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Personal Testimony

Dear friends,

Greeting you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is my account on my trip back to Myanmar two weeks after
Nagis Cyclone.

On 22/05/2008, Saya Toe Set and I flew back to Yangon. I was worried as Saya Toe might not be fit to travel and
vomiting previous day. Indeed he was very weak while checked-in but, by the grace of God, he was better after drinking
a glass of milk before we took off.

We brought along as much medicine as we can and our excess baggage cost $400. However one of our friends who sent
us off to the airport gave the excess for us! I thank God for giving us this kind of friends who has passion for Myanmar
Cyclone victims.

We brought medicine for relief usage but the Customs did not want to release us as it is supposed to be controlled item.
Although we had arranged someone to fetch us at the airport, he couldn’t help and the customs wanted to confiscate
the medicine. We were stuck at the customs department for almost two hours as our case is needed to refer to the
Custom Head who is on his way to the airport. However Sandar’s uncle, a retired Customer Director was there and it
happened that the current Custom director was one of his staff before. So the director suggested the correct procedure
and helped us to release the goods. It shows that it is not our plan nor effort but God who makes things happen for us.
That is how wonderful it is when God shows His ways. Praise the Lord!

On 23/05/2008, we had prayer meeting at Saw Bwar Gyi Gone house and decided to split into four groups below,

a. Uto Village near Dae Da Ye, lead by Sayama Kay Kay’s team

b. Villages near Myaung Mya , lead by Saya Eh Soe’s team

c. Villages near Twin Tay, Saya La Aung’s team

d. Villages near Hyine Gyi Kyunn, Ko Naw Li’s team

While Ma Sandar and others will be supporting with prayers individually and Saya Toe is arranging for logistics and
contact point at Saw Bwar Gyi Gone house.

Picture: heading to Dae Da Ye


Uto Village

We set off to Uto village via Dae Da Ye on 24/05/2008. Uto village is located on the other bank of the Dae Da Ye. Thus
one has to go to Dae Da Ye first which is 4 hour drive by car from Yangon and then has to take Set Hlae, Motor Boat, for
45 minutes to reach the village. It has around 300 families and mainly produces betel leaves, rice and there are also
duck firms.

The village is not the worst hit by Cyclone and only two people died. However, almost all of their plantation and goods
are destroyed by the storm. Their Sabar (rice) were soaked with sea water and their drinking water pond was
contaminated.

Most of the villagers are either Buddhist , animist or both. There are only a few Christian families. Than Than Sint is
originally from that village.

Picture: Uto Village is located near Daedaye (not even in the map)

Picture: Uto Village entrance


Picture: Uto village main road

Picture: destroyed betel leaves firm by Nagis Cyclone

Uto Village Journey

There are nine people in the trips. They are Sayama Kay Kay, Sayama Mie Mie, Sayama Huai Pi, Than Than Sint, Nyaw
Nyaw, Ko Ko Lay, Thrah Phyo, Ko Shwe Geh and myself. As I mentioned before, Than Than Sint is from Uto village.

There are two routes to reach Dae Da Ye town. One is via Hlaing Thar Yar and another route is via Dalah. Since we are
from Saw Bwar Gyi Gone, Hlaing Thar Yar route is much nearer and the journey took about 4 hours to reach there.
(Please remember that there are two routes) We rent one whole Hilux Van but we did not bring any rice bags, and
planned to buy them at Dae Da Ye. But we bought some dried noodle and milk powder from Insein market and brought
along the medicines from Singapore. Along the way, there are a few road blocks and security checks. Since we did not
bring obvious relief items, we did not have much problem to pass the checkpoints. We had to pass through one of the
worst villages, such as Koon Chan Gone and many other villages. It is so devastating to see the severity of the storm.
Although no dead body was seen, the smell of death was still there along the way. Also People were simply sitting
along the road and waiting for help. Sadly, we were warned not to drop any goods by the security. We also saw a few
relief camps but I feel that the tents were too few to compare with the size of the destruction.

On our way, we smelled a burning smell so we alerted the car driver. He stopped the car and found out that it is from
the brake shoes of the rare left wheels and took it out. So we traveled the rest of the journey with one brake only. But
God had protected our car throughout the journey and we reached Dae Da Ye safely at around 1 pm.
Picture: let’s take out the break shoe!
At Dae Da Ye, we bought 60 bags of rice from several shops because no one shop had such amount of bags. Also we had
to arrange the bigger boat to carry the rice bags. So Ko Ko Lay and Ko Shwe Geh stayed back to load all the bags to boat.
We met some village heads at Dae Da Ye and the rest of us went ahead to Uto Village with Sat Hlae, motor boat.

When Ko Ko Lay and Ko Shwe Geh arrived with the rice bags, they told us that after our Sat Hlae left, anther set hlay
boat tilted and sank. Such an event might be quite common for the locals, but many of us would be helpless at that kind
of situation because do not know how to swim. However, God’s mighty hand holds us and our boat all the way. Praised
be the Lord.

Spiritual Warfare

When we arrived there, the villagers welcomed us as they have received very little help. We stationed at a house to rest
and take showers. Then we relocated to another house as we were told that it was nearer to the primary school where
we will distribute the rice and goods.

We had our dinner at a house near the second house. After dinner we went back to the second house where we would
sleep. We were very tired and although we said we needed to have a prayer session, we did not pray together before
sleeping. I would say this was partly because of the host’s wife kept telling us about the experiences till we all dozed of
slept.

