Greetings friends, supporters and prayer partners,
Once again I thank you for your prayers and support for the Advent Christian ministries which ACMissioNZ supports in south-east Asia. Your interest, your encouragement, your prayers and your support in many practical ways are a great encouragement and blessing to our workers and are greatly appreciated.
From 6.15pm to 8.15pm (Chennai time) on Monday 11 May, the same day as the first day of the ADVENT CHRISTIAN PRAYER SUMMIT held at the Dulin’s Grove Advent Christian Church in Charlotte, a group of 8 Fellowship of Blessed Hope Pastors and one Bible Woman gathered at the Sathiyavasal Church (the name Sathiyavasal translates as “The Way of Truth”) in support of the Prayer Summit. They were joined by Mission Manager Immanuel and YJM staff member Raja.
Immanuel reports that for the two hours they prayed for a large number of matters that they had chosen from recent Department of World Outreach’s weekly Outreach Prayer Network publications. They prayed for ACGC and for World Outreach; for Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa and Papua New Guinea; for India – for the ministry in Bihar, for the Advent Christian Conference of India and for their own Fellowship; for Myanmar, Oro Bible College and the Agape House ministry in the Philippines; for Thailand, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and for other countries and for all the missionaries and leaders in those countries. In many cases Immanuel was able to give some explanations of the listed ministries and personnel, and each person prayed for one or two matters at a time. Immanuel’s summing up of the function was that “Overall it was a nice prayer fellowship.” After the prayer time they enjoyed fellowship together over dinner provided by the Mission.
May is the first month of “summer” in India which means that the schools, the courts and many law firms have their annual holidays for the month. Once again this year, Yesuway Jeevan Mission has contributed to the cost of the Advent Christian Conference of India and the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches purchases of lesson material for their churches. As in past years many thousands of children and young people (final figures are not yet available but the total is usually well in excess of ten thousand) will attend a week of fun activities and lessons based on the Scriptures. In most cases the programs will be for five or six full days, with a hot meal provided at midday each day (and sometimes breakfast as well) and the final day will usually be a “prize-giving” day to which parents and care-givers are invited, and at which everyone usually gets a prize of some kind. Many of the children who attend are from Hindu families as parents are willing, sometimes keen, for their children to attend any activities that will “get them out of the house”. As well as teachers for each age group, many volunteers from the church congregations also attend to assist with handcrafts , preparation of meals and other activities which help make the days go smoothly. Below are details of just four of the approximately 70 churches of the two conferences which have or will hold VBS this year.
At the FBHC church at Senthil Nagar, pastored by Rev Jerald, there were 110 boys and girls present for 5 days from 4 to 8 May. Seven teachers spent the week working with the children. See picture below left.
At the ACCI church at Guindy, pastored by Rev Immanuel Baktha Singh, there were 110 children present from 4 to 8 May. The 20 teachers were assisted by 5 volunteers, including YJM staff member Raja. See picture above right.
At Rev Regi Christopher’s FBHC church at Teynampet, there were 150 children present from 27 April to 1 May, with ten teachers taking studies with the children. See picture below left.
At the FBHC church at Ramapuram, where the Pastor is Rev Solomon Rajan, there were 65 children present for 6 days from 4 to 9 May. Six teachers and four volunteers taught and cared for the children. See picture above right.
Please thank the Lord for the teachers and volunteers in all the churches who were willing to spend a week of their summer holidays assisting with VBS. Please pray for all the children who attended, asking that the Scriptures and the lessons they heard and learned will touch the hearts of many of them and that the Holy Spirit will bring some or many to a commitment to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
In the last update, I indicated that Christian Mission Naratchakwai had presented a budget to cover their ministry activities for 2015, which Sister Maeo and her leadership team were looking on as a “trial year” to see if their ministries will be viable in the future. I indicated there is a considerable shortfall between the budget and the then known income. Thank you for your prayers about this important matter – the Lord has provided, through supporters of the Advent Christian General Conference and Advent Christian Missions New Zealand, sufficient funds to meet the budget for this year in full. Please praise the Lord for this. Maeo and her team are very appreciative – a recent message received from her through her daughter-in-law reads
“Maeo sends her thanks to everyone who sent this money to help their Church. Maeo prays for all those who send this assistance.”
Please continue to pray regularly for the members of the leadership team – pictured at right, from left Parn, Bee, Lita, Ploy Job and Maeo.
Sadly I have to report that Sister Bee, who has for some years led the group of young ladies who have carried the responsibility for a great deal of the leadership of the activities at CMN, has not been able to obtain a position as a teacher in or around Nakhon Phanom, and will be moving to Bangkok in the next week, with her Mother, looking for work. She and her abilities as a planner and organiser will be greatly missed and we will keep in touch with her. Sister Ploy who is a senior in 12th grade at high school has indicated her willingness to accept the responsibility for leading the team with planning and running the program at the Sunday morning services. Please pray especially for her as she takes over the role that Bee has been doing.
Please also pray for Pastor Boontaa and his ministry of preaching and teaching at Sunday services and pray that the Lord will bless the visitation that he does in the villages. Pray especially for strength for him as he also copes with the stress of caring for his very sick wife (Phon) and their invalid daughter (Bow). Pray also for his wife Phon, whose health does not seem to be improving and her quality of life often makes it very difficult for her to look after their daughter Bow. If Phon cannot do that on a permanent basis then Pastor Boontaa would have to resign as Pastor at Christian Mission and if that happened the future of the ministry, without a Thai speaking pastor to preach and teach, would be in grave jeopardy.
