July 30, 2015
Dear Christian Friends,
It is beyond our imagination how God is moving in each of our individual lives. Moses prayed to God for two consecutive years for a place to study God’s Word before God answered his prayers. Priscila persistently sent her applications to us for three years before we have accepted her. Now Moses and Priscilla are on their third year. They said at their first year, they were inner fighting and were waving between the two poles: the traditions and the Scripture. At their second year, they afraid to teach other what they learned from their exegetical works in their classes. This year through their eagerly studying God’s Word, they have overcome most of their doubts. They must place God’s Word above human’s opinions or decrees. Isn’t this how God moves among us? Certainly, without your participations in praying and giving, could these two students have any chance to study God’s Word? Could God’s Word transform their lives? Thank you very much for allowing yourselves to be channels of God’s blessings to this ministry.
(from left to right) Solomon, Moses, Priscilla, Amos
and Sergius in the back row
Equipping Christian leaders emphasizes on God’s Word, the Scripture, is very challenging since almost everyone of our students went through colleges and being found with various types of theologies. Besides, exegesis demands much more time and effort to understand what each author of the Bible meant and then apply it accordingly as what it means for our world today. Asia International Seminary, therefore, is not institutionally oriented, but a biblical-rooted training compound for Christian leaders. Therefore, our concern is more on quality than quantity. Actually, it is the real joy and blessings to see these students growing in their biblical knowledge. Many churches in central and northern Myanmar are excited to hearing God’s Word from these pastor/students. Many churches have already scheduled them to preach and teach at their congregations after returning to their home country, Myanmar.
Our appreciation goes to the Voorhees family who allowed their beloved one, Dr. Derek Voorhees from Boise Bible College to teach the book of Roman in the past weeks. He did an excellent job in teaching 6 hours every day for 12 days.
Dr. Voorhees is teaching on Romans
Here is a brief note from Derek:
Romans is a book that helps our theological compass find true north in God's grace, which is found by faith in Christ and life in His Spirit. And I had such a privilege in Thailand the last two weeks to walk through the letter with young Lisu pastors from Myanmar and Thailand. All the vital theological nuggets were chewed on...terms like justification, redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, sanctification, edification, and glorification. The students defined these and grappled with them well, but they also courageously waded into the depths of implications for the churches they lead. What I perceived challenged the students was how to take home Paul's instructions for a dis-unified and fractured church in Myanmar. Even amongst the Lisu tribe in Myanmar, disunity exists. Lisu Villages of different dialects viewing themselves more "right" or "spiritual" than another village? I assured the students, sadly, that their tribe or their nation wasn't the only nation with a splintered church.
Think of your own city...how united would you say evangelical believers of Jesus and the Bible are across the area? Do they even speak to each other? Unity amongst all believers is a difficult task to achieve, but we must heed the divisive tactic of Satan. For if the enemy prevails in dividing a believer in Christ from another believer in Christ, then the gospel message of hope and salvation now and in the future will be derailed and ineffective. So, these students/pastors from Myanmar vowed to work at restoring brothers and sisters with seemingly irreconcilable differences and opinions for the sake of the expansion of the Kingdom of God on earth.
This is the second consecutive year I've flown 11 different time zones to teach these dear leaders. By eating and praying with them, and laughing and playing soccer together, I've grown to love and care even more for them. Their assignment of returning home to instruct others with what they have been impressed upon by the Spirit is no small task. But with the presence of Christ and encouragement through mentors like Stephen, Mary, and their son Nick, they will do well. But Moses, Priscilla, Sergius, Amos and Solomon need our prayerful support...and even our financial support. Thank you for your regularly sustenance for their training through the Wong's who feed and even clothe these students (not to mention the many non-physical provisions they provide).
Over all, thanks to Becky, Nick and John for taking turns in the evening to improve the student’s English skill. Much blessings goes to Mary who oversees all the needs not only for the family but also the students. In the midst of taking Isaac to and fro school, while Stephen is teaching, she did a wonderful job in organizing a family thanksgiving service by inviting over a hundred people from several different churches and cooked a great meal for everyone of them.
For the sake of His Kingdom,
Stephen and Mary
Becky is teaching English
John is teaching an English pronunciation
Isaiah is teaching on How to Preach the New Testament
Student preparing for rice seeding
A welcoming speech for guests at family thanksgiving service
Special choir in Lahu
Special choir in Lisu
Dr. Voorhees is preaching
Mary is preparing food for guests
Mary is giving a speech of thank
a fellowship meal
Turning a class room to an alternative medical center
Stephen is receiving a special treatment
Neighborhood kids are being fed and entertained
Fun time for dislocated kids
Isaac with his classmate in the science lab
a group photos