Archive for the ‘Myanmar (Burma)’ category

The Rushmore Newsletter

November 12, 2019

 

The Rushmore Newsletter for November 2019 has just been published to the Internet. Nearly 800 email notices are being sent at this moment to members and friends among the churches of Christ so interested brethren may access it online. An additional 1,000+ members of the church and congregations of the Lord’s church will receive printed copies through the US mail over the next several days. Martha and I welcome your questions, comments and participation in our labors for Jesus Christ stateside and abroad. You may access the November edition of the Rushmore Newsletter directly at https://www.gospelgazette.com/Newsletter/2019/November.pdf.

Home Again

October 26, 2019

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Yesterday, Martha and I returned home after several weeks abroad visiting two Asian nations—Myanmar (Burma) and India. We have so many good friends in both of those countries, but we were only able to visit some of them recently. Here are just a few sample pictures depicting some of the places to which we went. They include the Shwedagon Pagoda in downtown Yangon, Myanmar and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

The journey home was tiring, as was the trek from the USA to Asia weeks ago. Each of those trips involved about 30 hours of travel via three jet airplanes. Consequently, between nations to which we went, and other countries also through which we passed, Martha and I traveled in China, Myanmar, Thailand, India and Russia. It’s good to be home in one’s own bed, though we thoroughly enjoyed our friends and Christian brethren overseas. Traveling with us was brother Nigel Milo from Guyana, South America.

As the Calendar Page Turns

January 1, 2018

Upon our return from a mission trip in three Asian countries, preceded by a mission trip of two weeks in South America, Martha and I found ourselves wearily entering into the Thanksgiving holiday. We flew into Florida and promptly drove to Mississippi, where we were joined by my daughter Rebecca. Later after a few days at the office, Martha and I returned to Florida, where we enjoyed Christmas holidays with my three children as well as one of Martha’s sons, his wife and their three children.

December 31, we assembled for worship with two congregations not far from our Ocala, Florida home. In the morning, we once more visited the Wildwood Church of Christ, whereupon its two elders ably handled the Bible class and the preaching (1 Timothy 3:2) in the absence of their pulpit preacher. That evening, we met with the Bellview Church of Christ, my first occasion to gathering with these brethren. In both places, I left copies of The Voice of Truth International and the Rushmore Newsletter.

Upon Martha and me returning to Ocala, Rebecca apprised me of the final proofing corrections for Gospel Gazette Online, and I published it to the Internet. New Year’s Day, I notified the nearly 2,000 subscribers to the Internet journal of its availability. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the collaboration of coworkers in Winona, Mississippi, I was able to complete layout of Volume 95 of The Voice of Truth International. My mobile office works in Florida, too, besides working in Winona, Mississippi or abroad in South America or Asia. Internet and phone services are additional requirements from time to time, but my laptop computer do it to it wherever and whenever.

Another significant event, though resembling a typical, lackluster Saturday, today—January 1st—New Year’s Day—is the first wedding anniversary for Martha and me. How the year came and went we hardly know. I whisked Martha off to the jungles of South America within days of our wedding. In the states, we lived out of our suitcases often and once for a month as we traveled to my speaking appointments across the eastern USA. In September we spent two more weeks traversing Guyana, South America before embarking on a two-month trip to Myanmar, Singapore and India. We hardly knew what to do with ourselves with the sudden slowdown of the end of year American holidays and the turning of the calendar page to 2018.

Yesterday, I bought airfare for travel once more to Guyana. We are scheduled to be in that country from January 30 through March 6. Martha and I will participate in workshops and seminars in all 10 regions of the jungle nation. We will conduct programs for Christians and place our effort within reach of every church of our Lord. In addition, we will put on a seminar simultaneously for church leaders and workers, which will be more extensive than material for others. The workshops follow the theme, “Back to the Bible,” and the seminars will address in depth, “How We Got the Bible.

We are indebted to Christians and churches that encourage and financially participate with us in our ministry—stateside and overseas. May God bless us and every child of God as we circumspectly make our way through life on earth in eager anticipation of being invited into the house of our God forever.

Three Weeks in Myanmar

October 21, 2017

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The first week, Martha and I lodged in the Hotel Bo Bo Min by evening and taught by day some 30 minutes away on the east side of Yangon. Nine Chinese Gospel preachers from the northeastern area of Myitkyina convened for the special series of classes. Some of the ministers have dual Myanmar and Chinese citizenship, and they all speak the tribal language of Lisu.

Martha taught ladies, and I taught the men. My lessons over the week included crash courses on “How We Got the Bible” and “Bible Geography & Sacred History.” In addition, tracts and books in the Lisu language were provided for these attendees.