The Advent Christian Conference in Myanmar held a CHILDREN’S CONFERENCE at Kadaw Gyi Garden in Yangon on 25 April. A total of 128 children from the four member organisations of the ACCM, including many of the orphans and underprivileged children cared for by them as well as the children of members, attended and enjoyed fellowship together. There were 19 children from Pastor Kenneth’s Gospel for Myanmar; 33 from Pastor Timothy’s Advent Christian Church of Myanmar; 46 from Pastor David’s Fellowship Bible Church and 30 from Pastor Joseph’s The Word Mission.
The program, chaired by ACCM President for 2015 Pastor Joseph, was as follows…
- Praise and worship all together
- Opening prayer: Kenneth
- Word of encouragement by Kenneth
- Group songs by Joseph’s children
- Word of encouragement by Timothy
- Group songs by Kenneth’s children
- Word of encouragement by David
- Group songs by David’s children
- Special prayer for our supporters and our nation
- Group songs by Timothy’s children
- The time for every child
- Singing mission song by all
- Singing mission song by all
- Benediction by Kenneth
- Pray for lunch by Timothy
“The time for every child” included participation by individual children – some sang Gospel songs, some performed action songs and dances, some recited memory verses from the Bible and some testified to God’s goodness to them.
The words, translated from Burmese. of the “Mission song” which was sung by all present at the end of the program are as follows…
“Christ for Myanmar
Christ is for Myanmar, Myanmar is for Christ
All Myanmar people shall know Jesus is the Lord and Savior
Let us join our hearts and hands together to reach Myanmar for the Lord.
Many souls are waiting for us, the harvest truly is great.
Let us commit our lives for mission,
Let us commit our lives for Jesus
Let us pray for our nation, let us be strong in the Lord.”
Please pray regularly for the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar and for its member organisations and leaders. Thank the Lord especially for the precious young lives – presently a total of 248 – cared for and nurtured in the ways and precepts of the Lord by the organisations. Pray that the Lord will provide the necessary resources for them – 30 May is the beginning of the new school year in Myanmar and we recently received the following message from Pastor Joseph…
“Greeting to you in Jesus name! The schools will be open in 30 May. Pray that God will meet for our children need for bag, book, pen, umbrella, school fee, and admission fee and so on. Thank you for your help and prayer support.
The Lord will provide (Gen 22:14)”
During March Myanmar Conference President Pastor Joseph and a team of church planters visited the Rakhine State where he led a team to the unreached LeTu people group. They were able to reach 150 people with 53 confessing Jesus as their Saviour, and eight that received water baptism.
His full report is too long and detailed to include in full but it will be posted on our website in the next week or so.
His specific requests for prayer from that trip are as follows…
- Pray that many more LeTu people will open their hearts for Jesus. Many fear their leaders if they accept Christ.
- Pray for these new believers to grow and delight in Christ
- Pray for the church planters who went with Pastor Joseph that they will be able to plant churches among the LeTu people.”
Then in April Pastor Joseph, along with his church planters who have trained under him, travelled to the Shan State to minister to two of the many ethnic groups there. The Shan State is located in Myanmar, and borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south. The Shan State is mostly made of a hilly plateau. Once again, this report and pictures are too large for this update and will be posted to our website soon.
The trip to visit the Inh people in the Golden Triangle required two to three days’ travel by foot over hills and valleys. The people are poor and education is extremely limited.
While there, Joseph and his church planters were able to visit two villages. They went house-to-house visiting 25 houses in one village and 36 houses in another village, and sharing the salvation of Jesus Christ at night. Seventy-seven people confessed to Jesus as their Saviour, accepting him as their personal Saviour. They were able to provide 33 Bibles.
They then visited the Akha people who live in the eastern part of Myanmar, but not in any particular or permanent location, transferring their village from one place to another. They are descendants of one of the tribes in ancient China and speak the Tibeto-Burman language which is also spoken by other tribes in the area.
Pastor Joseph reported, in part…
“We asked permission from the chief of the village for preaching. We preached the word of God from house-to-house, and at night. Reaching them for Christ is not easy, because of their living standard and transportation.
During the trip, we held seminars for two days for the Lahu people. Half of the people believe in Demon as their god. We were able to see God’s touch in the hearts of the Lahu people.”
His specific prayer requests from that trip are…
- Pray for new believers to grow and delight in the Lord Jesus
- Pray for Akha Chief People, they may have the knowledge of the salvation in Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the Akha children in the Akha region. Most of the Akha children are not in school, are using drugs, and are facing trouble because of gangs.
- Pray for the orphanages. Many of the Akha children are orphans. Pray that there will be orphanages.
- Pray for the Akha villages. In many of the Akha villages there is no transportation, no church, no school, and no medical care, so on. A village without Jesus is a village with demons.
- Pray for The Word Mission, that she will reach more unreached people groups in Akha Land. Akha without Jesus is really Akha.
- Pray for freedom and for peace.
Please continue to pray for the little group of Advent Christians who meet in Kluang. Pray especially for Sister Ruth and Brother Wilfred and their family and for the one-on-one ministry which they are so constant with, in assisting those in their community who have needs of many kinds. Sister Ruth recently reported that they had joined and participated in a combined gathering for prayer of all the Christian churches in the city.
Once again, my sincere thanks for your partnership in the Lord’s ministries in South East Asia. I thank you for your prayers and encouragement and financial support for our brothers and sisters in the LORD in the past and I ask for your continued prayers for them and for their ministries.
God bless you as you serve Him in Missions in this way.