Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank you to all who prayed for our recent conference and mission trip to Mae Sot. God went above and beyond anything we could expect or imagine. Messages and raps from Pastor Drew, Pastor Duane, Pastor Juha, Pastor Mark Goody, and Pastor Walsh were rich. Our conference theme was from 2 Corinthians 4:1 “Seeing we have this ministry”. Our ministry is to receive the character and nature of God, to receive His love that surpasses all knowledge. We receive from Christ, like Mary who sat at His feet, and then we become ministers of Christ.

Here are a few testimonies from the conference: “Wow, God spoke directly to my heart. Every single question I had in my heart before the conference was addressed one after another.” “I expected to come and hear God’s word and have fun but I wasn’t expecting God to pierce my heart, to cut through and speak in such a bold way.”

We were able to pour out what we received during the conference on our mission trip to Mae Sot. All together we passed out over 2500 tracts, mostly to Burmese people. On Monday, we performed a skit about salvation in the main marketplace a few times along with street preaching. One missionary couple heard us preaching in the market and later told a mutual friend, “Wow! Are you associated with those people who were preaching in the market this morning? We got goose bumps when we stopped to listen!”

At the market, Pastor Juha and Tuikku met a Burmese monk who had escaped to Thailand after taking part in an uprising against the military Junta a few years ago. We were surprised when he showed up the next day at our morning devotional with his friend. They were very open and we gave them both a Burmese gospel of John.

For me the highlight of the trip was visiting a village Monday afternoon. The people who live there have fled Burma to escape persecution and build a better life for themselves in Thailand. Most make less than a dollar a day working in a nearby jewelry factory.

As soon as we arrived, the entire village of over 200 people came outside or stopped whatever they were doing to stare at us. They crowded around quietly and politely to watch our skit and listen to Pastor Duane preach a simple gospel message. They stood listening, silent and intent, their faces fixed in concentration.

It was difficult to have one-on-one conversations because we only had one Burmese translator. None of them spoke Thai but we pointed to pictures on our gospel tracts. Many times I found myself pointing to the sky and saying, “God,” then hugging myself, “loves”, and pointing to a person, “you”. A few women had tears in their eyes when I pointed to them.

We were all touched to experience the theme of our conference in this way and couldn’t help thinking, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those whose heart and life are broken; they are the ones who receive.