It was a true blessing to visit, preach, and teach at remote churches at Maw Mit and Dagon in Myanmar during this past month, April 2016. Churches at Maw Mit and Dagon have no electricity; mobile phones are not available. They live simple lives. In order to get to these areas, it took us seven hours of riding in a truck, eight hours on a motorcycle and five hours walking through the jungle. The houses were built with a basic style from bamboo. The whole house is only one room; the kitchen and bedroom were all in this one room and no bathrooms inside the house. Some of those churches or villages had several hundred households, and others contained around 30 families. Many of those churches members encompass all the villagers in a certain village.
Sunrise at Dagon
A typical house
A typical barn
A house is usually next to a barn
Sunset at Maw Mit
This is the house we stayed at, in Dagon
Inside the house (on the right is where we sleep and
on the left is where we cook)
This is left side of the room
Riding a motorcycle (scooter) is the only way to visit those churches or villages. One day after riding an old, semi-broken motorcycle about four-five hours on a trail, crossing the mountain ranges, without seeing any houses, I was so exhausted. We stopped at a hut , where we needed to get our lunch and drinks, my heart was in grief; my soul was desperate. While I was asking myself “Why am I here?” “Shouldn’t I be at a better place?” Suddenly I heard a song singing:
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
On my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name
The sun comes up
it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes…….
And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore
Praise the Lord! Amazingly the song gave me strength and hope to stand up and continue riding another two hours in order to reach another village at Dagon township.
Lisu villages in Dagon is very different from many other Lisu villages in Myanmar. Normally, a village is where houses are closely built in one area. Houses in Dagon are completely separated from one another. Houses are built at their farming sites. The distance between the first house and the last one is over 10 miles. However, every Wednesday, Saturday night, and Sunday they will gather at one place for their worship services. The church itself is very simple and basic; There are not many chairs, so most members will sit on the floor during the worship services. It was a true blessing to focus on the message of the Cross to the people by teaching and preaching.
After Maw Mit and Dagon, our team split into two groups: the first group went up to Myitkyina to prepare for the Easter convention in the area, the second group went with me to Yangon for a meeting with the book publisher. The publishing process will be available after the Myanmar New Year, in April. After spending few days in Yangon, we regrouped again in Waingmaw, Kachin State of Myanmar. At Waingmaw, I was invited to preach at one of the Easter celebrations with several dozen churches gathering together for two consecutive days (from Saturday evening to Monday morning). It was a great honor to preach four services during this event. At first, I was invited to preach for one session and then the elders decided to ask me to preach at every single service of the whole event. Wow! what a great honor! After Easter, I also had the privilege to meet 60 key church leaders from different denominations in Waingmaw and Myitkyina. They enthusiastically desired to hear me give a brief lecture on Christianity and Lisu culture. I briefly stated to them that traditional culture is a very sensitive issue. They have to know how to distinguish between traditional culture and traditional religious practices, evil spirits related practices in particular. It could lead many of Lisu believers astray from Christian faith, but at the same time, it can provide a huge mean for the Kindom expansion via evangelism. I also warned them to be aware and ready for the coming temptations since their country has changed dramatically. They have to be ready for the cultural invasion; for instance, the famous Hollywood culture from the outside world which they had never seen in the past 40-50 years. They strongly requested me to offer them some type of seminar on Christianity and culture inside Myanmar in the near future. If God is willing, we would love to see this request happen in the near future.
Domestic flights (Tachiliek, Mandalay,
Preaching to students at Waingmaw
Photos with the key leaders
A brief speech on Christianity and culture
Praying with Christian leaders from
Waingmaw and Myitkyina
At this moment, Chiangmai is facing a water shortage crisis. Our rice field is in ruins due to the severe drought. If there is no rain available within the next few weeks, we will be facing drinking water shortage. Besides this, every one of the Wongratanamajcha is well. We are all on summer/spring break!
1. Please pray for the AIS’ students. They will be here in Chiangmai at the last week of this month. Then their classroom works will start on May to June. This is their fourth year (their last year). Indeed, this is the third group of our students.
2. The request of a seminar type for Christianity and Culture in Myanmar so that those church leaders will be able to lead their flock faithfully according to God’s Word.
3. The Wongratanamajcha’s trip to the USA this summer-fall.
In His Grace,