Greetings to our friends, supporters and prayer partners, and once again my sincere appreciation for your support and encouragement in so many ways, especially for your prayers. I pray that 2017 will be a blessed year for you.[clear]
PROJECT BARNABAS TO CHRISTIAN MISSION NARATCHAKWAI, THAILAND
On 28 December 2016, Advent Christian Missions New Zealand’s (ACMissioNZ) twelfth WORK/MINISTRY TEAM left Auckland International Airport to travel to Nakhon Phanom in north-eastern Thailand to visit Christian Mission Naratchakwai. This was the third team to visit the Mission since 2006. Two male adults and five teenagers from Takanini Community Advent Christian Church in Auckland were joined by another male adult from Seattle, USA, to become the Project Barnabas Team of eight!
Our overall goal was to be encouragers, through friendship, fun and serving, to the leadership team at the Mission – Maeo (John Middlewood’s widow), Brother (Pastor) Boontaa, who preaches at Sunday services and carries out other pastoral duties, and the group of six teenage girls, led by Ploy, who plan, prepare and lead all the other ministries of the Mission, including the Sunday services. Ploy, assisted by Parn, Lita, K’kaew, Jobe and Guitar, spend every weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening at the Mission compound planning and preparing for and then leading the Sunday service, teaching Sunday School for the children and then teaching them English and enjoying games and other activities with them in the afternoon.
Project Barnabas Team’s leader was Garry Schäche – he reported as follows soon after the team returned to Auckland.
“Mission Aim #1: to encourage the girls’ practice of speaking English. Our ‘team of teens’ didn’t take long to get to know the girls at the Mission – they had a great time together – working together, playing together, worshiping together, and getting to know each other through conversational English. Lasting friendships have been forged and communication continues via social media.
Mission Aim #2: to re-paint the compound perimeter wall (built in 2006/07 by Project Nehemiah team, and re-painted in 2010/11 by Project GEN12.1 team) and carry out maintenance in most needed areas at the mission. We not only washed and painted the CMN wall, but we continued across the wall fronting Maeo’s adjacent home. Electrical breakers were installed to break up and manage electrical circuits more safely throughout the CMN buildings. The sound system components were repaired or replaced. We served by working hard.
Mission Aim #3: to expose our teen team members to another culture, and to peers faithfully serving in their church and ministry – to cultivate and inspire a heart for ministry, and for international ministry. We attended, participated and contributed to their church services, ministry and community projects; we visited their homes, their villages, their schools, their city, the region’s attractions; we saw dedication, serving, and outreach in Jesus’ name; we saw beauty, we also saw poverty and need. So, was this mission aim accomplished? – were our teens not only exposed to the experience, but inspired by it? If you ask them I’m sure they’ll say ‘Yes!’ But please pray for the on-going impact of this experience on their lives, and that on the lives of all those we met, visited and made connections with.
Pray that this mission aim will be accomplished!
Will we do it all over again? Lord willing – yes, we will! – maybe in 2-3 years’ time. Stay tuned and see more photos and our project log on facebook @Project.Barnabas.CMN”
It was a real joy for the members of the Barnabas team to spend 14 days with the folk at Christian Mission working with them for the Lord. As Garry said in his report…
“We attended, participated and contributed to their church services….”- picture 1.
We ate all our meals with them – picture 2.
We gave gifts to the children who attend the services at CMN and we received gifts from CMN – pictures 3 and 4.[clear][clear]We visited the Chiang Yeun High School and spoke to and had fun with the students in their English classes – picture 5. We also tried a little Thai dancing!!L We accompanied the Christian Mission folk as they took the “Soup of Love” and biscuits and food parcels for the elderly and gifts of back-packs filled with goodies for all the children to a very poor village – Pomphan Village – picture 6, and we shared in many other activities and ministries for 14 days. [clear]
Thank you for continuing to pray for the Mission’s bank account situation as I have been explaining it over recent months. Please join with us in thanking the Lord that the bank account was re-opened on 17 February under a new name – The Womens Home & Foreign Mission Society of the Advent Christian Denomination – and the first wire transfer is on the way (1 March) from the United States. Thank the Lord especially for Immanuel’s patience and “stickability” as he has spent many, many frustrating hours working with the bank to achieve this. Thank the Lord also that we have a 5-year renewal of our authority to receive foreign funds.
Please also continue to pray for the sale of the Guindy land – Immanuel is again seeing some interest from prospective purchasers. The sale would bring the possibility of much needed financial stability for the Advent Christian Conference of India and its ministries and allow YJM/AAM to greatly extend our ministries.
