Greetings to our friends, supporters and prayer partners, and welcome to this update.
As usual there is much to share with you about the activities in South East Asia of those who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner. Some of the reports received recently are too large to include in this update. Please read them:
- Annual report from Oro Bible College in Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines
- Advent Christian General Conference’s Weekly E-News concerning Christian Mission Ban Naratchawkai’s ministry in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand.
Thank you for praying for the sale of the Guindy land. Mission Manager Immanuel and our Advocate (lawyer) Ravi Paul and the senior leaders of the Advent Christian Conference of India are quietly continuing discussions and negotiations with a potential buyer, and we are probably closer to finalising a sale than we have been in the more than ten years since we decided to sell the property. We are convinced that the sale of this property is in accordance with the Lord’s will and that His will includes the future, financial stability for the Advent Christian Conference of India, and the extension of the ministries of Yesuway Jeevan Mission and its ministry partners throughout India, for which funds from the sale will provide. But India is the land of the unexpected, even sometimes of the unbelievable, so please continue to pray that the Lord will clear the pathway and that the sale will be completed as soon as possible.
The summer vacation month of May is over as are the Vacation Bible Schools that most of the AC Conference of India and FBHC churches held during the month. The conferences don’t gather total attendance figures any longer but based on past statistics it is likely that thirteen or fourteen thousand or more children and young people attended and heard the message of Jesus’ love explained, during five or six-day programs. Just four of the churches we reported on had a total of 460 children in attendance! Please continue to pray for these young lives – it is not unusual for up to two thirds of the attendees to be from Hindu homes – pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit, the seeds that have been sown may take root and grow and develop into a saving faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Pastor Pani and his team, in Odisha State, continue to reach out into new areas, where the Gospel has not been heard in the past. He wrote early this month of a new, “hillside” ministry (left picture), and of continuing their ministry of feeding the poor and needy using funds from ACGC’s “Bread of Life” program. (right picture)
He also wrote… “We have started a new ministry field here in a rural village. These believers have come from an idol-worshipping family and they are all very new to the Lord. They accepted the Lord through our outreach ministry and we are regularly conducting a prayer service over there in that village. Please pray for the spiritual potential and guidance of the newly converted believers.”
Pastor Paul Selvin, (5th from left in picture) Secretary of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches conference and pastor of the FBHC church at Nandanam, in Chennai, asks us to pray for their ministries, and especially for their Prayer Walks. Groups of members walk the streets of their own community and in other areas to which they are reaching out, pausing often to pray for those who live around where they stop to pray.
The picture is of a recent Prayer Walk in the Tiruvallur District, about 46 km (29 miles) from downtown Chennai, in the western part of the Chennai Metropolitan Area.
Ministry continues at Christian Mission Naratchakwai with Maeo, Pastor Boontaa and the ladies of the leadership team working very hard to represent and present their Lord to those around them.
Ploy and Parn are presently in New Zealand on an “English immersion” trip and although they are not particularly keen on the cold, wet weather, when asked by Rev Jeff Walsh, during a Skype meeting last week, what they liked most about New Zealand, they answered “Everything!” They have enjoyed celebrating some “firsts” – first time to see the sea and a sandy beach and paddle in the water at the edge of an ocean; first time to visit a zoo and see many new animals up close; first time to sandboard down a sand dune at the top of 90 Mile Beach, and first time to get tangled up in some giant vines at the Auckland Winter Gardens. Fortunately, we were able to extricate them from the latter!
They have enjoyed meeting up with and spending time with members of the Barnabas and Gen.12:1 Work/Ministry Teams who met them in Thailand in 2016/17 and 2011/12 respectively, and they will spend some time with the leaders and young people of the Mardon Road Church in Hamilton during July, and all going well, will get to enjoy their first experience of snow during a trip to Mt. Ruapehu.
Please thank the Lord for this opportunity for Ploy and Parn to visit us and pray that the experience will be an exciting and enriching one for them, and for the folk in NZ as they meet some of those who serve the Lord in Thailand, for whom they have prayed for some years. Please also thank the Lord for the generous sponsorship of their trip by the Takanini Community Church Property Trust Board and for many individuals and families who have showed them wonderful Kiwi hospitality.
