Leadership conference at the Central of Burma
We have been very busy this month, but one highlight of our ministry this month was the leadership conference in central
It was one of the great blessings of 2012 for the entire team. We had
never seen people who were so hungry and with such zeal to learn God’s
Word. Some of them walked for 6 hours plus traveled another 6 hours by
truck in order to attend the conference. Even though the conference was
during harvesting season, many left their farms and daily businesses in order
to study God’s Word with us. Over 100 Christian leaders from over 30
different churches from the Shan States of Burma attended. The church
building was packed from 9:00am - 4:00pm for teaching and 6:00pm - 8:00pm for
night service. It was a great turnout.
One leader said, “It is a turning point in our faith.” Many more
requested and are looking forward to the next conference in 2013.
Group picture of the Local Church
Our teachings focused on 4 knowings; knowing me, knowing others, knowing the Word, and Knowing God. Stephen’s teaching emphasized on being God’s fully dwelling temple based on his exegesis on the book of Ephesians. Thomas taught on being God’s leaders, and all leaders were very excited when we gave a personality test and spiritual gift test so that they would know how to serve our Living God and Lord according to their specific personality and spiritual gift.
These ladies walked six hours to study God's word with us.
Personality and Spiritual gifting tests
Stephen Preaching Sunday afternoon
By the help of IDES, we also had a chance to give away about 100 mosquito nets as the first step in getting rid of malaria in the area (and setting and over 100 of TB patients). It was a blessing to show God’s love to Christian brothers and sister from the other side of the world through giving medication. Besides, Alicia taught a class on health and hygiene from the biblical perspective. This wholistic ministry hopefully will mobilize them to be a healthy church both spiritually and physically.
One of our team, Jim (a missionary from
mobilized all the church leaders to recall the evangelistic history. In
the past, Lisu evangelists did a great job in carrying out the Great Commission
to the lost souls in the Shan Sates, (also Kachin States). After they
converted into His Kingdom, many Lisu churches had sent many barefoot
evangelists to win over Lahu, Hmong, Wa and Chinese (to Rawang in Kachi
States). The evangelism died out during the unsettlement of Burma political
crisis. Now it’s time to rewrite this history of mission so many lost
ethnic groups of people will see the light that shines through God’s unique son,
A Dawn of Evangelism
According to the Joshua Project,
is considered to be one of the largest unreached people in the world.
Many tribes still have never heard the Gospel and don’t have the Bible in their
languages. So far, among the Yin and Paung people, there is no one converted
among these people. At this moment, several missions groups are trying
hard to win Shan people, but only a handful of Shan people have accepted Jesus
Christ. Many thousands of Lisu people live along the Salween River
in the Shan state of Burma.
The Salween River is an international river, originating from the Himalayas in
the Tibetan plateau, it flows southward through Yannan Province of China, down
through Shan and Kayah States in the East of Burma, and along the Thai-Burma
border, passing through Kayin and Mon States to the Andaman Sea at the Gulf of
Martaban. Tens of thousands of Lisu people live along this river from the
very border of China-Burma to the Kayah States. Most of these Lisu people
have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Living in a very remote area
on mountains, they are still worshipping evil spirits and growing opium as the
main cash crop. Several young Lisu evangelists have been sent to some of
these areas to evangelize, but they couldn’t find a way to connect with these
people. Some of those young evangelists came to Stephen during the
leadership conference and made requests that Stephen go with them to these
remote areas in order to win them for Jesus Christ, since Stephen once used to
worship the evil spirits and has a long life experience in winning these types
Map of Shan state Burma
We are scheduling to make this evangelistic trip happen this March, 2013. Now we are recruiting a group of people to go and churches to pray consistently for the evangelistic group. As the Bible says “we are not against flesh and blood, but against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness, in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 6:12 NASB).
Red light street ministry
This year for thanksgiving our family went to the church at red-light street in one of the slums of inner city Chiangmai. At first glance the church is not pleasant, however, the worship hymns and songs really brought our spirits high and made us feel very close to God’s throne at the center of the universe. Praise the Lord! This church was founded by one of our evangelists, Yeesa.
Yeesa and his wife Naomi
The church is established next to karaoke shops and night light drinking shops. In
Thailand, karaoke and drinking
shops have a negative connotation, particularly, sexual industry. Yeesa
rents a little room and works hard to reach the people in the area with the
Love of God. Now this church is growing in number (over 60 people attend
every Sunday service). Most members of this church are immigrants, who
sell their labor for daily food. Each month the church struggles to pay
their rent, your prayers are much appreciated.
The Wongratanamajcha’s are doing great. Stephen is busy preparing for evangelistic trips, while Mary is very busy taking care off the family and children. Becky is taking Chinese as her third language. Isaac has been accepted into his new school under the English program. He will also learn Chinese since he can speak both English and Thai well. John is enjoying his classes and busy learning the drums. Various mission works are needed at John’s school,
please check out the website www.gisthailand.org Grace International School
Thank you very much for your faithfulness in supporting financially and prayerfully our ministry and family.
In Christ’s Love,
Stephen and Mary