Greetings to you and once again my thanks for your support and encouragement in so many ways, but especially for your prayer support for the workers in Advent Christian ministries in India, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. God continues to answer your prayers as He works through faithful servants in these countries. There are always “problems” and difficult situations to deal with but there are also many positive matters and often the positive matters tend to be overlooked as crises – minor and major – have to be dealt with and take up time and effort.
In INDIA, Yesuway Jeevan Mission Manager Immanuel reports that he recently attended the Graduation Ceremony for the Discipleship Training Course, which the Mission funds. This is a training course for lay members of the churches of both the Advent Christian Conference of India and the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches and is conducted under the auspices of the Advent Christian Conference’s Bible Institute.
The curriculum of the course covers lectures over 32 weeks, taught by Pastors and leaders from both Conferences, as well as some guest lecturers. The subjects covered include the study of various books of the Bible and other practical topics such as Persecution in Christian life; Witnessing; Village Ministry, Church History and Counselling and others.
Thirty students completed this year’s course and Immanuel was present at the Graduation Ceremony on 10 June to present certificates to 28 of those graduates. The guest speaker for the evening was Rev, John Wesley from Manavatti (Bride) Bible College. It was pleasing to see so many ladies in the graduating group this year.
Please thank the Lord for the Pastors and visitors who were prepared to give time to preparation and presentation of lectures, and for the lay people who have graduated. Please pray that the graduates will be blessed by the Lord as they use what they have learned in their personal, spiritual lives and in witnessing concerning their faith.
In THAILAND John and Maeo Middlewood and their ministries at Christian Mission Naratchakwai continue to touch the lives of literally hundreds of elementary, high school and university students. A new academic year has just begun and at the beginning of the year there were twelve young people (all girls) living on the Mission compound, being coached in their studies and particularly in the English language by John. These girls also assist with the children’s ministries at the church and with teaching at English Camps on Saturdays in elementary schools in the area surrounding the Mission.
John recently reported as follows… “Greetings from a wet and soggy Thailand. Within the last 24 hours or so we have received about three feet of rain, [emphasis mine!!] and it doesn’t look as though it is going to let up any time soon. Several parts of Thailand have already been flooded and they are predicting a long rainy season this year. If it keeps up like this, our fish pond will be flooded within a few days and it normally isn’t filled up until September. God has blessed us by placing our facility on a high point in all four directions, so while we may have flooding problems getting in and out, we are in no danger of flooding here at the Christian Mission. Please pray for the other parts of Thailand.”
He continued… “Satan has won a battle, but will not win the war. Four of our girls are leaving to go home today [June 18]. They will no longer live at the Christian Mission. None of them have professed to have accepted Christ. There have been little problems occurring here and there for the last couple of months but we have not been able to get to the bottom of it. Last night four of the girls came to complain and it seems that another four girls have been disobeying most of the rules and having a good time while bullying the other girls to keep quiet. It came to a head last night. It appears there has been room swapping, staying up late and then being sick the next day so could not go to school; at least two occasions of drinking alcohol and misuse of mobile phones. All four girls admitted to doing what they were accused of but only one saw that it was wrong and apologized. The other three refused to admit what they were doing was wrong – they were “just having fun”
But this sad news was followed just a few days later by good news. John advised… “Beem 2 has announced that she has accepted Christ. Now we need to talk with her parents. Pray they will accept Beem 2’s decision. That means we now have only two girls living here that have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. We are now concentrating prayer on Pan and Tat. These two are both bright students and Pan admits that she has been blessed by God, but not yet willing to come out and say that she accepts him. She has not yet talked to her parents, but Maeo and I have talked to her mother and father state that the decision is up to Pan and they will support her, praise God. We have not yet talked to Tat’s parents because they have not given permission. We still have three teens who do not live here that have not accepted Christ. Toom, Beem 1 and Jaeub. However, Toom stood up in church this Sunday and thanked God for her successful surgery [appendicitis] and fast recovery. Toom is the younger sister of Dao, who was a member here and claimed to accept Christ but has since left. Pray for Toom that she may lead her brother back also.”
Please pray for Bee, Nun, Ploy, Bpun, and Lita who have already accepted Christ and appear to be diligent in learning and living a Christian Life and now for Beem 2 as she begins her walk through life with her Lord. I recall that I have recently asked for prayer for these girls who have committed their lives to Jesus Christ on many occasions, but I cannot stress too strongly how much pressure they will come under from some of their family members and their peers and indeed from the forces of evil which are very active in the area because of their commitments to Christ. Please pray for Pan, Toom, Beem 1, Tat and Jaeub who have not accepted Christ as yet, seeking the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
John and Maeo are also rejoicing that young lady from one of the New Tribes Mission churches in their area that they work closely with, who has committed her life to the Lord, has begun a four year course at the Payao Seminary which is to the south of Nakhon Phanom. Her name is Dtaa. CMN has funded her first seminar’s tuition costs (see picture at right) as she studies for a BA degree in Religious Studies and her home church has agreed to raise funds for her food costs and other living costs. Please thank the Lord for Dtaa’s commitment to these studies and pray for the provision of funds for tuition and living costs in the future.
