Please Pray: (October 3 – November 10)
1) Teaching Church Leaders using the Burmese God’s Plan for His Church in Yangon – October 27- November 7
2) Launch the new Karen God’s Plan for His Church in Maw Day Musekee – October 17-19
3) Teaching Bethany College students God’s Plan for His Church in Chiang ai - October 13-24
4) Synergy Meeting with Vietnamese Leaders in Bangkok - October 6-10
5) Strategic Planning for the Khmer God’s Plan for His Church in training Cambodian Leaders – November 1-3
6) Launch the new Vietnamese God’s Plan for His Church in Saigon – October 13 – 24
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving, pray also for us, (Tim and Sherman):
1) That God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ Col 4:2-3
2) That words may be given to us in opening our mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel Eph 6:19
3) That the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored 2 Thess 3:1 (ESV)
4) That we may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding Col 1:9
5) That we be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might Col 1:11
Below is a testimony received from a group of Lahu disciples we trained last fall using illustrations from the new revised God's Plan for His Church.
Our teaching consisted of showing them how the Gospel spread from Jerusalem (Pentecost) to the world. This is what happens when disciples, with childlike faith, take seriously the Holy Spirit and Christ, the Living Word. We have seen this happen over and over again throughout the world.
“After teaching the book of Acts, the Pastors are so happy to go out to share the Good News with the people. We dedicated the 9th daughter church on March 15, 2014. Members of the new church are from Ah Kha tribe. Your teaching is so effective. Thank God for that.”
This post will give you a slice of what God is doing in Thailand. “Timothy and I had a very fruitful time ministering the Word of God to 7 students. He knows the material and can communicate the biblical principles and connect these principles to their current and future ministries. He actually can communicate and teach much better than I can. What a blessed time we are having together!”
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).
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!
As Tim prepares for his next trip to Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, we want to give you a few details so you can be praying for each event. We feel very dependent on the Lord that He would go before us and provide a "wide open door for effective work" (1 Cor. 16:9).
July 24th - Leave Raleigh for Yangon, Myanmar (via Bangkok, Thailand). Pray for safe travel and rest in preparation for the conference in Yangon.
July 29th to Aug. 2nd - Through a Chin Brother originally from Myanmar (now living in Australia), there will be a week long conference teaching the manual, God's Plan for His Church. Those attending will be given GPHC on the 15th of July so they can prepare for the training. Please pray they will complete the preparation and that those called to be church planters and apostles like Paul will follow Paul as he followed Christ. This instruction and application helps to prepare "unstoppable church planters" in any culture, anytime, and under any circumstances.
August 3rd to August 17 - Training with leaders from Africa. Part of their learning process will take place as they help Tim do training with the Karen and Lahu people groups of Thailand (see below). Pray for the work and power of the Holy Spirit in these leaders.
August 18th to September 28th - Specific dates have not been set, but there will be instruction of ten Thai Karen evangelists who will work among many Karen people who have been displaced from Burma and are living in refugee camps. Our desire is that they will be equipped to eventually reach their own people in Myanmar and the other 55 unreached people groups.
In addition, there will be training with the Lahu people of Thailand with a goal that they evangelize the 82 unreached people groups. Please pray for God to give vision through His method they learned from Scripture.
We are providing 30 GPHC manuals to a Chinese Missions Training Center in Chiang Mai in preparation for instruction in May of next year. Please pray that these students will absorb the Scriptures and principles so they can be effective in ministry in China.
Tim returns by October 1st.
Here is an interesting comparison between Myanmar and Thailand:
Myanmar: Total People Groups = 155 Unreached = 55 Unengaged = 13
Thailand: Total people Groups = 112 Unreached = 82 Unengaged = 41
It is critical that we plant a biblical mindset in leaders so the task of reaching the unreached people groups with the gospel happens rapidly. We hope, Lord willing and through the work of the Holy Spirit, to challenge from the Word of God, that they consider reaching these unreached people groups, especially since the Karen and Lahu are primarily reached people groups, similar to churches in the US. Now that is not to say that we do not work with the existing church to strengthen through renewal, but we see from Acts that it was not either/or but both, working within the traditional establishment while sending and going to those who had never heard. But, it does seem the apostles number one focus in life and teaching was giving priority to those who had NEVER heard. Now I know not everyone is called to "go", but they are called to be "set apart" and be in one accord with the Holy Spirit in the mandate and commission given to His Church.