Ploy and Parn have told us that while they are in New Zealand, the leadership team at Christian Mission is being led by Lita (at right in picture) and they have explained that in recent months the team has been enlarged by adding two new members Kaopun (at left in picture) and GungGing (second from left). Both girls live in Naratchakwai village and have been attending services and activities for many years and have been participating in their new, leadership roles for several months, gaining experience and learning to undertake the various leadership roles. Please pray for this leadership team of now seven young ladies as they carry out the same responsibilities that in our western churches mostly adults undertake, as members of church executive committees, church managers, diaconates etc.
June services have continued as usual, with GungGing taking her turn at leading the worship (Picture below left); the monthly food parcels given to Bow and her family and Uncle Hong from the village (middle picture) and Pastor Boontaa committing the leadership team to the Lord as they prepare to serve Him. (Right)
The children prepared and sang a song in English for the service on Sunday 24 June – “Everything…is a gift to You”. The video is below. I think it’s worth watching and listening to, remembering that English is the second language of all these lovely children.
24/06/18A special song from kids.Song: Is a gift to you.
Posted by Christianmission on Sunday, 24 June 2018
Because of a generous gift from the Takanini Community Church Property Trust Board in Auckland, Christian Mission has been able to become the debt-free owners of a new (for them), very suitable, comfortable vehicle for transporting the children and young people to and from services and other activities. Sister Maeo and the leadership team are very grateful for the comfort, safety and security of this vehicle.
MALAYSIA – Kluang Advent Christian Group
Please continue to pray for Sister Ruth, Brother Wilfred and their small group of faithful, Advent Christian believers who gather weekly on Sundays for worship in Ruth and Wilfred’s home in Kluang and in members’ homes for Bible study and communion during the week. Christian ministry is not easy or without danger in Malaysia, but Ruth and Wilfred faithfully continue their one-on-one ministries of friendship, practical assistance and counsel to friends, neighbours and other contacts.
Pastor Timothy, the leader of the Advent Christian Church of Myanmar, recently wrote to thank us for some funds we were able to send to assist with meeting the costs for outfitting the children they care for as they began their new school year. He wrote…
“Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
I thank God for all your hard work and support. Thank you again to New Zealand AC conference. Please pass my greetings to all of Advent Christian brothers and sisters in New Zealand.
My wife Hoi is busy for children every day. (Picture at right)
Our home Church also did special prayer for students and Bible students last Sunday.” (Picture below right)
Pastor Joseph’s The Word Mission (TWM) continues its ministries from its base on the outskirts of Yangon City and in many other parts of the country as they minister to many unreached groups and tribes
He sent the following report in late May…
“This month of May, we do outreach two places in Kachin state, Maygone Division. People who have had no news of Christ, who have not heard the gospel, were found in every village and everywhere. Maygone Division is fully Buddhist land. People from Maygone Division are so strong believing in Buddhism.
Home Cell activity
We do home cell three times in a month. By doing home cells, we get new people. Home cell is one of effective ways for church planting.
- Praise the Lord for new believer from around Myanmar.
- Praise the Lord for new Mission field in Maygone Division.
- Praise the Lord for doing well of all orphans.
- Please pray for spiritual growth of all our believers.
- Please pray for new fields and new believers as we try to expand His kingdom.
- Please pray for our church planters and their daily bread.
- Pray that our people and our nation will know the Truth and Living God.
- Pray that TWM will reach out to many souls for the Lord.
He sent the following testimony from one of his church planters
“My name is David from Lahu tribe. I get my B.Th at The Word College. I have served the Lord as church planter under The Word Mission since 2008. We have 47 members in my church.
We have 19 orphans’ children from many tribes. Since 2008, my church planting has reached out to many tribes those who are believing in demons as their gods. Some tribes people have accepted Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior.”
He also sent the following testimony from another David – one of the children TWM cares for at their base in Yangon.
“I am David. My parents had divorce when I was 4 years old.
I was growing up with my uncle’s family. My uncle sends me to TWM. I am enjoying in TWM. If I do not come to TWM, I would not have eternal life. I got opportunity to stay here (TWM Home) keeping well, studying well and growing well.”
