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
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:
We want to assure you that God is working. In fact, we sense that He is doing more in us than what He is doing through us. If that were not true, we would have good reason for great concern. These frail, human vessels can only be used by God as they are molded in the character of Christ and led by the Holy Spirit. This is our first prayer request - that we become more and more like Christ and tuned to the voice and leading of His Spirit.
We thank the Lord for giving Tim Bunn a profitable CPM Launch in Nepal and Orissa, India during the early part of June. Even though the Church Planting Manual did not get printed in the Oriya language prior to the workshop, the attendees spoke/read English or Hindi so that the conference went forward. The conference in Nepal may have opened a door of opportunity in the refugee camps of Tibet and a return to Bhutan. Each of these conferences cause us to call out to the Lord that the Spirit would work in establishing biblical principles in those who attend. If He does not work, the conferences are just another event on the calendar. Please pray for God's work to follow quickly, and that hunger for God's Word will increase, spreading as it did in the Book of Acts. We are very grateful for His mercy to Tim as he developed appendicitis shortly after his return and had to have emergency surgery. He has recovered well and thankful that this did not happen while he was away.
The next event the Lord has placed on our calendar is Ecuador. I (Sherman) will be there from August 19th to the 26th. Since this is my first trip to Ecuador, the main purpose is to build our relationship with a dear brother there and seek the Lord 's guidance regarding other contacts that may open opportunities throughout Central and South America. Please pray for divine guidance. We don't take lightly our responsibility to sense what God is doing and join Him in His work, not promote our own agenda!
We cannot tell you how valuable your prayers are. In addition to the above, we ask for your fervent prayers on a couple of immediate needs in various areas below.
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