On Sunday 19 February, Immanuel and Raja attended a special service at the Fellowship of Blessed Hope’s church at Senthil Nagar – a suburb of Chennai. The pastor of the church is Rev A. Jerald, who is the President of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches at present, and he has pastored the church since 1994. He is assisted by his wife Anu and their two daughters Chrisma and Charies Coline. (Pictured below) There were about 70 believers present and Immanuel gave a message of greeting from the Mission to them. Anu led the worship time in the service and their daughters sang a duet. After the service, they conducted a special Harvest Festival celebration, including a variety of foods and games.[clear]
One of Yesuway Jeevan Mission’s ministry partners is CHRIST SPECIAL HIGH SCHOOL at Sankarapuram, to the southwest of Chennai. Since 1991 the residential school, now led by Pastor Paul Nilivan, has educated, mentored and loved as beloved children of God, children who have health, physical and intellectual disabilities. For several years they have seen the need to assist children who are deaf and unable to speak and they are praising the Lord that in June last year they were able to start their SCHOOL FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED. They were able to purchase the specialist audio equipment required and they have recently employed a specialist trained teacher to teach the six deaf children who now live at the school. They are presently planning to seek government recognition for their school. Please pray that sufficient funds to continue this ministry will come to hand and that the government will recognise and assist the school. Please pray for all the teachers and administrative staff at the school, and for Pastor Paul in particular – he lives and ministers in Chennai and commutes the approximately 6 -7 hour journey by bus several times each month.[clear]
MALAYSIA – Kluang Advent Christian Group’s ministry
Please continue to pray for Ruth and Wilfred and Jerusha and the members of their group for the Holy Spirit to continue to work in their lives and in the lives of those to whom they minister so faithfully.
You will recall that we have been praying for some time that Ruth and Wilfred’s daughter Joanna, who was married in October and moved from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca to live following her marriage, would be able to find a job similar to that which she worked in in KL. Ruth advised just before Christmas that Joanna had obtained a position in Malacca that she was very happy with, and she thanked us for praying with them about this matter. She also asked us to continue to pray for Joanna and Kenneth as they make their journey through life together.[clear]
Please praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit continues to work thorough the members of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar (ACCM). Pastor Kenneth, who was elected President of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar for 2017, recently wrote…
“This is my sincere and humble prayer request for our [Gospel for Myanmar] church activities. Coming 4th March our church youth will have one day Bible seminar at our Insein local church. Our subject will be ” How to involve the Young People in the ministries and the Church Activities”. Therefore, please remember us in your prayer time. And also coming April from 12 to 17 our Church will have Salvation Camp for 5 days. That will be during the water festival. We really need your prayer support. We do very much thankful for your prayer support and please continue to pray for us and the activities that we have in Myanmar”
He went on to say that he and his family had been able to move into their new, three storey building which brings together his church, his Bible College and the home for his family including the 15 orphans that he and his family care for. He advised that the outside of the building has been completed but although he and his wife Eunice have sold many of their personal belongings, such as their motorbike, his wife’s earrings and wedding rings to make this happen, the inside still lacks several ceilings and windows. Please pray for the provision of funds to complete the building and thank the Lord for the significant savings that will accrue because they no longer have to pay rent. Please also pray for him as he carries out his duties for the conference as well as those of his own organisation (Gospel for Myanmar) and his Vernacular Bible College.
Pastor Timothy, who stepped down from the responsibility as President of the AC Conference at the end of 2016 recently wrote as follows…
“Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We praise God and thanks for your prayer help and love of our people. In Jan 2017, our fellow worker Pastor Kei Sum got two women new believers converted from Buddhist background. Their names are Daw Wa Toh and Daw Ni Ni (with baby)”
He also wrote on 31 January…
“Last Sunday at my new water tank 17 persons (10 female 7 male) were baptized. This is my first time for 2017. Praise the Lord! Thank you so much for your prayer help and your financial help for 2016.”
He also sent a picture of himself and his wife Hoi Van and their children.
- Hannah (11 grade),
- Lai Sung Khun (7 grade).
- Hoi Van
- Siam Mawi (at rear – long hair- final yr. university).
- Matthews (at front 1 grade).
- Rabbi Van Bawi Uk (first year university).
Please thank the Lord for the four leaders of the ACCM and for their and their co-workers’ committed ministries for our Lord and pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit, many more may come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in Myanmar during 2017.
May God bless you richly as you serve Him in Missions by your prayers and support.