Weeks two and three, Martha and I lodged by night on the other side of Yangon in the Hotel Corolla, and during the days, we taught Christians and non-Christians who had come from throughout the nation especially for these lessons. I taught the same courses as I did during the previous week, plus English and a variety of short biblical lessons.

Over the three weeks, we worshipped on the Lord’s Day and I spoke for three different congregations in the Yangon area. We were also lunch guests one day in the home of a revered Christian brother and his family in the outskirts of Hmawbi. Not the least of our joys were the playful moments enjoyed with a certain pintsized boy and an equally precious little girl. Both are preschool, but already they have mastered more than I did in first grade—a few decades ago.

An Indian brother who directs a Bible training school in India visited while we were in Myanmar. I have known him for years, and he was the teacher of several of the Burmese evangelists with whom I labor for our Lord. Not a part of what we do, of course, we observed samples of Buddhism everywhere, including young, female monks in training—wearing pink.

Ready to move on in our two months abroad, still, we were reluctant to part from the dear Christian brethren whom we count as among our most cherished friends on earth. I have grown to love them over the past decade, and Martha and they became fast friends. Friday evening, October 20, Martha and I winged our way across a time zone or two to Singapore to be with more Christian friends and brethren. We struggled to reload our suitcases, and we don’t dare buy another thing or accept any gifts; otherwise, we may have to check into getting luggage racks installed atop an airliner or two!

We appreciate and continue to covet prayers on our behalf as we travel overseas. Martha and I, Lord willing, will return to the USA on November 21.

No Friday this Week!

October 1, 2017

Thursday, September 28, Martha Lynn and I began our trek from the USA to Asian countries that will encompass the next 55 days before our return—Lord willing. Our journey presented little difficulties; no major complications were encountered. Our flights took us from Orlando, FL to Los Angelos, CA to Taipei, Taiwan to Yangon, Myanmar over the next nearly 30 hours. The transpacific flight alone was around 13 hours aloft! In the process of travel and crossing the International Date Line as we headed in a westward direction, we completely skipped Friday—except for boarding a plane in California after midnight. Essentially, we took flight on Thursday and landed on Saturday—all within the space of 30 hours. Remarkably, on our return trip as we fly completely around the world, we will compress the same number of hours into a single day; we will leave Asia and arrive in North America on the same calendar day, despite traveling for more hours than there is in a single day. As confusing as that is, imagine trying to take one’s scheduled medication in a timely fashion.

We slept on the three planes at will and otherwise amused ourselves with music, movies and preparation to teach upon our arrival in Asia. The last 3½ hour leg of our travels seemed to me to be the most difficult, only because I was tired of traveling and ready to be there.

Gladly, dear Christian friends were promptly at the airport to greet and to retrieve us. They and we paused a bit for refreshments at the airport before traveling to our hotel for the next week. Later, we will transfer to another hotel where we will abide for two more weeks while in Myanmar.

Sunday, we assembled with Burmese and Chinese Christians for worship. Afterward and upon returning to Hotel Bo Bo Min, we decided to rest for just a little while. Three hours later, we were awakened by housekeeping upon the delivery of our laundry. Returning to our slumber, we slept for another six hours! We thought we had been refreshed and handling reasonably the jetlag, but apparently our bodies behaved differently. Two days in a row we snoozed—dead to the world—right through the supper hour! Sleep is never so rewarding or as deep as it is when one is exhausted; we have been sleeping soundly. Unfortunately, the bedbugs haven’t been sleeping; this is the first and only occasion in my stateside and foreign travels that I have encountered these critters. Unfortunately for Martha and surprisingly to me, they prefer biting her over chewing on me! I had jokingly said previously that I was taking her with me for “bait,” and apparently that is truer than I suspected.

Monday through Friday, a new chapter in our lives commences as we commune especially with Chinese brethren. They and we hope to glorify and serve our Lord.

Winding Down and Winding Up

September 26, 2017

Recently, Martha and I dined with some of her children (Jim, Denise and family) at Gator Joe’s on a Florida lake. What a beautiful sunset graced our suppertime delight! Of course, Martha had to get sand between her toes and wade in the water.

This past Sunday morning, September 24, Martha and I assembled with the Wildwood, Florida Church of Christ. This was my second visit to the congregation and my first opportunity to speak for this church. During Bible class, I presented my “World Evangelism Media & Missions” PowerPoint presentation. At the worship hour, I preached “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” We felt right at home with Wildwood, and everyone paid rapt attention. It was a pleasure to worship God in spirit and in truth together.

For lunch, Martha and I treated ourselves to some deluxe Angus cheeseburgers and trimmings. Not only were they delicious, but we won’t have any such favorites for several weeks as we are abroad for eight weeks in three Asian countries. We drove a few miles thereafter to what turned out to be a dying, indoor mall. We idled at a franchise bookstore café and enjoyed the air conditioning while doing digital jigsaw puzzles on our electronic tablets.