Sister Nely Gamayon, the Director of Oro Bible College in Cagayan de Oro, recently sent a copy of the College’s annual report to the Philippine Advent Christian Conference. A portion of that report is below, but the complete ORO Bible College report can be found here.
In the email message to which her report was attached Sister Nely wrote as follows…
“Thank you very much. It is always flooding here, and every time it rains, water enters the campus, fills up the canals and enters into the classrooms, canteen etc. and into the basketball court. The very recent one was in May 31. Good the rain stopped before water could enter the classrooms and offices; but the mango tree was uprooted and the huge tree fell on the roof of the preschool building. We postponed classes until the roof is repaired. This is because, Cagayan de Oro does not have a sewerage system and developers of subdivision continue to cut down trees and uptown and bulldoze the hills so every time it rains, the city is flooded. The street where OBC is located looks like a river when it floods. Unless OBC will reconstruct its buildings with a higher floor level, much higher than the street level we cannot escape from this problem every year. The Philippines is visited by 26 typhoons every year, and during that season, there is always flooding. For OBC, it is unending repairs, replacement and spraying against termites. We spray one place, the termites move farther away and come back as soon as the effects of the pesticide is gone.
For the termite spraying, it was for the portions of the buildings that are now eaten by termites. The finance office, the quality assurance monitoring office, the two classrooms, the library, the walls of the preschool rooms, the faculty apartments. And then there are furniture and fixtures in the classrooms that are also eaten by termites. These are the teacher’s table, blackboard and book shelves. We will see how much we can buy with the funds that we received now. [We had just sent some funds to assist with termite control!]
We thank the Lord that this situation helps us to be patient and persevering. This is His Bible College; the Lord will never leave us to suffer for this forever. We thank you, our partners for your concern, prayers and support. God bless you.”
Director’s Report for School Year 2017-2018
- God is faithful, loving and wise. We praise and thank Him for directing us and providing for our every need as we went through school year 2017-2018. AB Theology regular schedule had an enrolment of 15 for the first semester and 14 for the second semester. The Saturday class for COEMA pastors and workers had an enrolment of 21 for the first semester and 22 for the second semester. Nine (9) students graduated with the degree Bachelor of Arts in Theology on March 23, 2018. The preschool had an enrolment of 36, 2 dropped out, and at the end of the school year 18 graduated to go to Grade One in June 2018. Five (5) regular schedule students took Exegesis of a Gospel summer class under Pastor Reniel Comajeg. Classes were held from April 2 through April 13, 2018. The summer classes are open to church leaders and pastors who might like to take the courses for audit or credit.
- The AB Theology graduates were: Pastor Manny Abong from Lugait, Misamis Oriental. He pastors a church affiliated with the Blessed Hope Christian Community Church, International; Aaron Paul A. Badoles, from Faithful Christian Fellowship, Alubijid, Misamis Oriental, Lindly Kent Francisco from Maranatha Bible Church, Cagayan de Oro City – intends to work as associate pastor at Loay, Bohol; Muriel G. Melchor from Calaanan, Cagayan de Oro and will be pastoring his home church in the same area; Dorem Nebreja from Hinaplanan, Claveria – intends to work as associate pastor at the Calinan Advent Christian Church, Davao City; Rev. Virginito Perino – pastor of Christ Church, Kauswagan, Cagayan de Oro City; Shem Carlo L. Pongcol of Claveria Glorious Advent Christian Church; Pastor Nilo Taray of Blessed Hope Christian Community Church International, Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City; and Mark David P. Wabe of the El Hanora Church, Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City.
Please continue to pray for OBC, Director Sister Nely, its faculty and staff. The College is recognised for its high academic standards, but it constantly struggles financially to pay its people properly and to maintain its buildings at a good standard.
Once again, my sincere thanks for your partnership in the Lord’s ministries in South East Asia. Thank you for your prayers for and encouragement to and financial support for our brothers and sisters in the LORD who are so committed to sharing the message of LIFE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST with their people.
Please pray that they will all know the leading, guiding and blessing of the Holy Spirit on all their ministries and that they will have great joy in their service for the LORD.