Three very different cultures, including ours, interacted deeply during the February mission’s festival at Grace Community Church, Hilton Head, SC. We were challenged in new ways by what it means to have a heart for the harvest, which was our theme.
Pastor Benjamin (Myanmar), on his first visit to the US, and Pastor Julius Murgor (Pokot, Kenya) shared their love for Jesus and their passion for seeing their own people reached with the gospel of Christ. We were able to understand more of the heart of Jesus when He felt great pity on the crowds and saw them as sheep without a shepherd.
These men, although meeting for the first time, have been chosen by God and given the same calling to reach their people for Christ, the same role of being keepers of the vision, and of equipping, training, and sending faithful men to plant churches in their countries. Hung Ling’s vision includes sending 100 missionaries into the provinces of Myanmar, a country predominately Buddhist.
Over 20 years ago, through Harvesters, Grace Community Church began its relationship with Julius and the Pokot (Pokot Outreach Ministries). The ministry was just beginning and the needs were great. The Lord allowed us to send medical and outreach teams. Our partnership and love for them deepened.
We rejoiced as Julius gave a report at our mission’s festival of all the Lord has continued to do, including three orphanages that serve over 800 children and planting 186 churches with 46 pastors and 138 evangelists. Also, there have been over 110 water drilling projects, which have been a primary tool to assist the ministry in bringing people to Christ.
Now POM has outreaches into Uganda. Reuben and Loice, who were trained by Julius, are the first POM missionaries sent outside their own people group to the unreached people in South Sudan, in the midst of very adverse conditions.
Just as we have been privileged to be a small part of the development of the Pokot ministry through prayer, going and giving, we are excited about what God will do through our new partnership with Pastor Benjamin and the Fellowship Bible Church Ministry in Myanmar, also under the umbrella of Harvesters. About ten years ago, this ministry began under the leadership of Pastor Benjamin. He now oversees six church orphanage homes and a Bible school with 32 students, which will have their first graduating class in February 2015. Some of these students will be among the 100 he envisions sending out to the unreached villages around Myanmar.
We are learning of ways we too can partner with Pastor Benjamin by praying, giving and going. In 2013, two teams from Grace were able to go: one team taught English to the Bible school students while the other team went to get a deeper understanding of other aspects of the ministry, including the women in leadership. There are ongoing needs for teaching English, Bible, and computer.
Another pressing need is for a parcel of land to provide a safe, secure, and permanent place for the growing Bible school— safe from the hindrances of rising rental costs, robbers of the girls’ dorm, and even lack of getting internet services. By God’s grace, we are trusting Him to help provide for this need though us here at Grace.
God is calling us to go deeper with the Myanmar ministry as He did years ago with the Pokot. We are thankful to have this little part in seeing God’s Kingdom come in both of these countries.