During this season in the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving with an amazing spread of food and special time with family and close friends. We want to take this opportunity to especially thank you for standing with us in so many ways. The best way we can do this is by giving you some ‘clips’ of events that have taken place recently and exciting opportunities ahead of us:
Brother Henry met in Mabonga with “more than 100 people eager for the Word of God”. He taught from God’s Plan for His Church which brought transformation in the church. “Church chairmen” resigned and became biblical “deacons and deaconesses”. After preaching from Luke 15:11 “about the lost son, 57 people believed in the Lord Jesus”. 13 were set free from demonic oppression, and 3 were healed from different diseases. “We really felt the presence of God and the Holy Spirit moved mightily.” There was further teaching for GPHC on New Testament principles of order in the church.
Persons are asking how to plant churches like Paul did. Henry is being used by the Lord to teach these principles from Scripture.
We have helped Henry purchase two new tires for his vehicle because of the amount of travel he is doing and since the tires he has now are very smooth. There are 22 other repairs that need to be done, so if the Lord moves you to help, please let us know. Remember that Henry has also launched a ministry to the Pygmies which is already bearing fruit.
The Burmese translation of GPHC is complete and in the proof-reading stage. Pray for printing to take place soon in view of Tim’s visit in January.
GPHC training will take place at the Siloam Bible Institute, January 13 to 17, 2014. Pray for students to have completed the lessons in preparation for a week of review and writing their projects and strategy.
The GPHC Karen translation is nearly finished. It will need type-setting and proofing before it can be printed. The opportunities with the Karen in Thailand and Myanmar are many. Please pray for the completion of this translation and for God to open effective doors to train and promote a focus on the unreached of these countries.
The translation work in Urdu is complete and we have sent partial funds for printing. Our Brother in Christ has a vision to train key men who will impact this country and beyond. Pray that this amazing opportunity will result in a spiritual awakening throughout this part of the world.
Tim has had amazing opportunities to attend the Campus Crusade Conference in October and present GPHS which received wide acceptance by many, including a representative from Global Alliance for Church Multiplication. He also will attend the Finishing the Task Conference in CA the first week in December. The purpose of this conference is to identify current unreached people groups and to connect churches, missions and missionaries to them. Paul’s “ambition was to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Ro. 15:20) Pray for God to use these occasions as divine appointments for spreading biblical principles for accelerating God’s work among the unreached of the world.
Through a chain of contacts from the US and England, a brother in Liberia heard about our ministry and asked for our material. We sent two copies of GPHC along with instruction on working through the lessons. Here is a brief quote from his last email: “Our churches and some of our sister churches in Liberia are facing serious problems that this training manual gave an answer to. Therefore, I decided not to delay but to start studying the materials and to organize some men who are willing and also can be used to train others, as we see in 2 Timothy 2:1-2." Pray for God to use this brother in reestablishing the church in Liberia on a biblical foundation in preparation for God’s expansion throughout Africa.
Changes: We are in the process of upgrading the Seminary Course to be used anywhere in the world. We are convinced the time is right for this to be used in equipping students before they launch out into the Lord’s work. Along with this, we have decided to change our ministry name to NEW FOUNDATIONS, dba Go and Reconcile
We believe this new name more accurately represents our goal; to follow Paul’s example in Romans 15:20.
Ministries: We have so many reasons to thank you for standing with us in prayer and support for God’s work through unworthy and unlikely servants. We are humbled by His grace, yet inspired by the continual renewal of the Holy Spirit. It is a joy to also report that Sherman’s health is much better--thank you so much for the prayers, emails, cards, phone calls and visits. There is another three weeks of physical therapy, but he is beginning to get back into the work.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).
Tim and I are home and very thankful to see our wives and families. Picking up from our last letter, on May 14, we spent four days in Phnom Penh, Cambodia training a church planter among the Khmer people. He is unique as he seeks to following Paul's example of working to provide for his own needs. To accomplish this, several helped purchase a Tuk Tuk which he will use for income and transportation. His vision is to train other "Timothy's" with GPHC and help them start a business that will provide their income. He clearly has a heart for living and duplicating the Early Church model.
Tim and I left on the 19th; Tim to Laos to deliver Bibles which had been provided by Wake Christian Academy, Raleigh, NC and others here at home. I proceeded to Chiang Mai to start training a pastor from Pakistan. Tim arrived a few days later and we focused on one-on-one training him and then two other men from Myanmar for the next three weeks using God's Plan for His Church manual. We are convinced of the effectiveness of this method! The personal interaction, valuable discussion and fellowship over how the biblical principles work out in each culture brought inspiration and a fresh appreciation of Scripture in their setting. With a few, time was taken to complete the "pre-assigned" work, but these brothers were diligent and hard-working so that each one completed the final project, developing their own strategy for ministry in their setting with the principles they learned. These men represent the Karen, Chin, Katchin, Burmese, and Naga people groups of Myanmar and the Karen in Thailand. Translation work is already in progress for these languages.