The advantage of our training center in Chiang Mai is that these leaders learn in a setting free from distractions and where fellowship strengthens their learning. It has proven cost effective and the effectiveness of this one-on-one mentoring, as Paul did with Timothy and others, is undeniable. Please pray for God's continual direction as we use this facility.
We continually thank the Lord for "your partnership in the Gospel" (Phil. 1:5) through faithful praying and support. Our only desire is "that we should go and bear fruit and that our fruit should abide (remain) for the Father's glory! (John 15:8, 16).
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.
We bring you a very short newsletter with exciting news and also prayer requests regarding things that are unfolding right now. Before I give you the details, let me thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us. We see the Lord's hand directing us in ways we never imagined. Here is a brief summary:
I do not know even where to begin in updating you on everything that is happening all over the world. Reports of God using God's Plan for Church Planting (GPCP) come in weekly, oftentimes daily! Just the other day it was reported that after our meeting in Turkey, the leaders from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon had gone back to their respective countries to commence applying these simple biblical principles. As a result of that, we are hearing that the disciples and churches are multiplying in these Islamic countries. Here are a couple of testimonies: “The conference and the manual opened our eyes to the bitter reality that today's church and even our local churches are out of sync with the Biblical model. We learned to let the Bible talk about the issue of church planting, and to be more submissive to its authority and guidance. It was an eye opening event for me.” ~ Church Planter, Algeria “The Church Planting Conference in Turkey was one of the best I have ever attended on the topic. It was a solid teaching built on the book of Acts and the principles used by the Apostle Paul. The sessions and discussions gave me new perspectives and approaches in the area of evangelism and how to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.” Seminary Professor, Lebanon We have been receiving requests from several other Islamic countries for this tool. The same thing can be said of many other places around the world but it is particularly exciting to hear that His Church can grow and multiply in these "dark" Muslim countries where there is persecution and where many of the resources that we take for granted are not available.
GPCP Translations: In addition to almost 30 translations, we have the languages of Chin in Burma, Thai in Thailand, Oriya in India and Bisa/Lala in Zambia in the process of being translated and printed. It continues to amaze me to watch the Lord at work building His Church, in His time, by His Power through His indigenous people. It is almost as if the more we get out of the way, particularly as Westerners, the greater the work of the Spirit is. But, regardless, God is God and He can do whatever He wants, with whomever He wants and wherever He wants; we just need to make ourselves available.
Middle East and North Africa: The Lord has opened some encouraging and exciting doors among the Seminaries of the Middle East and North Africa. One of the attendees at our Turkey meeting was a key professor of a seminary in Lebanon, who saw the value of equipping graduating seminary students with GPCP. This would provide them with a tool to plant and grow His Church without money and buildings, since these items are diminishing in that part of the world. Therefore, we are working with these seminaries to provide GPCP in a format that will meet the standards of this venue. Please pray for the Lord to grant Sherman and me wisdom and time to assist them with providing this tool. This is a big project, and the possible impact for our Lord in these strategic Islamic locations is priceless.
God's Plan for Church Renewal (GPCR): Another thing we have been lead to do is to totally revise the GPCP manual, making it more user friendly, more easily grasped and flexible so that we can teach it to different academic levels in an easily understood story form with illustrations. Although this has been on our hearts for years, it was only on our last trip to Northern Thailand that we saw the need to teach leaders who had not attained a high academic level but were filled with the Holy Spirit and had hungry hearts for Christ. The more I work on this total revision, the more I believe it will be more useful to all of us and will open up a whole new world of opportunities for us not only now but in the future. I believe in the near future, we in the US will see the need to get back to a more Biblical model of church. We hope to have this new tool available in a couple of months or sooner.
Thailand Training Center: On a final note, please pray as we sense the Lord shifting us from training in other countries to bringing the key leaders to a neutral, economical, centrally located and easily accessible area, such as Thailand. This type of training offers many advantages. It will enable us to train the "key leaders" in a more focused and uninterrupted environment. Many times, we have found that when leaders are being trained in their own countries, the key leaders are distracted with managing the conference, their own ministries, telephones, etc. It also saves us traveling to other countries and it will help keep our teaching and ministry more indigenous since a white Westerner doesn’t have to go into other cultures giving the impression he is the “expert teacher.” Another important key is that this type training allows us to build deeper relationships with the leaders on a one-on-one basis. The meeting in Turkey was great in that it supported this type of training where key leaders were pulled out of North Africa and the Middle East for an intensive one-on-one relational teaching time together. This enabled them to build relationships and to dig deeply into the Scriptures without interruptions. In addition to providing training for overseas missions, it will provide us with a place to train and come alongside leaders who travel with us from the US as we serve and travel together. One last advantage. the area that is the cheapest, Chiang Mai, is the same area the Lord has opened a wide door for us to serve the Karen on the Thai and Burma border.
