Testimony by Elder John Leong

Each year by the grace of God, we will plan to go on a few mission trips to serve the Lord and be an encouragement to the brethren abroad who often serve under difficult circumstances. Thank God that we have the privilege to serve the Lord in Myanmar from 9 to 14 April 2016. The Lord touched the hearts of 6 brethren and opened the way for us to be able to serve Him in Myanmar. Visa and air tickets were booked smoothly. We checked-in 170 kg of luggage. The luggage includes teaching materials and items to be given to needy brethren. Each step of the way, God provided and protected us.

We arrived safely at Yangon airport on Saturday 9 April afternoon. We settled in a simple local hotel and bought some necessary things at a nearby supermarket for the VBS. On Sunday 10 April, we attended the morning worship service at New Life Orphan Centre (NLOC) which is managed by Bro. Thangno, an FEBC graduate. Our team presented a song item and I preached at the worship service from John 3:1-10 on the need to be born again. After lunch at NLOC, we went to Yangon BP Church worship service which is located at Yangon city. This Church is pastored by Rev Andrew Kam, a graduate of FEBC. Our team presented the same song item and I preached from John 14:27 on the Peace of God. After the afternoon worship service, we went back to our hotel and prepare ourselves for the VBS to be held from Monday to Wednesday.

The VBS theme was the “Life of Moses”. We taught 5 lessons from the life of Moses in the 3-day VBS beginning from his birth to his death. Each lesson comes with a memory verse. Thank God that we had about 75 students in the VBS. We divided them into 4 classes : pre-primary, lower primary, upper primary and secondary and above. I taught in the secondary class. The Lord gave us 4 good interpreters. During the VBS, we had worksheets and activities to reinforce the Bible messages that the students had learnt. There were 3 craft lessons and each one was related to the message. At the last day of the VBS, the 4 classes competed in a Bible Quiz to reinforce the lessons that they have learnt. Each class also presented their song item to thank God for the VBS. The Lord is very good to lead and bless us through the 3-day VBS. We pray that every student is born again and the students will indeed obey God’s Word and walk in the path of righteousness.

During the three days, we also thank God for other opportunities to serve the Lord after the VBS ended each day at 4pm . We had the joy to minister to a village Church. These are very poor villages with houses typically made of straw. In the 3 village churches that we went for the 3 days, I would preach God’s Word to them. Typically there were about 20-30 mainly village women who came for the gathering. After my preaching, the rest of the mission team will teach the children and lead them in craft. Thank God for about 20-30 children who came in each village who could listen to the precious Gospel message.

It was physically very tiring each day serving the Lord, but the joy of the Lord was our strength, We had no complaints but just praises to God as we experienced His grace and help in every task we did for Him. In every aspect of the entire trip, we see God’s hand helping and blessing us. Thank God for safe journey back to Singapore on Thursday 14 April. This is our 5th mission trip to Myanmar but the need is so great that we desire to be back again to serve the Lord to teach His Word to the Myanmar children. May the Lord keep us faithful to serve Him even as we desire the Lord to keep our Myanmar brethren faithful to Him too.

Testimony by sister Lingqin

Thank God for the opportunity to serve Him this year at the Myanmar Mission Trip. It may be a physically tiring trip but definitely a spiritual enriching one. I was actually very discouraged when my big toe hurt really badly just a week before departure. It became so painful I could not walk properly even though I did not injure it. I was thinking to myself it would take a miracle for me to recover in time for the mission trip. But the Lord is good. I was given sufficient painkillers to tie me through the entire trip and a few days before leaving, the pain gradually subsided. Thank God I was able to serve Him without any hindrance.

Lunch time at VBS The first time I went for the Myanmar mission trip was 2012. It was good to go back 4 years later and witness God’s faithfulness and how He always cares for His children. It felt like a red carpet welcome when we arrived at Yangon Airport on 9 April. Brother Thangno hired a lorry so that all or most of the children will be able to go and pick us up. Brother Thangno shared that some of the children had never been to the airport. It was a good chance for them to experience what it was like to be at the airport. The children were very helpful too; they helped us with the many luggage we brought over.

On the Sunday the next day after our arrival, we attended two worship services where Elder John preached God’s Word and we presented a song item, ‘Wherever He leads I’ll go’. It was a timely reminder that as His children we need to submit to His will.