When it was time, we made our way to the meetinghouse of the Village Church of Christ in Lady Lake, Florida. This was my second visit to this little church, and we worshipped with them.

Tuesday was a mobile office workday. I was able to publish the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet and sundry other matters were addressed, too.

Thursday, Martha and I fly from Orlando, Florida to Los Angelos, California. From there we will fly for about 16 hours to Taipei, Taiwan, and then fly on to Yangon, Myanmar (also known as Burma). We will arrive on Saturday after nonstop traveling by jet airplane.

Three weeks later, we will fly to Singapore for about four days, before flying to India. For five weeks, we will travel to sundry places. Finally, November 21, we will return home from New Delhi to New York to Florida—all on the same day, though the same number of hours as traveling to Asia! I am looking forward to sharing some of the beautiful pictures of our travels from time to time during the eight weeks we will be gone. Please remember us in your prayers.

I Love Myanmar

November 1, 2016

 

96-dpi-4x6-hmawbi-2“I love Myanmar” is a slogan that one sees often plastered across signage from clothing to the sides of busses to billboards to the face of city buildings. I love Myanmar, too. I love the countryside, the people and especially my brothers and sisters in Christ.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-9Therman Hodge and I arrived in Yangon, Myanmar finally on Saturday, October 22 after around 30 hours of constant travel by jet planes and brief layovers in airports between flights. We had left Jackson, MS on Thursday, October 20, traveling to Houston, TX to Moscow, Russia to Singapore to Yangon, Myanmar.

96-dpi-4x6-kyaw-sein-1Since then, we have worshipped with brethren of two congregations in Yangon, and I assembled with brethren last weekend in a distant Asho tribe on a mountain accessible only by footpath. Monday through Friday for two weeks, we spoke at the Hmawbi Bible College tucked away amidst tropical flora. For one week, I taught half a day in the jungle home of Kyaw Sein. At night when not too tired, I worked on our Internet magazine (Gospel Gazette Online) as well as on our print journal (The Voice of Truth International). I fielded emails and literature orders also.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-1My adventure last Friday through the wee hours of Monday morning involved a trek via automobile about 12 hours each way over mountains, across the mighty Irrawaddy River and winding up back and forth on the side of a 3,000 foot high peak. After taking some respite in a modest, old teak wood and bamboo home borne by stilts on a highland slope, Asho brethren and I hiked a foliage shrouded, meandering uphill path that hugged the cliff. Less than an hour later, we emerged at the edge of small village of 20 homes, themselves suspended upon the mountainside and camouflaged with the dense rainforest. Torrential rain for the two days I was there, low clouds masking the scenery and unimaginable humidity – surely somehow more than 100% – inhibited sightseeing and picture taking. Leeches that bloodied my feet and the lack of amenities to which I have become accustomed proved to be challenging and temporarily excited some culture shock.96-dpi-4x6-hmawbi-1

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-4Nearly every resident of the village who is old enough to obey the Gospel is a member of Christ’s church! The meetinghouse for the church of Christ is an elevated platform with a corrugated metal roof, but without walls. Once complete, the structure will have bamboo walls to interfere with blowing rain that currently bombards attendees from time to time.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-7Approximately 50 men, women and children came together for many hours Saturday and Sunday. The eagerness with which the audience hung on every word and took notes compelled me to focus on their edification from the Word of God and less on my grumbling. Following each instruction, they refused to take a break and asked for “more.” Over the two days, I taught eight lessons, and we only concluded in anticipation of darkness in the absence of electricity with which to illuminate the night.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-8No one arrives at this village in a Myanmar alp by accident, but by purposeful and deliberate exertion. To facilitate easier access for me, brethren gave the trail a haircut so to speak. They made it easier for me to penetrate the jungle thoroughfare to their homes by cutting back grasses, banana trees, etc.

96-dpi-4x6-aung-san-1In addition to the mountain destination, along the way, I visited the museum of the Myanmar national hero, Aung San. At another wayside stop, Burmese brethren and I visited a private boarding school of about 400 teenagers. Dotting the travel were numerous oxcarts alongside cars, bicycles, motorbikes, trucks, buses and an abundance of cows, dogs, goats, an elephant and people.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-6Lord willing on Friday, Therman and I board the first of two airplanes to wing our way ultimately to India. Once on the ground, we’ll take a hotel for the night before proceeding the next day by land to Kakinada, India. Once that appointment concludes in about a week, brother Hodge will return home while I make my way to additional venues in India.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-5Sometimes where we are, what we eat and such like prove to be somewhat daunting, but we and others like us simply push forward. The sense of Christian duty and souls anxious to hear the old Jerusalem Gospel propel us with eagerness into fields that are white unto harvest.