Dear friends, supporters and prayer partners,
Greetings to you in the Name of the one we serve together. There is much going on in Asia where Advent Christian folk are ministering, and there are many positive matters for which we can thank and praise the Lord. It is easy to zero in on the problems and the negatives, but God continues to work through His people in India, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia – men and women and young people are accepting Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and Christians are moving ahead in their knowledge of God’s ways and precepts. All of it is because of God’s grace and power; much of it is because of the dedicated service of those who minister, often sacrificially, and much of it is because many of you have faithfully prayed both generally and specifically and have given generously to meet the financial costs of new and existing ministries. Thank you for your partnership in Advent Christian ministries in SSE Asia and beyond.
In India, Mission Manager Immanuel was recently able to represent the Mission at the second Convocation held at the Advent Christian Conference’s compound at Velachery, Chennai, to witness the graduation of 19 students who successfully completed the second 2 year DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING COURSE.
The course, which is funded by the Mission, is for lay men and women from the churches of the Advent Christian Conference of India and the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches, and consists of 32 weekly studies during each of two years. The lectures are taught by 32 different Pastors from both Conferences and cover a wide range of Biblical and theological subjects, and are designed to give lay people a broad overview and understanding of Scripture and practical matters involved in serving their Lord.
Please pray for this year’s 19 graduates, and the 30 who graduated from the 1st course two years ago, seeking wisdom for them as they seek to use what they have learned to assist with the ministries of their churches and Conferences. Please also thank the Lord for those who have organised the course and those who have given their time to teach.
May is the month for summer school holidays in India, and the Mission has again funded the provision of lesson material for the churches of the two AC Conferences. Again this year, most of the churches conducted their Vacation Bible Schools during the first week of May and a large number of children and young people – estimated to be in the vicinity of 13 to 14 thousand overall; final figures are not yet in – attended what in most cases are six full days of programs revolving around the lessons from the Scriptures, but including games and other activities and the provision of meals. This year’s theme for the lessons was “Jesus Christ is the true Lord”. One of the larger Advent Christian Conference churches – Old Pallavaram – reported that their program reached 421 children, of whom only 192 were from Christian homes – what a wonderful opportunity to share the message of God’s love with more than 200 children who may never have heard the Name of Jesus Christ before! Two directors, 25 teachers and 20 volunteers gave up a week of their annual holidays at Pallavaram to assist with the program. Please pray that God may bless His word as it was shared and that many young hearts and lives may be changed because of the VBS program this year. Thank the Lord also for the hundreds of volunteers who put much time and effort into running the programs in the more than 80 AC churches in India.
Earlier this year the Mission in India received a generous gift from brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom – members of the Life and Advent Mission Church in Bournemouth. We are very grateful for the fact that this group sends gifts regularly and supports our activities with prayer, and as has been the case for several years, the Mission used the funds to buy Bibles which are given to those who are baptised in the AC churches.
Mission Manager Immanuel recently attended and preached at a baptismal service held at the AC Conference church at Chithalapakkam, on the outskirts of Chennai, which was started in 1928 by our missionaries. On the Sunday that Immanuel attended to represent the Mission there were more than 100 believers in attendance and 8 brothers and sisters followed their Lord through the waters of baptism and were received into membership of the church. Immanuel presented each of those baptised with a Bible purchased with the funds received from the UK, and he preached on John 4: 1 -14 with the title of his address being “Living water and who is great?” Please pray for these 8 brothers and sisters and for all who are willing to take this often difficult step of public witness to their Lord in India.
In my last update I mentioned that there were two Bible College interns working with John and Maeo Middlewood at the Christian Mission ban Naratchakwai in north-eastern Thailand. I am now able to provide pictures of them which I trust will be helpful as you pray for them.
At left are Sririchai (nickname Bpaw) and his wife Mon and their year old baby boy named Fud.
Bpaw is 25 years old and has finished his 3rd year at Payao Seminary.
They will work with John and Maeo until February 2012 when they will return to the seminary for Bpaw to finish his 5th year of study.
Mon is employed by John and Maeo as part time cook/housekeeper
At right is Wasunee (nickname Wah).
Wah is 23 years old, single and this is her fourth year (the intern year) at Payao Seminary in Northern Thailand.
She will be at CMN until February 2012 and will then return to the Seminary for her 5th year and graduation with a BA.
As you pray for them and their ministry, please thank the Lord that John is able to report that they have fitted in very well and have a good relationship with the children and young people who attend CMN’s activities. Thank the Lord also that their presence has already reduced the pressure on John somewhat as they have taken a share of the preaching and teaching duties. Please pray especially for them as they begin visitation in the village of Naratchakwai and also in other villages in the area, to try to encourage the families of the young people who are part of the Mission’s activities to also be involved in support of their children.
Please continue to pray that the Lord will lead a good number of folk to join the Work/Ministry/English Teaching Team – Project Gen.12:1 – which is to go to Naratchakwai in late December 2011/early January 2012.
