“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us,
That your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You!”
In Myanmar, I joined my colleague Tim, in training a group of people mostly in their twenties, who are trusting God to impact their entire nation. These have given themselves to three weeks of intensive Scripture study, and I joined them for their last week.
Each of these students of Acts and Paul's letters, charted out what they believe is God's Plan for their lives, planting multiple churches into the far reaches of this country. Remember, Myanmar (formerly called Burma) was completely closed to the gospel around 2 or 3 years ago. We are seeing what may be a modern movement of God's word like we see in the book of Acts.
In Cambodia, I was pleasantly surprised and blessed. In the past couple of trips here, I struggled to make connections and see the training moving people forward. There are times we are faithful even when we don't see things working out, but this time was completely different.
In the past, people came and went during the three days of training, making it difficult to establish a foundation of learning and growing. This time however, twenty-two people gave themselves completely to digging into God's Word.
May I share with you how amazing this is? Many of the older people who came to the training have had limited education. In the mid to late 1970's, Cambodia was a bloody battleground of genocide and war. Millions of people were killed or displaced into very harsh conditions.
All of this means that they and some of their children, received precious little formal education. Leading them in an intensive study of Scripture is a task that many of them are not used to. But praise God they gave themselves fully to the task, and they (and I) believe that God is going to transform Cambodia with new church planting movements.
In Vietnam, we continue to see a most amazing work of God. Brother B., the key leader for this country, takes God’s Plan for His Church training into new cities and villages. With doors wide open by the people (though by the government), over 50 people were trained to take the gospel throughout the country and even into surrounding countries.
And most unexpectedly, we found a brother who has translated our manual into Korean! Pastor L. has a passion to see Koreans living in Vietnam, and those in his home country, return to the simple, but powerful plan that we find in God’s Word. God is doing far beyond all we ask or imagine!
If I could choose words from Scripture to capture my thoughts of this last trip, I would choose Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “…I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor…” (NIV) With every step I sensed the favor of the Lord! When God’s favor rests upon us, He causes His Word to run rapidly and effectively in a people group. This we are seeing. And this is our aim. May God continue to do it!