arrested, but he was left behind to return and tell the family the news. And so the days have now been full of trying to come up with solutions: how to keep the flower business going on Friday, how to incorporate the daughter-in-law into bread making for additional income, how to make sure Daw Ma Oo is fed and cared for in prison, how to make sure the family has rice today.
So in my dreams, our dear friend was in prison and we were trying to figure out all the details. And that is preciously what we’ve been doing.
We woke up Tuesday to a few visitors at our gate. A few high school students from a nearby home help translate for us every week at House Church. On Monday night, one of them went missing. His friends came looking for him at our house early Tuesday morning, and before long we joined the search. Thus went the next three hours of checking hospitals and locations all around town, praying for his safety. Honestly, suicide rates are high here among teenagers, and I was fearful.
Again, I’m not sure all I can say. It looks like now he went back to Burma, and it really isn’t in our hands, but we are hopeful he is safe. We are sad, though; he was a good friend and spending a few hours with him every week was special to us. He has been such a blessing to this community and has loved them with a servant heart.
So I also had dreams of us looking for our friend all around Mae Sot, which we did spend a good deal of time doing.
It has been a heavy week, and we are trying to pray through the next few days and what God has for us. We bake bread tomorrow, welcome a friend from the US in the afternoon, and share the resurrection story at House Church tomorrow night. We have two worship events we are hosting this weekend, in addition to delivering bread and flowers around town sans some staff and with heightened concerns.
Oh, and we have little sleep.
Per usual, I have no conclusions. I don’t know how to share the ups and downs of things here, particularly when it is some low lows. So rather than conclude, I’d just ask for prayer again. Pray for this community as we celebrate Easter here. Pray for Daw Ma Oo as she sits in prison, that God would meet with her. Pray for the down-trodden and broken-hearted–whether that be our friends or us!–that the hope of the resurrection would shine brilliantly.