Let me summarize how the Lord has led us to this point in our ministry. Having taught the manual in conferences for many years and seen little multiplication from this venue, we felt that Paul's method of mentoring Timothy was more effective and would multiply much faster. After much prayer and searching for about a year, Tim found a Christian couple in Chiang Mai who would rent us a four bedroom house with a kitchen and sitting area for a very reasonable price.
Paul said in I Corinthians 16:8 that he would “stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened for me.” God has opened many doors for us, but like Paul, we desired to enter this “effective” opened door. It allows us to train one-on-one, face-to-face, where persons are away from the responsibilities of ministry, culture and family in a quite neighborhood, yet within walking distance of village stores for food and necessities. The owners are convinced this is the purpose God has for this place and are fully behind us.
While we were there, God opened another door through the owners. Here is a comment from them: "A new teaching team from the United States viz., Pastors Tim Bunn and Sherman Driver of Go-Reconcile, will train our evangelists in August; and our regular mentor Rev. Dr. Tan Wai Choon in November." This training will be with the Lahu people group in Thailand.
We praise the Lord as we share this with you. Please continue to pray for us that we remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit for His "effective work", humble in spirit, and physically able to meet the demands. Also pray that God will raise up Timothy's who God will call to this work. Tim will be returning to Burma/Myanmar at the end of July for a conference in Yangon. From there, he will return to Chiang Mai, Thailand to train leaders from Africa and the Thailand Karen and Lahu. Pray that each of these open doors will turn out to be God's "effective work" for His glory!
One of the most fruitful meetings we have ever experienced took place in Turkey a couple of years ago with key leaders from the Middle East, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria. I believe a couple of factors were in play here which greatly enhanced the results. One was isolating the leaders from their busyness, cell phones and ministries. Secondly, was their diligent pre-meeting work in the manual in preparation for the meeting, therefore we are going to try the same method in Asia and see what happens. Also, there are several other benefits: it costs less for the indigenous leaders to travel to a neutral location and for us to travel to a location that is easily accessible and many times less dangerous. It sounds like a win win situation, but we will wait and see. Actually, there is another aspect of this new training. We are training one or two key leaders instead of holding a conference. Many times, we train leaders but the “key” leader is never really on board with the teaching which sometimes can create problems. By training the key leader one on one, he will then be able to go back and do a conference on his own hopefully without our presence, which is also a cost saving factor. We would appreciate your prayers for discernment and wisdom, but most of all, that we be filled with the Spirit and focused on our Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It will also be our joy to deliver approximately 2,500 Bible to believers in Laos, a country where the Word of God is only in the hands of a few. Also, through the gifts of many, 1,000 Bibles are being given to the Karen Refugee Camp that burned down on the border between Thailand and Myanmar. Please rejoice with us that God has provided these and pray that they will arrive safely without incident.
For a long time we have encouraged ministers of the gospel to be self-sustaining so they do not need outside support. We have the joy of helping a brother in Christ purchase a Tuk Tuk so he can provide for himself and use the profit to help others do the same. Following this model of Paul will accelerate the spread of the gospel and give a living proof of its life changing message. Please pray that this brother will become a model to many in his country and beyond.
To God be the Glory!
ITINERARY May 5 – 12 Key Karen Leader from Thailand: Will work through the manual, God’s Plan for His Church, completing the projects and developing a church renewal and church planting strategy for Karen Baptist of Thailand. Training will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
May 12 – 19 Key Leader from Cambodia: Will work through the manual, God’s Plan for His Church, completing the projects and developing a church renewal and church planting strategy for the Khmer of Cambodia and purchase Tuk-Tuk to help key leaders become self-sustaining. Training will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
May 19 -21 Distributing Bibles in Vientiane, Laos
May 19 – 26 Key leader from Pakistan: Will work through the manual, God’s Plan for His Church, completing the projects and developing a church renewal and church planting strategy for Pakistan. Training will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
May 19 – 26 Distributing Bibles and encouragement to the Karen refugee camp on the Burma/Thailand border which was burned to the ground.
May 26 – June 2 Key Burmese and Karen Leader from Burma: Will work through the manual, God’s Plan for His Church, completing the projects and developing a church renewal and church planting strategy. Training will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
June 2 – June 8 Key Chin Leader from Burma: Will work through the manual, God’s Plan for His Church, completing the projects and developing a church renewal and church planting strategy. Training will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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