Dear friends, supporters and prayer partners,
Greetings to you and thank you for your continued support and prayers for our brothers and sisters in South East Asia who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner. There is much happening for which we can thank the Lord, and there is much that we need to continue to pray about.
May is the middle of summer in India and day temperatures in Chennai are in excess of 40 degrees centigrade (104° F) every day. India is also suffering from the same problem as its neighbour Pakistan in that the supply of electricity is not sufficient to meet the needs of their population. Immanuel tells me that they lose electricity supply for two hours every day so that fans and air-conditioning equipment are not available, making life a little more difficult and unpleasant than normal. May is also school annual vacation month and most of the churches of the two Advent Christian Conferences have Vacation Bible Schools for a week during the month. Over the past few years, the total number of children attending at our churches throughout the month has been in the vicinity of 12 to 13 thousand and although some VBSs are still being held indications are that at least this number will attend this year also.
This is a tremendous opportunity to share the message of God’s love and plan of salvation in Jesus Christ with these young people – as in western countries many parents send their children to VBS as a school holiday activity and there are many children from non-Christian homes, including Hindu homes, attending as well as children from church families. The programs are normally for five full week-days, usually including a midday meal provided each day, with a final prize-giving function on Saturday to which parents are invited to see their children perform in activities including skits and singing etc. Teachers are well trained beforehand and many other church members are involved in food preparation and preparing suitable physical and handcraft activities as well – many person-hours go into preparation for and carrying out of the VBS programs.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts and minds of many of the Indian children and young people who hear the Gospel this summer. Please also give thanks for the efforts of the teachers and members in making these programs possible.
Please continue to pray for our national leader/missionary and Mission Manager Immanuel as he copes with the pressures of many different situations. These situations include the group of “rebel” pastors within the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches who have been and are causing much stress both to the Mission and to the ministry of the loyal pastors of the Fellowship; the Advent Christian Conference of India and the corruption that sadly is evident in some of the leaders; and the sale of the land jointly owned by the Mission and the Conference. There are some members of the Conference who are constantly seeking to derail the sale process ultimately for their personal benefit rather than the Conference’s – the successful sale of the property would bring financial stability for the Conference and income from capital to dramatically extend the ministries of Yesuway Jeevan Mission. Please pray that the buyer of the Lord’s choice will soon be evident and that the sale process will proceed smoothly and quickly. Pray for Immanuel, that he will have protection against those who have threatened him, strength to hold up against those who oppose the mission and his leadership, and wisdom to know how to bring to conclusion the sale of the property.
Thank you for your prayers for John and Maeo’s health. They are managing to keep the hours they spend in ministry at a more reasonable level now and their overall health is much better. Please pray that they will continue to make and take enough leisure and relaxation and exercise time. Please also pray for Assistant Pastors Surachai and Pon and for the three girls – Bee, Lita and Beem 2 – who have accepted major responsibilities in regard to the children and young people’s ministries this year. Please also pray for the visitation program that the girls and Surachai and Pon are carrying out in the village – pray that the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of the children’s parents as the visits take place and that some of the adults will decide to attend with their children.
Please also pray for Dtaa (pictured). Dtaa is a member and youth leader at one of the churches of the Christ for all People Church Association to which Christian Mission Naratchakwai belongs – the Nong Khon Kaen Church. She is about to begin her second year of study at Phayao Bible College. Christian Mission Naratchakwai (CMN) provides for her tuition costs and a monthly stipend to meet personal needs while she is at college.
During her spring break from college she has spent three weeks at CMN participating in all of the programs at the Christian Mission, including attending prayer group 7 days a week. She also spent three evenings a week in visitation in the village. She visited parents and relatives of elementary students who attend the Christian Mission and some of the youth who have stopped attending the Christian Mission. She and Bee, the CMN youth leader, are already planning a Bible Camp for elementary students in October. She also spent mornings in an intensive English Class and acted as leader and tutor for the younger girls in attendance. Dtaa has indicated she wishes to come to CMN every summer and would like to do her college internship there. She has been an excellent helper and John is going to write to the Bible College requesting that she be allowed to do her internship there. John asks us to pray as follows for Dtaa…
- That she will continue to be focused on God and his plan for her life
- That funding can continue for her
- That her family will continue to support her through prayer
Thank you for your prayers for the Mission following the damage and concern caused by early rainy season typhoons. Fortunately the damage was relatively minor and the Lord has provided enough funds to enable the majority of the work to close in the worship centre to be completed – see picture. There is still some roofing work to be done and the front entrance to be closed in but subsequent rain and high winds have proved the benefit of the work that has been carried out. The remaining work will be carried out as funds are available.
Our brothers and sisters in MYANMAR (BURMA) continue to serve the Lord with tremendous dedication and enthusiasm and commitment. Pastor K, the present President of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar, reported that there is still serious unrest in various parts of his country between Muslims and Buddhists. He says that many Muslim “temples” (mosques) have been destroyed by the Buddhists. He asks us to pray for peace in his country. I have also read recently of concern in international, political circles that progress towards democracy in Myanmar appears to have stalled in recent months – please continue to pray that pressure from the international community will encourage those in leadership to continue the steps to democracy which were promised before the last general elections in 2010. Our Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar leaders and leaders of all Christian ministries in that country are looking forward to being able to share the Gospel much more freely as democracy returns to their country.
