COVID-19 has changed much of our day to day lives all around the world. The separations in families, friends, and work places has made us slow down, learn different ways to communicate, and think about what we are thankful for.
Mitch and I were together in Ler Doh, Myanmar until March 13. I left to return to Chiang Mai, Thailand on schedule. He was already thinking he should stay at the T-RAD clinic longer to help get it prepared in case patients with COVID-19 started coming.
I had scheduled to apply for a new passport on March 17, which I did, and we submitted our annual Thai foundation report to the government and had our EMAF board meeting at the end of March.
By this time the borders were closed, and I was in Thailand and Mitch was in Myanmar.
For Mitch and I:
- We know God had His plan (when we didn’t know), for us to be in 2 different countries for an extended period of time (6 weeks now.)
- For us, some days are fine and some are hard.
- We don’t know when we will be together again as international travel is still closed, but are thankful for technology that makes it easy to communicate.
For our EMA staff and students:
- Our Year 1 program in Chiang Mai is delayed due to students not being able to travel from Myanmar to Thailand. Some of our volunteer staff are in their home countries waiting to return to Thailand when the international travel opens up.
- Our T-RAD clinic numbers of patients are down, so medical staff are rotating shifts. The clinic has been renovated and now there is a separate screening area for patients with fevers. We have been able to collaborate with Karen leaders on COVID-related policies of screening and treatment. Students are not in the clinic for the time being, and are having classes near their dorm.
- Our RTC clinic patient numbers are down, but students are still seeing patients.
- Our Year 5 program has changed as the students can’t travel to two of their rotation locations.
- We still are able to support 30 wonderful students and more than 65 staff.
Oswald Chambers’ reading for April 29 is “Gracious Uncertainty” – which is our reality.
He says, “To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.”
We might not be comfortable with all the changes, but we are confident in God’s plan.
And that makes all the difference.
Caryl is based in Chiang Mai as the EMA Administration Director working behind the scenes to keep up with her husband, Mitch’s program ideas. She loves being part of bringing health for the hidden in all its various forms with travel along the way.