Growing up by the Fly Dump

Barnabas’s Childhood

April 17, 2005

For elementary school, Barnabas grew up by the border town. But kids were dying daily from malaria. The doctors and nurses were interested in making profits, and the village folk could not afford to pay for any medicines. So they died like flies.

The family decided to move the kids away to a better place. For 500 jetts (Burmese currency, worth $1US), they bought a piece of land near the garbage dump. Flies would be everywhere and during hatching season there would be swarms of flies literally covering every open spot.

Barnabas completed his three years of middle school in this environment and went on to be an elementary school teacher at a very low pay.

Barnabas grew up in a Christian home and church from childhood. He received the call to serve God early in life.

He crossed the mountains and borders from Burma to Thailand, without any identification or legal papers, to study in the Bible school in Chiang Mai. For this, he was arrested twice and put in jail. His family heard he had been arrested and imprisoned, but they did not know where he was and couldn’t help him.