We have never had so many invitations to provide God’s Plan for His Church (GPHC) in my almost twenty years. Not only the manual but inquiries about the new Seminary Level course Sherman put together. Why? First of all I believe this is God’s timing but practically speaking, more and more people are tired of the “same-old-same-old”. Another factor is the worldwide economy which has reduced missions funding. As you know, our material teaches a Pauline model which enables churches to be planted and grown without money. This Biblical model also helps produce “unstoppable” church planters and churches. For example, here are a couple recent invitations:
Vietnam: “Warmest wishes to you and your family and your collaborators. May you agree to come for training in Vietnam on April/2014 we arrange, you can choose any week of the month or the first week. OK. Give us the material please.” (This will be both the manual workbook and seminary course.)
Myanmar: “The translation of Burmese Manual in Myanmar process is doing well and we believe it will finish before the end of this year. We are doing it as a team together. Regarding equipping and training quality spiritual leaders in the rented house in Chiang Mai, I would like my assistance and coordinator in church planting ministry around Myanmar) to be trained by you. If you can do them a favor please let me know the date for this intensive training for the manual before the 2nd new edition is launch.”
Zambia: Brothers, Henry and Peter who have completed the preparation work (63 Lessons) in the manual were hoping to come here for a week of training and a week of sharing with some of churches in Thailand, but it looks like they will not be able to come. They were going to share how the Holy Spirit moved in Zambia a couple of years ago through the GPHC tool. This is Henry’s response: “Brother Tim, I am very disappointed with the situation. I truly know that God was going to do miracles of changing lives of people just as
he changed me, my family and some churches we work with. I am so sorry
for my brethren there for l surely wanted to come and share what the
Lord is doing in my life and his church. Tim, we need to be trained and it is time the churches in Africa get revival.” We are still working on them coming here but if they do not, I might go there to complete the manual with them; waiting on the Lord.
Bethany College of Mission Worldwide: Meeting with them Tuesday morning to review GPHC and how they can use it in their two year training program here in Chiang Mai.
Eternal Life Church, Chiang Mai: I had the privilege to bring the morning message sharing how the Lord uses the weak, foolish, low and despised to shame the strong and the wise.
Franklin Graham Festival: Tomorrow I tag along with my Karen friend for training counselors for the upcoming Franklin Graham Festival here in Chiang Mai in November.
Rawang People: Group from Myanmar is in Chiang Mai and wants to spend a couple of days this week being introduced to GPHC to take back to start teaching in Myanmar.
Chinese Training Center, Chiang Mai: They wanted #30 copies of GPHC which I delivered last week. They will be starting September a one year practical missionary training course. These are very dedicated brothers who are providing life and death training for their disciples; this came through a connection Chris made on his last trip to China. What a privilege to be a part of what our Lord is doing in China and other places. I was able to meet with them for dinner Friday night and hear their testimonies and vision. I was greatly moved as one of the Korean brothers shared how he came to know Christ after a newcomer came to his public school when he was 13 years old. When the teacher asked him to introduce himself before the class, he shared the gospel which convicted the Korean brother and later led him to Christ.
Lahu Pastors and Church Planters Thailand: Two weeks ago we went out to the Lahu villages and after a brief introduction of GPHC we set up training in Chiang Mai the following week. We started on Tuesday and finished up Friday. In the Lahu language their vocabulary is very limited so it was good to have illustrations to help in our teaching. They were able to teach the material with good solid testimonies of things they want the Spirit to change in their lives, in their families and churches. They are eager to have the new manual fully translated.
Karen Leader: My very good friend and brother in the Lord and I are working together through GPHC between meetings and other conferences and his duties with the KBC.
Karen Baptist Seminary Chiang Mai: Presented the GPHC Seminary level course and they are excited about developing it as a key class for their church planters.
Karen Evangelists: Coming up in September we will be training new fresh Karen evangelists both here and in the villages. More to come, along with the completion of the new Karen GPHC manual soon, Lord willing…………
In addition, I am working on finalizing a daily devotional on the Holy Spirit for next year. I had eye problems so I went to an eye clinic and am thankful it was only an inverted eyelash. I am enjoying using a bicycle to get around on that a dear brother let me borrow. I never knew a bicycle could be such a blessing! Oh, I had the pleasure of traveling up to the top of one of the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai to eat and fellowship with my friend’s brother-in-law who oversees one of the King’s organic farm projects.
God is truly at work and it is both a privilege and honor to join our awesome Savior in building His Church. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement as we travel on this incredible journey! And remember, you have a special invitation to join us! Thank the Lord for those pioneers like Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Hudson Taylor and many unknown who gave their lives for foreign missions to make this work possible. Incidentally, if anyone out there is interested in training and helping, let us know, or pray (Luke 10:2).
Because of Christ,
“Oh beware! Do not seek to be something! Let me be nothing, and Christ be all in all.” – John Wesley
From the jungles to the cities in Burma or Myanmar, many came for training, hosted by a dear Chin Brother who lives in Burma and Australia. About 3 years ago, he located a copy of the manual in Australia, and after reading it, contacted me about teaching the material to his church planters so they can be more effective by becoming more biblical, Holy Spirit dependent, indigenous and self-sustaining. We had about 50 hungry students from Chin area, desiring to follow Paul’s model as he followed Christ.
As always, we soon realized we lack the power of the early church, so we renewed this area of our lives and pushed on to the importance of our personal relationship with Christ, its effect on families and how it results in Spirit filled church planting and renewal. Through the Holy Spirit, much of the teaching was soon turned over to them.
They taught and preached the Word concerning factors that made the early church so powerful, making disciples or leaders like Jesus, strengthening the churches using Paul’s letters, the value of family in their ministries and how to solve or resolve different current issues facing the family and church biblically. Testimonies afterwards were so encouraging to hear! These simple truths applied to their lives personally, and Lord willing, we will see the church renewed in Burma which is really (as in the USA) the answer to so many of the problems we all face in these last days.
I walked about 30+ minutes each day to and from the meeting winding through the streets of Yangon, the main city in Burma. As always, I find the people so interesting in contrast to our culture, but something particularly fascinating is to see four religious buildings within a rocks throw of each other: a mosque, a church building, and Buddhist and Hindu temples.
I felt fairly safe there because if anyone gets or even starts to get out of line, the military or police will stop them dead in their tracks.
I am now back in Chiang Mai; spent yesterday washing clothes, being lonely, but I did meet with one Rawang Brother who has a ministry to the Lahu people group which is interestingly located in Burma, Thailand, Laos, China and Vietnam. We will be making training plans for some of the leaders from Lahu leaders from the tribal areas in Thailand. Yesterday I met with my dear friend and Karen Brother to make plans on training here and in the jungle areas “new” evangelists or maybe I should say, “New hungry souls”. I spent today with an elderly brother, 78, who is fired up and taking the gospel to remote areas of Thailand. He is the one I went with several months ago where they have no electricity etc... With him around, can I even think about stopping at 67? We talked over the process and concepts in translating the manual into the Karen Language. Also, keep Henry and Peter from Zambia in your prayers that they will be able to come to Chiang Mai for training and preaching in the Karen and Lahu Churches in Northern Thailand. They just now received their visa applications.
Thanks for your prayers!
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