March 2012 Mission Trip: One last thing, looking back, the February-March trip was one of the most fruitful trips I have ever made among the Karen and Chin, both in Burma and Thailand. The miraculous door the Lord opened with the Burmese Brother from Australia proved to be fruitful and has opened up many new opportunities of partnership in Myanmar. We also had a great time of fellowship and encouragement in India at the IMD International meeting with our key teachers and trainers. We were all challenged to live and minister "post-Pentecostal" and not "pre-Pentecostal. Please pray for the training needs to be met in Thailand as this type training will actually be less expensive than traveling into various countries but still God’s provision is necessary.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
I will get right to the heart of what God has done and then what we are asking you to pray that He will do in the future. First I will give you a glimpse into Tim's last trip to Thailand and Myanmar by way of testimonies from those who attended the CPM conferences and contacts that were made. There were clearly ‘God ordained’ events and the working of the Holy Spirit. 1. The General Secretary for the Karen Baptist Association tells us that the Thai translation of the GPCP manual is in process and they plan to have it printed by October when we return.
2. The same brother from Thailand reports: “We owe you a lot, and we believe that we can surely apply what you have shown us in our church-planting missions. We will not look backward, but go forward. We will do our best for the Lord. Please pray for TKBC because we believe that with God's grace and prayers of the righteous, we can make a great impact here in Thailand. We will try our best to be a good example for young couples…but we will always be careful and not let any space for Satan. Please pray that we will never fall nor make others upset. Brother, I have been looking for my Paul, but I have not found one yet…. Could you accept me as your Timothy? Many godly people are too busy like Martha, but I can see you care that I become a faithful and fruitful servant of God.”
3. The following is an email from another brother in Yangon, Myanmar. “We could not help talking about how we appreciate you and your teaching. We look to you as our model after Christ. We would like to do the course again with you with another group in October or November this year. Let me know what time is good for you. Then we will bring the two groups together in March 2013. Do you think we should have more time for the course - for 5 or 6 days? We have finished the 18 days training with the group and now we are going to start another training with a different group on Tuesday the 27th of Mar for 4 days. Please pray for us. We are so blessed to have you and your training. It is God's divine appointment for training the church planters in Myanmar for the end time.” We agree with this brother!!
4. Tim met with Moses in Myanmar who is translating GPCP into the Chin language. He is requesting a CPM Conference this fall when the CPM will be complete so they can start biblical church planting.
5. We have a request from the Burma Karen Baptist Association to teach graduating students for a month in the seminary in Yangon.
We have also received a request from the Arab Baptist Seminary representing North Africa and the Middle East to provide GPCP in a seminary course format. This has tremendous potential for all Arabic speaking nations. Along with this we are also working on reformatting the present manual so that it is simpler to use--adding diagrams so that the student gets the most out of the Scriptures with the teaching help of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for both of these endeavors as they potentially could have a huge impact in countries around the world.
Here is the testimony of a dear brother in Cambodia: “I would like to share about GPCP manual and how it has been used in Cambodia to train Church leaders here to strengthen and grow their church. I found feedback from them about this manual; it is a great and powerful tool contained with biblical principles inspired by living word of God to their personal life, families, church and mission breakthrough so much more than they expected, especially to plant more new churches in new areas where no church exists. Lastly I would like to say thank you for Pastor Tim Bunn that God has blessed and found this great tool to our Cambodian’s Church and in region.”
Let me add one final testimony from a brother in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: “The solution rests in a radical return to God's Plan for Church Planting! This is a serious, long-term answer to help call the Church back to New Testament Biblical Principles, as we enter this new era."
With the Lord opening these doors of opportunity, we feel deeply dependent on the Him, first to work in us so that God’s Word may be spoken without hindrance and in the Spirit’s power. For we “do not count our life of any value nor as precious to us, if only we may finish our course and the ministry that we received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
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