(For security the pictures are blurred.)
Dear HeartCry and Supporters,
More Bible teachings took places in some of our associated churches during this month (March). From March 6-11, my coworkers and I traveled to two separate churches and taught three days respectively. Over seventy adults were present and attentively listened to our teaching. For them, it was a much-expected and intensive annual Bible study. By God’s grace, the topics we discussed were timely, challenging and edifying for the church. I touched topics on the Biblical marks of a local church, Justification and Spiritual gifts (i.e., cessationism). Just like the ‘w’ special region, this is an area where another armed group ‘s’ is dominant although it’s still in Myanmar territory. In God’s providence, we have a local militia leader who can help us with our travel and ministry to and from that region without any hindrance from both armies, i.e., b& s. In fact, a ‘B’ colonel on duty also attended a session with his soldiers, and I preached the Gospel in his language for over half an hour. After that, we had lunch together, and he even donated for us.
I’m convinced that God is sending us to more fields with plenteous harvest where the laborers are few (Matt. 9:37-38). After all, the church exists for this very purpose. I couldn’t help noticing the desperate need to send out evangelists to many villages of this area, which I did include in my teaching as one of the marks of a true church. I think the Holy Spirit was at work. In the end, I baptized nine young people from the church and added them to the church, joining the Lord’s Table together.
Moreover, six people from that same church decided to study the Work of God at our Bible school in KT for three years. We will be training them, and the church will send them out to other villages. Meanwhile, two animistic villages have requested us to send missionaries to them. Their hope is for their children’s literacy. However, that’s a wide open-door to us for Gospel preaching! I’m still working on an arrangement to send out two couples to those villages. The goal is to open new missionary stations in that region by sending out more evangelists trained and prepared to preach the Gospel and plant healthy churches.
Many existing churches long for sound teaching. Occasionally, we are invited to teach and preach by churches from other denominations. From March 18-21, my coworker and I visited a church near the Thai border and taught there two days. We taught at their Bible school in the day and preached in the church at night. I taught the same topic of Justification and regeneration with emphasis on salvation by grace alone and by faith alone. Many of around sixty believers and over twenty Bible students heard the expository teaching and genuine Gospel preaching for the first time, and they were much encouraged.
I’ve seen that there are many animistic villages around the church. However, the church or the Bible school it runs didn’t seem concerned for evangelism among unbelievers. That Bible school has been running for over two decades and has trained many students, but its graduates in that area have not planted a church. We have four young men training at our school in KT, and they are already making the difference within the church. More people are coming this academic year to train with us. As our LORD gave me this burden, I’m expecting to send out a missionary to that area too. It is highly possible that they will invite us again for a three-day teaching conference. If that happened, I would want HeartCry to teach with us. However, unfortunately, this is a restricted area where no tourist from abroad can travel.
At another church, I baptized 16 people last weekend and led communion service with members of two nearby churches gathered together. One of my responsibilities in the association is traveling to churches where there are no ordained pastors for baptism and communion. As I preached on the Passover, believers were brought near to the only Mediator, and they were reminded of the assurance of salvation for those who are in Christ.
I thank God for providing ministry assistants in the church too. While I’m away two of my former Bible students now members of our church are helping the church. Our church is growing in number, so we need and are looking forward to having a new church building as soon as the next year, God willing. Another thing I hope to implement is plural eldership, but that’s too early for us. I mention this for your prayers for us.
Our HeartCry men, Chris and Rufus, and their families are doing well by God’s grace. Rufus is developing a friendship with the animistic chief in the village, and the progress is encouraging. He has now taken his wife and the baby to the village to live among them and serve the Lord together. At present, he is preaching at his home day and night to young people and visitors from the village, for there is no church building yet. We will visit him next week on the gospel trip I arrange annually, that’s from 1 to 15 April traveling and preaching the Gospel to over ten animistic villages (some of those we visited last year) until the youth conference on April 16-18. In w region, Chris is staying with his parents-in-law and preaching regularly to his former congregation where church building is still sealed off.
Finally, let me thank you for your financial contributions to the ministry activities I’m involved in the Lord's work. Thank you very much for your faithful partnership and yours encouragements by support, by prayers, and by messages. Please continue to pray for the Gospel trip and for the youth conference that I’m going to play a leading role during the month of April.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
Elijah (March 2019)