SP's In Thailand & Myanmar
"Only Ask And I Will Give You The Nations"
Yau' b!" ...We Have Arrived!
January 15, 2001... We Arrived In Thailand!
January 15, 2017...We Arrived In Myanmar!
"Birthing Pains" and Church Planting
Even more amazing, new churches are "birthed" in the Kingdom of God in exactly the same way!
Once we had a few "babies" (churches) and started to get busy with the day to day, tedious job of one one one discipleship, preaching, making the curry and cleaning the toilets (Yes, many days we did all three! :) It was easy for us to become weary and forget the dreams we had for our children (churches) before the Holy Spirit gave birth!
But thankfully, even though 16 years have gone by, we still haven't forgotten the ache, the tears in prayer and the DEEP LONGING we had for our first Buddhist believer to be saved! We thought that day would NEVER come!
I still remember 13 years ago when our first three "seekers" got stuck in the "birthing canal." At 50% Christian and 50% Buddhist for at least a year, our Buddhist friends took their sweet time coming into the Kingdom! It took great perseverance and love from our team (Team 2000) and our churches in N. America. We all had to "bear down" in prayer and labor hard to birth our first church!
Many "babies" who were born at that time did not survive. Our adversary the devil, was close by whispering "it is impossible for a Buddhist to believe in Christ. Your Thai language will never be good enough." Satan wanted us to quit, to despair and to stop birthing spiritual children!
But we knew our calling: We were made to make disciples. And we knew that God was good. He would be faithful to give us "spiritual children" if we kept persevering in sharing the Gospel, praying together and stayed in hope.
16 years later, as Dave and I and our new teammates, Jeremy and Adrienne Penner, launch into a new Buddhist country and purpose to learn another difficult tonal language, we want to take this moment to thank God for his faithfulness to us and for each and every Buddhist that has been miraculously born again by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today we don't have to start from "scratch". Hallelujah! Praise God for "experience". Like the Israelites, who had the Red Sea behind them as a testimony to God's power to save, we have 10 churches and 17 young church planters standing with us as we go back to language school. God is testifying again that he is with us and that HIS ARM IS NOT TOO SHORT TO SAVE.
WE ALSO WANT TO THANK YOU, OUR PRAYER AND FINANCIAL PARTNERS. WE COULD NEVER HAVE WALKED THIS DIFFICULT JOURNEY WITHOUT YOU!
You may laugh when you hear this but like most parents, we sometimes sit down and look back at the "baby photos" and marvel at the miracle of how our churches have grown...yes, 10 Thai and Burmese churches! None of them birthed by one individual or hero. But by a team of prayer warriors, generous financial donors, missionaries and brave national leaders, all of whom have sacrificed greatly and been empowered by the Holy Sprit!
Thank you for always advocating for us and for championing Christ's heart to see Buddhists saved in Thailand and Myanmar. In the month of December, you gave over 30.000 US dollars to our personal support. Thank you for sending us out for another term. You are a fantastic team and we thank God for you!
Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I'm going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. Gal.4;18
Thailand: Burmese Pastors Retreat
Praising God for a fantastic Leadership Training Retreat! After 6 months of being away from our team, we were blessed to hear how FAITHFUL God has been to each of our Pastors. These 12 gifted leaders, all Buddhists before they came to know Christ, oversee 4 growing church plants in Thailand. This year our goal is to plant 2 more churches in Thailand! Please pray that God will open the door for us to enter 2 more Burmese communities!
Next Stop: Yangon, Myanmar
After praying, I walked back into the hotel lobby and said to my Myanmar friend, the hotel owner,"Excuse me, can I ask your advice?" Before I had even finished my story, she said, "We can help you." I stuttered and said, "Sorry, can you say that again?" Yes, I will help you get the proper visa." And with that ONE divine appointment, three years of searching for answers and praying for a visa to live in Myanmar and go to language school was answered! Hallelujah!
We plan to study the Myanmar language for at least one year. Our visa requires us to leave the country every 70 days. This will be the perfect opportunity for us to reconnect and encourage our churches in Thailand.
We had only lived in our new house for one week when one night we heard all our neighbours shouting and running onto the street. We walked onto our balcony and gasped. Our neighbourhood was on fire! Sadly, that night, one man died and over 200 of our neighbours completely lost their homes. We are thankful for God's protection!
Linking Hands Language School
Our motto: "NO ONE IMPROVES BY ACCIDENT"
Repeat after me: "da dta: hta ta" Every sentence in Burmese still sounds like "ya ba da ba do." Fred Flintstone would fit right in here! :) Please pray for us- for quick minds to comprehend and the ability to speak clearly. ဟလကဂဇဂ
It's hard to believe that it was only a year ago that we were in the village and were forbidden to even pray at the dinner table in case the monks heard us and became irate.
Yet last week, we found ourselves sitting at a table in the house of a teacher who had invited us to pray a special blessing for her baby's first birthday!!
When the teachers learned that we had arrived at the farm the night before, they decided to trek in the dark through the jungle to our farm. They were excited to tell us that ever since we had joined with the community to build a local high school, the monks had decided to "go on strike" so to speak.( i.e. leave the village) Strangely, for the first time that people in the village could remember, there were no monks living in the village!
So we gladly got up at 4:30am to perform "the blessing". Not only did we pray but Pastor Isaiah shared with the family about the amazing blessing of knowing Jesus Christ and having faith in a Living God.
The Lighthouse Training & Discipleship Centre
We are so excited by the progress made on the training centre while we were in Canada. Just the balcony and the walls left to complete!
After we left the farm in central in Myanmar, we travelled to an area in the Rhakine mountains where one of our church planters, Soe Thu, has started a church.
We have wanted to go up the mountain to visit Soe Thu for a long time but government travel restrictions have forbidden foreigners to travel in this area.
But Pastor Isaiah, a man who rarely takes no for an answer, said, "hey let's go to immigration and ask if you can go. Maybe restrictions have changed!"
Our Chin Believers Honoured Us Like Royalty!
Surprisingly, the officials said, "Yes!" Everyone in Kan Jaw Church was excited! We were the first foreigners up the mountain. Its a good thing we arrived at night and couldn't see the steep drop off down the mountain! We were honoured to stand on top of their prayer mountain and intercede with our believers for 2 more churches to be planted this year in Myanmar and for more workers in the harvest!
Please Give To Church Planting In Myanmar!
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Phone me if you have any more questions! +95 979 310 3063
You can give online @ mbmission.org. Project Code: C0702