Burmese, Rwang & Lisu language literature
What’s not to like? Nearly every day since I have been in Asia so far (i.e., Singapore and Myanmar) I have eaten French fries! With a stomach like mine, nursed daily with medicine, the anticipation of spicy Asian diet and sometimes doubtful hygienic food preparation can give rise to some personal anxiety. To date, I haven’t dipped heavily into my store of cereal bars and Ritz crackers.
What’s not to like? I sleep in an air conditioned room; when the electric fails, a generator restores power to the hotel. I have a hot shower at my disposal – and a western-style flush toilet. Someone else washes my clothes, unlike at the house when that is my job. Besides tasty meals in local restaurants and the home of sisters Winsome and Sheila, the grocery store is a short walk from my lodging, where just last night I bought all I could carry. Of course, I just got the important stuff, like Coke Zero, orange juice, Myanmar tea, washcloths, professionally packaged cashews and one of the biggest Cadbury milk chocolate bars I have ever seen – enough to last for days!
More importantly, I am here for a reason in service of our Lord, and it has been a sheer pleasure to interact with dear, familiar brethren in both countries visited as of yet; I look forward and long also for the sweet friendship of more Christian friends in Sri Lanka and India in the weeks to come.
Upon my arrival Monday, September 28, I was greeted by Asia’s Phoebe, sister Winsome; she is the go to person for arrangements for so many foreign and domestic brethren to facilitate our comings and goings for the cause of Christ. The landscape of the Christian endeavors of so many brethren would not be the same at all without her. Tuesday, I was greeted at the hotel by brother Jay Ahti who had traveled an hour to see me, bearing for me more fruit than I could eat in the three weeks I will be in this country; we lunched together nearby at a café in Oceans mall. Wednesday, brother Kyaw Sein from Hmawbi sent a car for me to usher me to his home about an hour away, where we had lunch together and mapped out a strategy for teaching in his neighborhood two weeks from then.
Thursday, Jay Ahti returned in a taxi to retrieve me and take me to his home far, far away through thick motorcar traffic in Yangon, a city of many millions. Following lunch, study and provision for participation in his ongoing godly labors, we trudged back to my hotel. Friday, brother Damon Vincent arrived at the hotel and we communed in the lobby for a while, along with Winsome and Jay Ahti; Saturday morning, brethren Damon and Jay departed for the far northeastern corner of Myanmar to present a series of weeklong lectures to fellow Christians. Saturday, Winsome and I made my annual trek to Scott’s Market in the downtown, whereupon I buy small gifts each year to give away to stateside brethren who extend to me their hospitality as I travel, giving mission updates and presenting biblical lessons. I look forward to the jaunt, and there is always so much more to take in and view beyond what meager purchases I make.
Punctuating the above throughout the week, I have set up my mobile office in a corner of my hotel room and applied myself to preparing the October edition of Gospel Gazette Online and beginning to work on a new literature project. Most of the time, the Internet at the hotel works and is barely fast enough to upload html pages for GGO and retrieve my email. As soon as I receive the last two articles for which I am waiting from writers, I will publish the new issue and notify subscribers.
This week, too, through the funds made available by my supporters, I have empowered Burmese brethren with hundreds of dollars to continue printing various pieces of literature; I also gave them new tracts that they may consider for publication in four national languages of Burma.
Sunday, as I pen this, I am anticipating worshipping with brethren at two house churches in Yangon, where on each occasion they graciously will permit me to teach God’s Word. Monday through Friday, Lord willing, I will teach four hours daily at the Hmawbi Bible School in a jungle setting. Next Sunday, I am scheduled to speak for the congregation that assembles in the home of Kyaw Sein. Monday through Friday of that week, I will teach two hours in the Hmawbi neighborhood of brother Sein and two hours at the school each day. The following day, Saturday, I fly to Sri Lanka.
If it isn’t working for the Lord, it is not something that has much meaning to me, especially these days. Slowly, my grief is becoming a little more manageable, particularly as I devote myself to the tasks outlined above that lie before me. I’m on a journey, and this earth is not my home. Sometimes I stray from the pilgrim pathway (like any other mortal), but I am determined to maintain my focus on the heavenly horizon toward which I am marching. There are persons there who I earnestly long to embrace – Bonnie Sue Rushmore, but more so, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the angelic host and the redeemed of all ages. Come, go with me – hand in hand!