I have had the privilege of sharing the Gospel in many places around the globe and would not consider most of those to be “Holiday Inn” locations, but what our pastors go through to share the Gospel in Southern Chin state far surpasses anything that most of us can imagine.
Southern Chin state is located in the western mountains of Myanmar and is one of the places that would be described as, “You can’t get there from here!” That isn’t holding our pastors back, however, they make the long bus trip to the base of the mountain and then hike for several days up the steep, rugged terrain to reach out to people who live in their homeland. You may remember that we showed pictures of rats devouring fields of rice last year as they tore through this mountain region eating everything in sight. The impact of this destruction and the fact that the rats are still there bore deeply on the hearts of our young pastors who purchased supplies to deliver to those in the most dire need and at the same time share the love of Christ to them.
Open-air meetings were held in Mindat Town between March 30th and April 2nd. As most of the people are very poor and that towns very small, there was no place large enough to hold group meetings indoors, so a small tent was erected and people came or could hear the message from their homes. The group was a mix of Christians, Buddhists and animists. For the first time in their lives, many Buddhists heard the message that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. Animists were made aware of the fact that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses all human sin and that this is an eternal, not a temporal cleansing. The Christians were encouraged and trained in how to share their faith to non-Christians. Many had believed that the Gospel was only for the rich, but learned that the Lord loved all people rich or poor, young or old. The picture is of an elderly man who accepted the Gospel during this outreach, and many children came to a saving knowledge of Christ as well.
The orphanage home has received another youngster from Southern Chin State – Ha Thang, pictured here after his parents died last year. He was forced to drop out of school for lack of finances, and because of the food shortage, he had little to eat even though the community did the best they could to assist him. You will remember that the pastor and his wife brought 8 children back with them a little over a year ago on one of their trips. By coming to the Victory Lighthouse, this child will have an opportunity to return to school and will be cared for in a loving Christian home. The trip down the mountain will not be an easy one for him, but the Lord has opened His arms and welcomed this child into His family.
When we count the cost of sharing the Gospel we think of our time in minutes and hours – I dare say, few of us would travel 4 days each way to share with poor, starving village people out of our pure love for the lost. I am deeply touched by the lengths that our partners have to go to in sharing the love of Christ, and I can only pray that the Lord would touch my heart in such a way as to be able to be more sacrificial of my time and resources in accomplishing just a fraction of what these men do.