Sinclair-Peters In Thailand
"Only Ask And I Will Give You The Nations"
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying." NLT
December 18, 2015
As we cried and prayed together in the ICU, we watched Maung Maung, a young father, only 27 years old, go to be with the Lord.
I called Pastor Isaiah to tell him that Maung Maung had died. At that moment, five monks approached me while I was talking, I felt a holy boldness come over me. I said, "Ajaan, don't come to the hospital, keep preaching the Gospel at the Christmas party. So many people still have not heard that Jesus is the Son of God and that he has bought them forgiveness of sins and eternal life."
Later that night, while we were waiting in the hospital, Pastor Isaiah phoned and told us that many of the believers had given testimony and preached the Gospel boldly. That night, Isaiah led seven Buddhists to faith in Jesus Christ! We were deeply comforted by the Holy Spirit in that moment.
One of the believers said, "Look! Tonight, we have sent one to heaven and gained seven more!"
When Christmas Becomes A Funeral. And A Funeral Becomes A Holy Place For The Spirit Of God To Dwell.
In January, were blessed to have Randy Friesen, the Executive Director of mbmission leading a team of church planters join our Burmese Church planting team in Bang Sai. Here is his reflection...
"This past week I accompanied a group of church planters from North America to Thailand where we spent ten days with Burmese and Khmu pastors sharing stories and strengthening our commitment to the kingdom DNA of faith, hope and love in our lives and ministries. One of our Burmese partner evangelists named Isaiah shared about a recent trip to a remote mountainous region of Burma over Christmas. The region is only accessible by trails – either on foot or riding dirt bikes – up to an elevation of 4,000 feet. The local authorities had approved a Christmas music performance in the area, so the small band of Christians organized a large tent, carried a heavy sound system up the mountain, and invited everyone in the area to attend".
"The Lord had spoken to Isaiah in preparation for the trip from 1 Corinthians 16:8-9: “But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” He sensed that the team would experience a wide open door and that opposition would be strong, but that this outreach would be a Pentecost moment for many who responded to the Gospel.
On the first night over 300 people accepted Christ, but a large group of Buddhist monks came to oppose the meetings. The second night, as the local cooks were preparing for 250 people, Isaiah, prompted by the Spirit, asked them to make food for 1000. The crowds began gathering long before the evening service began. In the first ten minutes of the presentation, Isaiah, again responding to the Spirit’s prompting, shared the Gospel and invited people to respond. He had never done that before, but that evening about 700 people came forward to give their lives to Jesus before the monks pulled the cord on the generator and the tent went dark and silent. Pentecost, open doors and opposition – it’s what mission is all about!"
(A Christmas Miracle Addendum)
What Pastor Isaiah didn't know because he left the Lighthouse farm immediately after the Christmas outreach, was what happened to people after he prayed for healing...
Two weeks ago, as our prayer team entered a small village, a woman came running up to us and said, "Pastor Isaiah! I have to tell you what happened to me!"
A Sunday school teacher from a Christian village said, "On the night of the outreach, I walked for over three hours with a group children to your village. I had been suffering with a large, swollen, painful lump on my breast for about 6 months. I had prayed everyday that God would heal me. I have no money for medicine. There is also, no hospital close by. The night you shared the Gospel with the Buddhist people, you told us that God has the power to heal. Then, you invited everyone who was sick to come forward for prayer. Even though it was dark and cold, I walked to the front of the crowd to receive prayer. You prayed a simple prayer of healing over me and then we left for the long journey home.
It wasn’t until I got up the next morning when I was talking to my mom, that I noticed the lump and pain on my breast was completely gone! I praise God from the depth of my heart for healing me!"
Our Intercessory Prayer Journey Into Myanmar
Too Many Fingers...By Nikki White
Our Burmese brother shook his head and smiled, perching gingerly on the filthy, tattered hospital mattress as he told his story.
“I did not mean to alarm the nurses or the other patients,” Naing Lin explained through one of our translators. “But I lost control when the anaesthetic was wearing off; I didn’t know what I was doing”. One of the men nodded at this; in most patients, morphine withdrawal would result in agitation, anger, even violence. But our friend, recovering from the emergency amputation of his mangled thumb, had instead become a raving evangelist in his drug-induced state.
