We divided our team into three groups, each group worshipping with different churches in the Hpa-an area. We left the hotel at 9:00 am in three different directions. One team would be worshipping with a non-denominational church, one with an Assembly of God church, and the third with a traditional non-denominational church.
The first non-denominational church had approximately 40 in attendance. The pastor of this church does not have a seminary degree, but knows the bible well. His testimony reflects the dedication of Christians in this country. About 20 years ago he purchased land to build a church. He started to build a small foundation, but the local government authorities stopped him and would not allow him to continue. It took him 15 years of constant negotiations before they finally allowed him to build a very small building. There were no Christians in the village when he started, but over the next 5 years he built a 40 member congregation that is passionate about their faith.
The Assembly of God church is the same church we held the evangelism training program yesterday. There were 45 in attendance, many from yesterday. As with yesterday, they worshipped with enthusiasm and passion.
The traditional non-denominational church was built about 8 years ago from funds raised by a revival led by a Christian organization. Once the revival was done they never saw them again. Over the following years their attendance began to decline. They need help to re-develop their spiritual base, which we hope to do in the coming months. We expected 100 to attend our worship service but instead were greeted with over 250. The pastor of this church is 86 years old and blind. He greeted us and performed the prayers at the beginning and end of the service. The rest of the service was conducted by the associate pastor. The congregation listened intently to our message, and was very happy to have us worship with them.
All three teams were invited to lunch with their respective church before we left for a very long trip to Yangon. We arrived at our hotel at 9:30 pm.
The team is doing well, in good health and looking forward to our final week of ministry.
· The meetings and training we conducted have a positive impact in the villages we ministered.
· The house church leaders and fellowship coordinators can effectively use the evangelism training materials we provided.
· For continued good health and effectiveness of our team.
Attached you will find three photos. The first is the congregation from the traditional non-denominational church; next is a team member sharing his testimony; and the third is from a congregation lunch.