Summer 2018 Mission Trip to Myanmar Thursday, July 12 – Saturday, July 28.
We found out late yesterday afternoon that there would be 9 baptisms at the church where the evangelism training would take place, and it would be beneficial if the entire team could be present. We had to quickly change our schedule of the two house church villages we would be ministering to first thing in the morning. Our itinerary would be first attend the baptisms early morning then break into two groups to go to their respective village ministries after.
Two of the Hpa an house churches we started late last year baptized 9 new believers, 6 from one village and 4 from the other. The house church with 4 is the same one we ministered to last year where the local authorities interrogated the house church leader at their office for hours after we left. They told the house church leader that he could no longer bring foreigners into his church to worship. If he did he would be put in prison for a very long time. Despite all the issues he faced, he continued to minister to his village resulting in 4 new believers. This strong Christian determination and faith is indicative of the spirit of all our evangelism team in the country. It was inspiring and humbling at the same time to witness all 9 baptisms in an outdoor cement baptistery just outside the entrance of the church.
Once the baptisms were completed the two teams departed to their respective house church village ministry while two team members conducted evangelism training targeted for growing our house churches.
The first team traveled to Saw Hay Thaw’s home where he conducts house church worship. Saw Hay Thaw is our Eastern Evangelism Coordinator. Since he was at the evangelism training his father was there to greet us. We expected 50 to 60 to be in attendance, but when we arrived there were approximately 100 adults and children waiting for us. It was a difficult place to conduct our ministry since the home is very small. As a result, about 70 were sitting inside, mostly children, and about 70, mostly adults were sitting outside under a make shift tarp. In order for them to hear us we had to stand in the doorway and try to speak to both groups. They were all very attentive to what we were saying and singing. The team thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone and ministering to them.
The second team had to travel one hour to get to their house church village, and then walk approximately 100 yards in mud and water to finally get to the house church. They like team 1 expected 50 to 60, but over 100 were in attendance as well. This house church was a little larger so everyone was able to sit inside even though it was crowded. The audience was thoroughly engaged in what the team presented to them. Many asked to be prayed over just before lunch. Like team 1, this team also enjoyed working with the villagers immensely.
Two of our team members, Dan and Sherwood presented our house church specific training to our Burmese national evangelism team which lasted the entire day. There were a number of church leaders from around the area that were in attendance as well. The training was presented to a group that eager and willing to learn. It was a long day, but it was well received and our trainers felt would be fully utilized.
- That our house churches can continue to make progress in reaching the unreached.
- Protection from persecution for our house churches and evangelism team.
- That our Burmese national team can thoroughly understand and utilize the training presented to them today.
- Continued safety and rest of our team as we worship with churches in the Hpa an area before we travel back to Yangon.
Attached you will find 4 photos. The first is a baptism being conducted by Saw Hay Thaw, the second is those that were baptized with our team, the third is our Burmese national evangelism team, and they last is our team ministering to a house church village.