We would like a good number of people, particularly young people, to be part of this team firstly to assist John and his team with maintenance around their compound and with their ministries to their young people and with teaching English both to their young people and to the children in a nearby school, but also to give them the experience of living and working on a foreign mission field. Such experiences can be literally life-changing. It will soon be time to make travel reservations, so please make the Team known to anyone you think may be interested in and may benefit from spending time in fine Christian fellowship at Naratchakwai.
Since my last update, we have received a further gift of sufficient funds to buy another generator for the AC folk in Myanmar, which means that we have been able to provide a total of 9 in our “Bring the Light to Myanmar” project.
The AC leaders who are looking after an ever increasing number of orphans are extremely grateful for the generosity of God’s people around the world. The generators will make life for their extended families so much easier during the many periods when electricity is not available from the public supply. They advise that most of the children did well in the end of year examinations and part of the reason for this is the fact that they were able to study and do their homework because of the availability of good lighting. The new school year is about to begin in Myanmar, and all of the leaders are asking for your prayers for them as they need to pay fees and provide uniforms, text books and stationery and the necessary supplies for the children
The last of the six bore wells funded by the Women’s Home and Foreign Mission Society ladies in the Central Region of the United States has now been drilled and is operational. Here too, the Myanmar AC Conference leaders are very grateful for these as it not only gives them assurance of good, clean water for their extended families, but it also gives them the opportunity to share the blessing of water with their neighbours. They are all using their water supplies as a means or reaching out to others.
Our next project of assistance to the AC Conference folk in Myanmar is the provision of bunks for the orphan children who they are caring for. We would like to help the more than 100 orphans being cared for by the leaders and members of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar. Presently most of them sleep on the floor – whether in good health or sick. We would like to provide them with bunk beds.
- Up to 4 younger children will sleep in each set of bunks.
- Bunks will keep them off the floor and will improve their health – respiratory problems and other sickness will decrease.
- We will also include a mosquito net for both levels of each bunk. These will help prevent the children catching Dengue Fever and Malaria.
But more than this the bunks will remind the children when they lie down in their own beds that they are loved, protected and cared for.
NZ$155 (US$120) will purchase a set of bunks and two mosquito nets – they are readily available in Myanmar
Our slogan for this project is “Let’s bring the orphans in Myanmar up in the world!” and already the Lord’s wonderful people have generously sent gifts for 13 sets – a wonderful start. Please praise and thank Him for this response and pray that there may be more similar responses forthcoming.
The members of the AC Conference of Myanmar continue their ministries, both in the areas in which they are located and in other parts of the country which are virtually unreached with the Gospel. In spite of the practical difficulties and cost of travelling to the hill areas of the country, and the danger involved as travel is very heavily regulated and policed by the authorities, they continue to visit other areas and take practical aid as well as the Good News of Life in Jesus Christ. Pastor J has recently visited the area which was hit by an earthquake recently, and was able to take food (rice) and clothing to their previous contacts and members in that area who had lost everything as well as sustaining injury in some cases.
Pastor J reported as follows…
“Last March, we reported that East Shan was hit by its worst earthquake in 100 years. More than 40000 are left homeless in its wake, their livelihoods destroyed. Our four family become homeless because of this earth quake. Four people died for earth quake and five people have broken hand and legs. You can see the photos. They need our help and prayer support. In response to the urgent need for aid, we (name withheld for security); after prayer with God’s help committed to provide 20 bags rice distributions to 20 families. And we provide 100 good second hand clothes, water, salt, zinc sheet, carpet to them .Supplementary rice is provided to the neediest of all the families in the areas where we are working. It also a mention that the rice is donated by believers around the world, who is praying for them. We would like to invite you to partner with us in providing rice to another 60 families in the distribution. To provide enough one bag rice for a family is 25$US or two bag rice for a family 50$US. God needs 60 rice bags for 60 families. We will glad to have your prayer and support for the people who are suffering for earthquake during this time of difficulty. Some have no home, no food to eat and even no clothe to wear. To provide enough one clothe for a family is 13$. God needs 500$ for clothes. They also need kitchen utensils. We seek your prayers and partnership with us. We need help that as much as we can get. Thank you for your prayer support and help. Thank you for standing with us.”
Finally, if you haven’t already done so, please look at the NEW MISSIONS PRAYER CALENDAR which has a prayer item for each day of the month, covering Advent Christian Missions and personnel and activities around the world. The calendar can be downloaded and printed to act as a prayer reminder each day.
I am enjoying getting a daily email with an item for prayer – it’s great to get a reminder each day about one of the various prayer requests from our countries that we put up on the website from time to time. It’s good to begin the day by praying! If you would like to receive a daily email please contact Tarnya Burge at email@example.com and she will add you to the distribution list
My sincere thanks to you for your prayers and partnership with those in SSE Asia who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner and of course to the Lord for hearing and answering those prayers in wonderful ways.
In His service,
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