All of us were sleeping in the living room. Near the corner, Ko Ko Lay, Ko Shwe Geh and myself slept inside a big
mosquito net from left to right. Ko Shwe Geh was nearest to the window. Below, Ko Phyo slept while all the ladies
slept at our right side. We went to bed around 10:30 pm on that night. There was no electricity at that village and they
used batteries to light up a small neon light. The light was switched off after 10:30 pm.
Picture: the house where we stayed overnight

Picture : Spiritual battle took place here

About midnight, perhaps in my dream, I felt many hands pulling me but it was pitch dark. I couldn’t see a thing. I heard
a lot of noises but no distinct meaning. It was scary not to be able to see anything at all. I was flailing my arms to defend
myself.

Suddenly I hread Ko Ko Lay’s voice, shouting “Ye- Shuh nar mah neh htwet” (“In the name of Jesus, get out”).Hearing his
voice I also shouted “Ye-shuh nar mah neh htwet! “ at the top of my voice. In fact when Ko Ko Lay heard my struggling
and realized it was not normal, and shouted! Soon, Sayama Kay Kay, Sayama Mie Mie as woke up in the middle of the
night when they heard a group of people marching to their house. Both of them heard and they thought they were
facing robbery. By the time everyone of us awake, we heard the screaming of a mixture of animal howling or people
screaming around the house.
When Ko Phyo switched on the light, strangely Ko Shwe Geh was already outside of the mosquito net while I was
squatting position facing the window. My shirt was soaked with my sweat and I was so tired as if I had been running a
few miles.

Later, Ko Shwe Geh explained that he mistakenly saw that Ko Ko Lay is strangling me and I was struggling to escape.
Then he thought that I was possessed and thus Ko Ko Lay was trying to subdue me. For me, at that time, I couldn’t
recognize Ko Shwe Geh but saw as another person. Perhaps the devil made us confused each other. Everything was
happening so fast and so eerie.

As the dogs were howling strangely we realized that it was spiritual warfare and had been praying throughout the night.
We also heard some tree branches fell down without wind. At one point, the owner’s cat jumped up and down between
the Natt Sin, a place to worship animist, and the floor till we casted out in the name of Jesus. Only then, the cat walked
away.

Although Satan attack is real, our mighty God is much much more powerful. By just proclaiming the name of Jesus, our
Christ, the devil ran away! After all, the devil was defeated 2000 years ago at Calvary! I thank God for God’s divine
protection. Hallelujah.

In Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will
speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them
at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

The Gospel message

The next day, some villagers asked what happened that night. Some of the villagers told us that they heard the sound of
a group of people marching towards the house that we stayed. Some thought we were robbed as they heard a lot of
voices. Some of the villager even heard voices saying “kill them, kill them”. We requested to the village committee to let
us use loudspeaker to say a few words before distributing the rice and they allowed us happily.
Sayama Kay Kay preached to the villagers in the following theme:

“You all might hear the noises yesterday night and some of you might wonder what happened? What happened was
that we were attacked by demons. They came to destroy us. Demons are real and so is the hell. These demons want to
destroy our life and pull us down with them to hell. However, there is also a Heaven on the other hands. We came here
today to give a few packet of rice and it will not last even a few days. We also might not have another chance to come
again to this village. Thus it is not worth the trouble to give a few bags of rice and leave. But we come here to give you
more than that. We come here to bring you an eternal gift. Jesus Christ came in this world to give his life to human kind.
He also came for this village and to save from hell. He died for the sins of the world but He rose again on the third day
with victory over Satan. Thus if you all wants to escape from these demons and hell, you have to accept Jesus Christ in
your heart as your savior. When you are afraid, call his name and will save you as He already had the victory over the
evil. ” The whole village was stunned and we felt the power of Holy Spirit through the message.
After the message, we were able to distribute the rice. It was just 60 bags of rice but we have been praying to bless the
rice like the days of Elijah where the widower’s oil was refilled throughout the drought season. The villagers were very
happy and appreciated. Praise the Lord.
Way back to Yangon

After distributing the rice and dried food, the villagers send back to Dae Da Ye town with their SET HLAY motor boat .
Our plan was to book the whole Van or private Van to go back to Saw Bwar Gyi Gone via Hlaing Thar Yar route. But when
we arrived, there is no cars or Van to borrow. We even checked out to take two taxi but even no taxi was available. And
there was only one public HMAN-LONE-CAR Bus to Dalah, the another route to Yangon. We did not want to take that
route as it is much further. However since we did not manage to book any Van, we took the public Bus to Dalah, the
other bank of Yangon. As it is public bus, it was really crowed and uncomfortable throughout the journey. We were also
kind of blaming ourselves for not arranging properly for the return journey. After arriving Dalah, we had to take Zett,
Ship to Pan Soe Tann Jetty. There we took taxi back to Saw Bwar Gyi Gone house.

Picture: returning from Uto village

Picture: from the Bus view


Picture: supply vs. demand
Picture: crossing the river by Ship

After dinner at Saw Bwar Gyi Gone, we heard the news that private cars heading back to Yangon from Dae Da Ye via
Hlaing Thar Yar route were detained at GTI compound for distributing donation. (you may refer to The Straits Times)
They were detained till 1 am and released after agreed to sign for not taking part to distribute things without
permission.

Therefore, being not able to book a private car is a blessing in disguise for us. God purposely choose a safe path for us.
How wonderful our God is.

Conclusion

I really thank God for showing His mighty provision, protection and works to me throughout this trip. In fact I still left to
record so many account of God’s provision throughout the journey. I’d also like to thank everyone of you for praying
and supporting for this trip. I also would like to request everyone to continue to pray for the country, politically,
economically, morally and most importantly spiritually as it is still very dark there.

Praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth forever. Amen.

John Kam Thawn Tuang


johnktt@gmail.com