I've spent the last two weeks in Myanmar working with the Church of the Lutheran Confession of Myanmar (Kalaymyo) and the National Lutheran Church of Myanmar (Yangon). This evening I will fly from Yangon to Kathmandu, Nepal via Kuala Lampur.
I'm looking forward to meeting up with Joel Krafft (CLC Board of Missions Chairman) in Nepal tomorrow afternoon. We will have a quick night in Kathmandu and then up at 4:00 am for an early departure on Thursday so we can get to Chitwan in time for the pastoral conference. Friday we will catch our breath and Saturday is worship. Then we will travel the long road to the Dang district for a two day seminar with ten men who training to be pastors. Then it's back to Kathmandu to catch a flight to Bangladesh to meet with pastors of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission. Then back to Kathmandu to catch our flight back home!
In Kalaymyo we held a two day (Friday and Saturday) Bible Training Seminar at the church headquarters with teaching from 8:30 to 3:30 pm each day and worship each evening. And we gathered for morning and evening Worship on Sunday. We had over one hundred in attendance. A little less than half those in attendance were from the local congregation. All the others in attendance were pastors, evangelists, elders, and members from some of the fifty-four rural congregations in Chin State. They traveled by bus, motorbike, bicycle, and in back of pick-up-truck taxis to attend.
In Yangon we followed basically the same schedule with forty in attendance.
The topic in both places was a study of the Apostolic Creed as an outline of the foundational truths of our Salvation. We broke the creed into twelve parts and discussed why each was important and where it is taught in Scripture and the comfort and encouragement these truths provide on a daily basis. For some it was a good review of the "basics" of our faith. For others, like the elderly Hindu man and the two Buddhists who attended, this was probably the first time these truths had been explained to them. What a privilege to bring the Gospel to so many!
At both Kalaymyo and Yangon we also spent a great deal of time discussing the work that the Lord has given us to do together. We explored opportunities and plans to train more men for the Gospel ministry.
In Yangon, there are several orphanages. Some are big, with more one hundred children and other are quite small with just ten to fifteen children. We visited three orphanages where Pastor Charles has had the opportunity to teach the children about their Savior. These orphanages are run by husband and wife. Pastor Charles is excited that two of the men involved with these orphanages would like to receive training so they can start congregations in their neighborhoods.
Here's a few pictures from the past couple of weeks in Myanmar...
|Pastors, Evangelists, Elders, and Members of the CLC-Myanmar after worship in Kalaymyo|
|Pastors, Evangelists, and Elders of the Church of the Lutheran Confession of Myanmar|
|Pastor Charles translates and explains at the Bible Training Seminar in Yangon, Myanmar|
|Attendees at the Bible Training Seminar in Yangon, Myanmar|
|Children and teachers (sisters of Pastor Charles) of the Good Samaritan Lutheran Preschool in Yangon|
|Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Yangon, Myanmar...established in 1878 by Tamil Lutherans from India|
|Pastor Charles' 11 year old daughter was quite pleased to take a break from rice...she loves pizza!|
|Sunset over the Irrawaddy River during a layover in Mandalay|