Thank you for your prayers for Pastor K’s recent Salvation Camp. Although the civil unrest mentioned above caused some changes to be made to the planned program, he reported as follows…
“This is our Good News. During water festival we did salvation camp at our home and there were around 53 people who can come and joined with us. The Camp was started from 12 April to 17 April and 10 of them accepted Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior and Lord and took water baptism on that same day. Please do remember us in your prayer time for our mission work and especially for these new converts as you did before. I send you some of our salvation camp pictures and the pictures of some while they were taking water baptism. We, the Salem family and the ACCM are praying for all the donors. On behalf of ACCM, I would like to say thank you to all the donors and prayer group. You are always in our prayer. May the Lord continue to bless you.”
Thank you once again for your prayers and gifts towards the purchase of mosquito nets for a distant village where one of Pastor T’s church planters ministers, where about eighty percent of the people in the village suffer from malaria! In answer to our questioning he told us that the best way to tackle this problem would be the use of mosquito nets by his people. He told us that nets are available from a nearby city and that a two person net costs about NZ$6.25. Thank you to those who have given – we have so far been able to send enough funds for nets for 195 people. (Pastor P pictured handing nets to some of the villagers) These will go some way to supplying nets to all the residents of the village – Christians and non-Christians alike – but there is still a way t o go as there are about 500 residents in the village. Please pray that this need may be met in full and that the gifts will turn the hearts and minds of some of the recipients to the givers’ faith in Jesus Christ. Our treasurer would be pleased to receive and send your gift to Myanmar.
Pastor J recently returned from another of his outreach ministry trips – this time to an area known as “The Golden Triangle” – in the northeast of Myanmar where his country borders Thailand, Laos and China.
He reported as follows…
“We started out trip to Golden Triangle on April, 2013 and it ended on 5 May 2013. I am excited to report you about how the Lord of God moving on unreached peoples groups of Inh, Akha, Lahu, and Shan. The trip was blessed by God and fruitful.
- How to go there
I go to Shan State by fly. And by car, motorcycle and walk where motorcycle cannot go there.
- How to do outreach
We do outreach from village to village and preach the Word of God after house to house and after a person to person. Even we tell about the salvation of Jesus to village people throughout the way and at the field where they are working. And we had Bibles studies at night.
- How the Holy Ghost was moving
By God’s power we reached 100 people for the Lord. We were very blessed with the hunger and thirst of these Lahu, Akha, Shan, and Inh people for the Word of God.
- Praise the Lord with us
- we did one seminar at some place.
- 17 people converted in one seminar and we baptized them.
- 3 people get healing by the power of the Holy Ghost.
- we had reached 3 village of Lahu,2 villages of Akha and 2 village of Inh.
- we have been given 1000 gospel tracts to the people of unreached people groups.”
Pastor J sent me a great deal of information about one of the groups of people they ministered to – the Inh people. There is too much material to include in this update but here is some information and some prayer requests from J for this group of people:
“Beliefs of the Inh about god
The Inh practice demonism and animism. When we share about Jesus Christ to them, they do not like us. They hate us. The demonic altar kept in each home is well maintained. The Inh believes in demon as their real god. They fear demons and believe that the demons can kill them and make them alive.
Literacy (0 %)
There is no literacy, but only have language. The Inh people are farmers and work hard and get little human resources. Most Inh grow crops of grain and vegetables. Sowing takes place after the first rains in April, and harvest comes in October at the end of the rainy season.
They cannot read nor write. Most of them live in jungle villages where there is no school. The reason of the lack of education means it is sometimes not easy to share about Christ to them. Whenever we go for outreach there must be an interpreter. For most people will not even talk to us. The Inh people believed that their god does not want them to have high education. They said they do not need education.”
He provided the above pictures of an Inh village, some Inh people and him preaching to a group.
He asked us to pray as follows…
- Pray for Inh people . They still need to help in many ways for their family, their spiritual life as well as their physical well-being. Pray that they will open their heart to the Lord.
- Pray for social life, and their children for future education.
- Pray for the children of Inh. The most Inh children are totally not in school. Pray for more outreach to do among the people of Inh.
- Pray for us for reaching the Inh people . Pray that the lord will open the way for us and bring many Inh soul to God.
- Pray for 60000 people of Inh for their salvation of eternal life. They are called “the forgotten people”. Much evangelistic and literary work is yet to be done.
There are still many groups in Golden Triangle to be reached more effectively by the power of the Gospel. To make the motto” Golden Triangle for The Word (Christ) a reality, full consecration will be required.”
Please praise the Lord for Advent Christian men like Pastor J and his co-workers who are willing to take the Gospel to the unreached in Myanmar. Pastor J tells me that the total cost of supporting three church planters to the Inh people would be about US$2,700 (about NZ$3,400) for a year. Pastor J’s Word Bible College and Pastor David’s Bible College have well trained young Burmese men and women willing to go as church planters to take the Gospel to places such as the Golden triangle – please pray that the Lord will provide so that the Inh people and others like them can have some hope for eternity.
Joseph signed his recent report to me as “Ambassador to Unreached people.” I bless the Lord for him and the other ACCM leaders in Myanmar who have the same burden to share the blessings of the Christian faith with their people.
The Advent Christian group in Kluang, MALAYSIA, led by Ruth and Wilfred, continues to meet for fellowship and reaches out to share the blessings of their faith with friends, neighbours and those they meet.
- Pray for the ministry of Ruth Devairakkam, her husband Wilfred and daughters Joanna and Jerusha
- Pray for the small group which meets for worship and fellowship on Sunday mornings in their home.
- Pray for the Lord’s blessing on their one-to-one ministry of witness and encouragement to neighbours and other contacts.
- Pray that their dedicated service may touch many hearts for Jesus Christ.
Many thanks once again for your prayers and your partnership with us in Advent Christian ministries in south-east Asia. God bless you as you serve Him in this way.