Praise the Lord! Asians for Christ’s hopes and dreams of equipping leaders for the furthering of His Kingdom has indeed made much progress in Myanmar. Through several years of teaching and equipping leaders from Myanmar, we are coming to an end with a new batch of leaders ready to be empowered by going back into the work field with the Word of God that we have given to them through the Love and Grace of our Heavenly Father. They have only one last project to work on for the next year in order to complete their studies.
This final term consisted of classes taught by Stephen, Dr. Derek Voorhees, Professor Isaiah, Nick, and Becky. Stephen started the term with a Revelation class and is now wrapping up the term with an evening class in the book of James, while Professor Isaiah teaches on the Doctrine of God during the day time. Dr. Derek Voorhees taught the book of Matthew. Nick taught a class on pastoral counseling, while Becky taught English. It was a great blessing from God to provide the teachers and the classes that the leaders from Myanmar learned and will take back to their people.
Isaiah's class on Doctrine of God
Nick's Pastoral Counseling Class
Stephen teaching on James
During the week, teaching would occur; during the weekends, the teachings were applied in sermons and worship songs in the various Lisu churches in the mountains of Northern Thailand. On the trips to the villages, Nick helps drive the students and the team. Thanks to you all for participating in this equipping and empowering ministry in prayerful and financial supports. Without your participation, this ministry would not be accomplished in this fruitful way!
Stephen, Nick and the Myanmar students
on a weekend evangelistic trip
A typical farming system at village
Derek preaches and Stephen translates
Church at Hui Ko
Lunch prepared by Hui Ko Church
Church at a suburb of Chiangmai
Praying for family in their transition,
moving into Thailand from the USA
After the Voorhees blessed us with their time to be with us, they went back to America; John went back to Boise, Idaho with the Voorhees and is staying with them until he attends Boise Bible College in the fall. Nick is preparing to teach the youth at an international church in the month of July. On top of these things, Nick was asked to host a radio program in Chiang Mai. The Wongratanamajcha’s plan for going to the States this summer has been postponed due to Mary’s health. Please pray for her as she’s going through a time of health related problems.
For the Sake of His Kingdom,
The Wongratanamajchas, the Voorhees,
& the Myanmar students
Note from Dr. Derek Voorhees
Spending the first two weeks of June 2016 with the Wongratanamajcha’s and the Lisu believers was amazing! A blend of sweet harmonies when singing praise to God in their house and in two different village churches. Mary's blend of garlic, basil, and lemon made for one tasty meal after another after another. And then there was the special blend of cultures, languages, and nationalities (US, Thai, Burmese…and the Lisu tribe). These and other elements all came together by the Lord’s blessing to offer such a pleasant time together!
As you would expect, the Wong's hospitality was over the top. This is also seen in how they care for and serve the Burmese students by providing food, health-care and clothes. It is common seeing the students work around the house and rice fields for the Wong's to earn their keep, but they are well taken cared while away from family for 2 months. The Christ-like servant-heartedness of the Wong’s is special to watch.
Eating the Thai/Lisu foods offers a little taste of heaven. As a result, I learned a new Lisu word…bulio (it means “to be full”). I honestly think I used this word after every meal, every day…no exaggeration. The food cooked by Mary, or purchased at a shack down the road, or the meal provided in the villages we visited was always so delicious that I could hardly stop. ”Bulio!” But I also used the word with regards to the rich blessing by such amazing Christ-followers. Witnessing the Wong’s lead from a sincerely intentional devotion and deep commitment was good for my soul…I left the Wong’s bulio, my heart, mind, body & soul fully satisfied!
Besides going to edify the entire Wong family, my main purpose for going was to instruct the young Lisu students from Burma who are always hungry to study. They come to be equipped to shepherd the needs of the people in their churches and evangelize the lost in their villages, and train up the current and emerging leaders they serve alongside. This is the third consecutive year I’ve been privileged to instruct the students from a NT book. Two years ago we studied “2 Corinthians,” last summer was “Romans,” and this summer I led them through an exegetical study of “Matthew” for 9 days, 6+ hours each day. The overarching theme from Matthew highlights Jesus the Messiah as Son of David, the King of a new international kingdom of heaven.
Derek teaching Matthew
I love hearing the students process Scripture for their lives and their Lisu culture back home. They take it very seriously because they are so honored and grateful for the opportunity to participate in Asian Christian Seminary by Stephen’s invitation, for the glory of God.
The teaching experience, combined with the devoted ministry of the Wong’s, compels me to ask you a question. If you're reading this report you have supported the Wong's and/or Asians For Christ in some form or fashion (financial gift, prayers, personal visits to Thailand…or all of these). For me as a first-hand witness of how the Lord is honoring, providing, and working through this family and the AFC ministry, I'd like to encourage you to consider increasing your prayers for them and your financial sacrifice…even making a trip to visit the Wongs. It is a fruitful investment! The Lord is counting this small part of his Kingdom as productive and faithfully obedient. He has given them much to manage and they do not bury it until the King returns, but by the Spirit’s power are multiplying God’s seed for the Kingdom! So for starters, tell someone about God’s work in SE Asia through the Wongs. Share this note and direct them to the blog. And then, if you haven't lately, write the Wong's a personally warm message of encouragement about their family & ministry (you can email it directly to Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lastly, what made this trip extra special (my 6th to teach alongside Stephen) was that my wife Nell and college-age daughter Kaylee accompanied me! We flew to Beijing, China to spend a week with a recent alumnus of Boise Bible College before going on to Thailand for two weeks. I’m a privileged man to serve alongside my wife and daughter both in Beijing and Chiangmai. It was a true joy to watch them interact with, encourage and simply love on our host in China and Mary in Thailand (...and other women like Mary’s daughter Becky, mother Leah, and a newly married student Priscilla). They both loved it!! To have been given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve the King with my family, by loving fellow believers in an international context, was a memorable gift from God!
Well, thanks for reading all of this! So thankful to the Lord for his provision and grace!
PS. Teaching alongside these students in their own Burmese context would be a privilege. So, could I ask you something? Would you mind asking the Lord right now to begin revealing His will about a possible trip for me to teach other church leaders with Stephen in Burma in the next year? And continue to lift up the students and the Wong’s as they follow God’s lead for the most effect steps of ministry.