In MALAYSIA the little Advent Christian group in Kluang led by Sister Ruth Devairakkam and her husband Wilfred and assisted by her daughters, has recently increased in number to about 25 people and although we need to praise the Lord that some of those who were members of the church before the split occurred in 2008/09 have now re-joined the group and are once again worshipping together, the increase in numbers does pose a problem. The group has been meeting in Ruth and Wilfred’s home and the increased numbers are almost causing the walls to bulge!! Meeting in a residential area also means that they need to keep the volume of their singing at a low level, so the group are looking for a shop-lot that they can rent for their services and as a base for their ministry and are praying that the Lord will provide the funds they will have to pay as rent for such premises. Please pray with them as they seek the Lord’s leading and guiding in this matter.
Ruth reported in late May that Wilfred had met with an accident – he was knocked down by a van as he was crossing the road one morning and suffered severe bruises and swelling on his head and arms and legs. The latest report from Ruth is that the bruises and the swellings have healed except for his right knee which is still swollen and painful. Please pray that Wilfred will recover completely and quickly and that there will be no long term problems with his knee.
Pastor T, President of the Advent Christian Conference of MYANMAR asks for prayer for Christians and other minorities in other parts of Myanmar. He advises that Buddhists and Muslims (Rakhine and Bengali tribes) have been fighting each other since 8 June in the north-western State of Rakhine. Seven Muslim temples and nine Buddhist temples have been destroyed and 2,500 houses have been burned. Thirty people have been killed, and 38,000 refugees are suffering in thirty seven camps as the fighting continues. In the north-eastern State of Kachin, the Burmese army and the Kachin army have been fighting for more than twelve months. 80,000 Christians are suffering as the fighting continues. Pastor T asks that we remember his fellow countrymen who are affected by these civil wars in our prayers. The movement to democracy continues to progress slowly within the country but these and other internal areas of warfare, much of it aimed at Christian tribes and groups, indicate that there is still a long way to go before there is peace throughout the country. As we thank God for progress thus far, please pray for an end to all fighting within the country.
Our brothers and sisters in Myanmar seem to “draw” misfortune. Having re-established his pig farm about this time last year, after his and others’ pigs were wiped out by an epidemic of pig flu, Pastor T’s six adult pigs including four pregnant sows, again died from pig flu about mid-June. At this stage Pastor D’s pigs have not been affected – please pray that they may remain free of the disease. Because his “farm” funds both his family’s living costs (including the orphans he cares for) and his ministries, Pastor T has indicated that to try to avoid what seems to be the common occurrence of pig flu, he wants to start a chicken farm as soon as he can to enable him to sell eggs to meet his costs. Please pray that he may be able to do so quickly.
Pastor K advises that the hand loom that he ordered some months ago when a generous donor in the United States sent the required funds, is ready to erect and start weaving materials to enable him and his family to make and sell clothing, but he needs to build a shelter for it to operate under. Because of increased rentals he has had to move to a new rented house for his family (2 children) and the 16 orphans he and his wife are now caring for (see picture at right) . He advises that his Bible School did not reopen last year or this year because of a lack of funds. I was touched by K’s sincerity and faith as he told me of these setbacks and he finished by saying “I still have hope in God for our Bible School. Concerning the hand-loom, please do not think as a burden, it is God’s mission work, God will provide us in time.” Please pray with Pastor K that the Lord will provide as he expects will be the case.
Pastor David now has 24 orphans in his home as well as his own five children. His Bible College re-opened in early June for its second year of operation with new, first year students in addition to the 18 who returned for the second year’s studies. He advised that they would need ten new desks (@NZ$23 – US$20) and twenty new chairs (@NZ$27– US$25) and the Lord has already provided half of these requirements as a generous donor in New Zealand had sent funds. Please praise God for this gift and many others that we are able to send to Myanmar to assist our AC pastors and families with their care of well over 125 orphans and in support of their ministries. Pastor K’s faith is well placed in our loving God – Jehovah Jireh!
Please commit all our brothers and sisters in Myanmar to the Lord in prayer regularly – their service for Him is still often fraught with danger and difficulties.
Many thanks once again for your prayers and your partnership with us in Advent Christian ministries in south south-east Asia. God bless you as you serve Him in this important way.