Today we divided into three teams to minister/evangelize to 6 remote house church villages in the Hpa-an area. Each team would go to one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Due to the recent flooding in the area we were concerned about the difficulty of traveling to these villages.
The morning was dry, hot and humid, and we were relieved it was not raining. Team 1 & 3 left the hotel at 8:30 am, team 2 at 9:00 am. What impressed me about the Hpa-an area, very little traffic and the beautiful scenery. The mountains interspersed between rice patty fields are spectacular
The team I was on traveled for about an hour in a very small van and in the bed of a small pickup. The road was narrow with tall, overhanging trees on both sides. Occasionally we would come to a small town with roadside shops. About a mile from our destination we turned on a small muddy dirt road. There were times I thought our vehicles would get stuck, but we made it. We met inside the small bamboo hut where the house church met. There were approximately 40 in attendance, 12 being small children. We sang a few Christian songs, talked to them about Christian beliefs, performed the “Pumpkin Patch” story, and had lunch with them. The audience was attentive and very interested in what we were teaching them.
After lunch we left to the 2nd house church village which was about 20 minutes away. Because of the muddy conditions of the road we had to walk the last 200 yards. This house church was smaller than the one we just came from, so they hung some old plastic tarps to the top of their hut to make a small meeting area. We were surprised when 90+ people showed up, mostly adults. We were about 70% through our program when the rain started. It rained so hard that you couldn’t hear what was being said, and the rain started coming through some of the holes in the old plastic tarps. As a result we decided to hand out small gifts we had, pray and leave. Even though it was raining hard, and everyone was soaked, they stayed. Like the first house church they were attentive and interested in what we were telling them.
It is now up to our fellowship coordinators and the house church leaders to follow-up on those that attended.
Since we got back late, I haven’t had the chance to hear how the other two teams meetings went. I’m confident that it went at least as well as ours did.
One of our team members was diagnosed as having tonsillitis and was put on antibiotics. I met with her when I got back and she is feeling much better.
The message we presented touched the hearts of many that attended.
For protection, strength and direction for our fellowship coordinators and house church leaders.
Continued health and effectiveness of our team.
Attached you will find five photos. Two are from the first house church we visited, two are from the second house church we visited, and the last shows the small pickup truck we used as transportation.
Tomorrow we are giving the team a break and some relaxation. They will visit some sites in the Hpa-an area.