One of the first converts from animism to Christianity among the Lisu
Today I preached in a thatch building to a room full of children, women, and men. The enthusiasm of worship was inspiring even though i did not know a word sung, yet I am sure Jesus was honored. The church was started by a man many years ago who was brought to Christ through the Morris family. The Pastor is 88 years old who appears frail until he prayed for his congregation.
He reminded his congregation that those of them over 50 years old that they are Christians because God sent foreigners to us.So, he always welcomes foreigners to come and share with them. And we were welcomed!
Christian fellowship crosses boundaries of age and culture. Children sang songs including Lisu hymns from memory. It was simply beautiful.
After lunch, we opened a medical clinic and served over 90 patients in about 3 and a half hours.
Thankful for the day!
Joel, 1st Generation Christ Follower from Putao
The man was aged through the years and the miles yet had joy. Life had not been easy for this first generation Christian. He had seen his tribe relocated out of China to the Hidden Valley. His life has past the autumn and had moved into the early days of winter. But, the Light of Jesus shined through his glossed over eyes from cataracts and his smile missing all but a few teeth. Joel wore the life of a man who had ran the race and only had a few miles left to the finish-line but he was finishing well.
Today, I taught lessons not from experience of miles traveled with Christ but like that I feel like a novice. I spoke of humility of where one thinks of herself with sober judgment (Romans 12:3) and consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3). I spoke of embracing the vision that God gives us for our lives to make disciples of all nations and fulfill our part where we are (Matthew 28:18-20). Finally, I shared about facing opposition within the church family (which I have had some experience) and facing oppression from outside the church family (which I have almost none). I seemed more like a consultant with 15 lessons and an airplane ticket to escape the reality of those who are running their race with endurance in the middle of trying days.
WhenI looked at this man and the elderly women of the Lisu tribe who embraced Christ and faced the struggles and cost of following our Lord, I knew I was sitting in the presence of champions who ran the race that was set before them because they fixed they eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-4). Soon they will receive the goal of their faith, the salvation of their souls (1 Peter 1:9). May I learn to run with such grace and endurance.
2015-02-11 Yangon Pastors’ conference ended with a sense of “please return”. The pastors seemed to be very encouraged by Tom Moen and my teaching. Yesterday, Tom focused his attention I
On being men and women of integrity. Who are you when nobody is looking.
My sessions I taught about dealing with opposition. For most of Moses’ ministry his opposition came from grumbling people, untrusting friends, and rebellious leaders. My second session was about leading from the tent of meeting. The tent of meeting was where God and Moses spoke to one another face to face as friends. I finished up with a challenge from Philippians 3:4-14. We have no reason to put any confidence in the flesh. Our past achievements, failures, and recognitions are rubbish. Only one thing matters: to know Christ and the power of his resurrection sand fellowship ping in his suffering so that we might attain to the resurrection from the dead.
President Akin invited me to return to Myanmar to teach at the Emmaus Bible Institute. Yokin requested that I come to see what God is doing around the border areas of Myanmar, Thailand, Loas, and Cambodia, If I understood him right he serves with two churches of over 1000 people. In attendance. Maybe he should come to New Lenox to show me how it is done. Josiah and Simon also encouraged us to return next year.
Today, we are going to Mytinah. This is much ore remote area. I understand that there are 500 churches that are linked to the work of the Morse family. It is estimated that 1,000,0000 people from Southeast Asia are in heaven because this family decided to work WITH Jesus to bring people into Christ’s Kingdom.
One of the great things about traveling to places where we have supported missionaries is actually meeting them on the field. Yothin Yotkiri is one our missions that we support. He has been working in Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. He works with seven villages and preaches to a circuit of churches.
Yothin Yotkiri, myself, Yo, and Jamie
His daughter, Yo, runs an orphanage of 23 children between the ages of 7 and 18. She does this by herself. She is looking forward to getting married in April to Jamie who will join her in her mission.
God is at work around the world and where you are at. Just see where he is working and join Him in buildng his Kingdom.
Today, Tom Moen and I began the 2015 Pastors’ Conference in Yangon, Myanmar. There were 42 in attendance and a lot of enthusiasm it was great to see the leaders of the churches in Myanmar again. We were so encouraged to see them again. It was a great day in the Lord!
Preaching in Yangon, Myanmar February 8, 2015
Hearing the Christians in Myanmar sing praises to our God gives you a glimpse of heavenly worship before the throne of God where tribes from every nation will lift up the name of Jesus. We sang in English as they sang in Burmese, “Holy, holy, holy is the the Lord God almighty!”
The worship was lead by Jay, a young man from the Lisu tribe. He lead with enthusiasm as another young man played the keyboard. We worshipped God together.
Later during the clinic Jay told me his story. He was raised in an spiritualist home. His family were animists where they worship demonic spirits. The gospel was shared with Jay and he became new creature in Christ. He went to Emmaus Bible Institute to learn English. While at EBI a music professor encouraged him to take piano lessons and learn music. In two short years he became an accomplished singer and pianist. After he graduated, he returned to his village where his family saw this “new creation in Christ.” They were so impressed by who God was making him to be and the life change that Jay demonstrated that his father, mother, brothers, and sisters have all accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Lives that God changes, change lives!
When you and I allow Jesus to change us from the inside out, we begin shine like stars in the universe and those that we love come to know the Christ that we love. Will you this day ask God to bring about the change that He desires for you so that God will use your changed life to change lives?
President Akin of Emmaus Bible Institute in Yangon
2015-02-07 Hope Mission
Today was the first day of the medical clinic at Hope Mission. We we greeted by the 40 children of the orphanage with bouquets of flower and smiles. Our team quickly set up shop and began triaging patients. We saw 78 patients. I worke mostly in triage taking temperatures and blood pressures. We were able to get reacquainted with Josiah, Phoebe, Simon, Sweet, and Akin. Each one is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Each one sacrifices for our Lord. Each one touches our lives.
Akin showed us Emmaus Bible Institute. He is this president of the college. This week they graduated 68 students prepared for the Lord’s harvest. I am inspired by these industrious entrepreneurs for the cause of Christ. We also saw ma small chicken farm as they do business as mission.
Today, I watched Tom Moen, Glocal Outreach Pastor at Mountain Christian Church connect with the children of the orphanage. He did magic tricks, tried to learn some Burmese, and just talked. He was like a a pied piper. What an example of let the little children come to me.
Worship of Idols at Shwedagon Pagoda
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, O Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this. (Jeremiah 13:22).
Why go to Myanmar? to bring the message of Jesus Christ who is our hope to those who those who live for idols that are powerless and worthless.
Today we prepared for tomorrow our first day of medical clinics. please pray for my preparation for Sunday’s sermon and for a successful clinic tomorrow.
2015-02-05 Yangon, Myanmar
Just landed, through custom and on our way to our hotel. It’s been 27.5 hours since I left my home in New Lenox. One van, two planes, and one bus. It’s 11:15 pm as I write this from the back of our bus. It’s hot and humid here. My body is tired yet my mind races as I think about what God has in store for us. How will I encounter God here? How will God use me in spite of all the language and cultural barriers? Tonight I hope is a night of recovery where this old man will dream dreams (Joel 2). It is my prayer that God will speak to me and that I discern God’s voice and follow His lead. Hours
Today is the day we take off from O’Hare. This should be about 14.5 hours in the air. Pray that we will sleep on this leg of our flight so that we can get adjusted to Myanmar time. God is able!