“They tell me that I was shouting about Jesus, yelling the Gospel message”, he went on. “I don’t remember anything. But now, there are seven people in the hospital that have made a decision for Jesus!” Suddenly he laughed. “And it was only one thumb! Imagine what might have happened if God had taken more fingers!”
There, in the midst of dirt and disease and fatalism, his face shone. As a worship leader, it would take effort to re-learn how to play his guitar without a thumb. I left humbled, deeply aware of the ease of my salvation journey, the dearth of self-sacrifice in my life.
I have, I think, far too many fingers.
Our intercessory prayer team, under mbmission's Esther Corbett, had already spent a week in Thailand, together with the director of MB Mission and several Canadian C2C church planting couples, intent upon a “DNA Exchange” that was designed to impart a global perspective to North American pastors. Certainly ministering to the Burmese refugees and illegal immigrants living in the factories and dock slums of Chachoengsao had shaken our Western complacency considerably. Nothing could have prepared us for the shocking graciousness with which we were received. In Thailand, the Burmese (many from the Karen ethnic minority in Myanmar) are a “non-existent” people group which the government refuses to acknowledge. They are scorned and abused, and given the basest of labour under grueling conditions, often both working and living in factories that are little more than slave labour camps equipped with a garden hose. Some give up and numb their shame and despair with Betel leaf juice, others head to the big cities only to fall into Thailand’s infamous prostitution trade. Yet even where the sewage sloshes incessantly against the squalid shanties, one hears the defiant joy of a strummed guitar. Followers of Jesus scent the fetid air with their praises, while Westerners like myself require copious amounts of soap and water and lavender oil.
I smell far too good.
The following week our foray into the Myanmar jungle saw us sitting for hours at a time on the hard floorboards of a cattle truck, then hiking through remote hills and wading through shallow streams and mud flats, all the while dodging lethargic waterbuffalo (yes, Veggie Tales ‘Larry the Cucumber’ is right – everyone DOES want a water buffalo!) and massive piles of dung. The country carries a scent like burnt toast and hojicha tea. Smoke and fine dust coat our clothes, skin, nostrils. We sweat, groan, pant….while our guides hurries ahead to prepare the villagers to receive us. The clean, stark simplicity of the village is glorious, but our aching bones complain as we climb the ladder of our bamboo hut, wondering anxiously whether the stilts will hold our weight (they did not, and the ensuing emergency repair was hilarious). Then it was time to gather around the fire pit and…well, squat. The Burmese can squat for hours - cooking, talking, singing, sharing their testimonies and preaching the Good News with animation, dismissive of any hostile Buddhist monks that might be hiding nearby, watching. That night, I am later told, there were three - the same monks that had earlier attacked them, vandalized their equipment, and forbidden them to sing or speak publically of Jesus. Someone pulls out a guitar and we begin to worship together. After a while, my shaking legs collapse and I sprawl in the yellow dust. But the Burmese brethren are just warming up, and the fellowship continues late into the night.
I am a fat and lazy sheep.
I have far too many options.
In the end we prayed, we sang, we preached, we whacked dried beans, we laughed and loved and grieved and learned and lost our hearts a hundred times over. We gave a widow’s mite from the poverty of Western paternalism, while the Burmese lavished upon us out of the wealth of their selflessness. For who is the truly rich, if not those who cast their bread again and again and again upon the waters? Who is truly generous, if not the one who breaks the flask of all that they possess, and pours it out indiscriminately in worship, not caring when much of the perfumed oil runs off into the dirt and dung. In God’s economy, nothing is wasted, and we only keep what we give away. Will I remember this, I wonder, when I am back in Canada - safe and sound, surfing the net and smelling good and counting all my fingers? If I forget, please remind me.
I have been to Myanmar.
Thank you for giving to Mbmission's Burmese Church Planting! Project# C0702
We are asking God for 20 more partners who would give 20 dollars a month!
We are asking God for 20/20 vision for 2016. As leaders, we need clear vision, clarity in our strategic planning and the daily disciplines to joyfully live out all that Jesus has taught us.