Heaven's Family Magazine
June 2011 Issue

Saved Again

The Critical Medical Needs Fund at Work in Myanmar

Patti Samuels, Critical Medical Needs Ministry


Van Lal Sawma with his mother. Although still healing, Van thanks God for sparing his life.

Unless the doctors perform head surgery, he has only a 15% chance to live.

That bleak prognosis, sent to me by Heaven’s Family national missionary Khamh Thang, chilled my soul. I prayed right then for Van Lal Sawma, a 23-year-old I had never met, but whose desperate situation now gripped my heart.

I also learned from Khamh that Van was a recent graduate from his missionary training center in Shan State, Myanmar. It was as Van was riding his motorcycle to Kham’s training center that his motorcycle hit a slick spot on the road and he lost control, crashing into a cement wall. He had just begun his work as a missionary.

“I will be very grateful,” continued Khamh, “if you know someone who would like to save his life.” His polite request seemed to understate the gravity of the situation. Van’s need was urgent, but thankfully not very expensive—only about $360. The same day we wired the money and spread the word among our friends to pray for God to spare Van’s life.

Khamh told me the rest of Van’s story. Born to a Buddhist father and a Christian mother, Van was raised Buddhist, primarily because of the strong influence of his paternal grandmother who lived with his family. Van’s mother never had the opportunity to take him to church, but she prayed! In 2006, when Van was 18 years old, her prayers were answered. It was then that Khamh met Van and invited him to a crusade. After clearly hearing the gospel, Van abandoned the Buddhism of his youth and received Jesus as his Lord.

Outraged, Van’s father and grandmother rejected him, expelling him from their home. He was a young believer already paying a great price for his faith. Khamh then invited him to study God’s Word at his missionary training center. This year Van earned his Bachelor of Theology degree and began his ministry witnessing door to door in Shan State.

Then came his accident. He had lost so much blood by the time he arrived at the hospital that the nurses gave up hope that he would live. But God had other plans. Sixteen days later Van walked out of the hospital, and is again walking door-to-door, telling others about the God who saved his life—twice.


Several days after Van’s accident, as he recovered in the hospital

Six weeks after his accident, Van wrote this letter to Heaven’s Family:

Dear friends in Heaven’s Family,

Thank you so much for your love and concern towards me. I had lost my life and you all saved me. I will remember all of you in my prayers that God may use you to save more lives in the future. I take this as a second chance in life to serve the Lord more and more. May the Lord bless you all. Amen!


Van spent 16 days in the hospital in Myanmar at a cost of only $360! An eye transplant in India costs $500! Giving birth by cesarean section costs $250 in Kenya! Even small gifts to the Critical Medical Needs Fund can save lives—to the glory of God.

Meet critical medical needs


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Personal Charitable Account

Parting Shot: How to Recycle Lightbulbs...

Chin tribal women in Myanmar often tattoo their faces with various patterns to make themselves more attractive. This Chin woman’s unique choice of earrings caught the attention of Jeff Trotter’s camera when he was recently in Myanmar.

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