We started our first day of VBS on Monday. Prior to the trip, I prayed very hard for a good interpreter. Previous mission trips had taught me the importance of a good interpreter, or else the children may not be able to fully grasp what you are trying to teach them. God is good; He heard my prayer and a most capable interpreter in Brother Michael. He was actually heading back home to Chin state from Malaysia, but he had to stay at the orphan centre because all the roads were closed due to the Water Festival. The Water Festival is also the time when all the churches in Myanmar will conduct their church camp. This is a good way to keep all the children and youths away from joining this nation-wide-wild-celebration which usually involves alcohol, drugs and dancing to party music. Once again, the Lord showed me how He will take care of all our needs and hear our prayers.

The children were the best, the most obedient and enthusiastic when they were learning God’s Word. Their hunger to learn God’s Word put us to shame. The extremely warm weather, ranging from 39-41 degrees Celsius with only one standing fan, did not dampen their thirst and desire to know Him. Thank God for the Burmese brethren who took care of our every need. They were very hospitable and ensured that there was always a constant supply of cold drinks to keep us hydrated. Matthew 10:42, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Truly thankful for the brethren for giving their best to us.

We also had the opportunity to follow Rev Andrew Kam to the various village churches he started after the VBS ended at 4pm each day. Luke 10:2, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” I only managed to go to one village church on the last day, for fear I might aggravate the pain on my toe. It was a humbling experience to see that many villagers were willing to come and listen to the Gospel. Nyssha shared the Gospel to the children and taught them a craft. I remembered there was this girl who stuck to me but because of language barrier, all we could manage was to say ‘God bless you’ and give each other a smile. Pray that she will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Saviour.

On our last night in Myanmar, Brother Joseph from Grace Education Ministry (GEM) invited us for dinner at his orphan centre. The children and youths from his minis-try came over and joined us for the VBS too. We had our last Burmese meal there, visited his newborn daughter and celebrated all the April babies’ birthdays. What a joy it was to celebrate my birthday in Myanmar together with likeminded Christian brethren!

It was a spiritually uplifting trip, and an experience you have to go through yourself to see His goodness unto all His children.

Testimony by sister Nyssha Tan

Thank God for His preserving and enabling grace upon the mission team in Myanmar. It is only by His goodness, mercies and provision that we were able to be labourers together with Him. By His leading, we managed to visit 3 village churches, as well as conduct the 3-day Vacation Bible School (VBS).

When we arrived in Yangon International Airport, the New Life Orphan Centre (NLOC) children who were excitedly anticipating the 3-day VBS warmly welcomed us. We were overwhelmed by their warm hospitality. Upon arrival at NLOC on Sunday for their worship service, we were presented song items by the various age groups in English before Elder John preached a message titled “Born Twice, Die Once” (John 3:1-10). Their fervency in worshipping the Lord through the singing of hymns and eagerness to learn the Word of God encouraged the mission team. By God’s grace, they remain faithful in the Lord and it is our prayer that they will be kept in the holy pathway of righteousness, always devoting their hearts, souls, minds and strength for His glory.

We were told that as compared to previous years, there would be lesser children attending the VBS this year due to the many church camps being organized. It was meant to keep the children away from participating in the activities held during the Thingyan Water Festival. It is a Buddhist annual festival where many will be on the streets with buckets of water, or onboard vehicles with water hoses, ready to “cleanse others of their sins” through the splashing of water on them. We thank God for His timing in bringing us to Myanmar at such an appointed time, that the teachers were able to teach the significance of the Passover in light of this Water Festival. Although the children who at-tended the VBS did not participate in the activities during the Water Festival, we pray that they will be able to share the Good News with their school-mates, that external cleansing is futile in removing their sins, for without the cleansing blood of Jesus there is no remission of sins. One of the memory verses was “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). We hope that the children will hide God’s Word in their hearts, be convicted of it and purpose not to defile themselves with idolatrous practices when they grow up.

I was co-teaching the Lower Primary class with sister Qiaoyan and the children were always attentive and hungering for God’s Word. Even during the breaks, they were committing the memory verses to heart and some even managed to recite them in English. It was interesting to see most of them take down notes. During the time of fellowship we had, we were told that it helps them in the meditation of God’s Word during their daily Quiet Time. The older children also make it an effort to share what they have learnt to help each other grow in the knowledge of Christ. The children’s childlike faith and zeal for the Lord have been a great blessing and encouragement to the mission team and we pray for the preservation of their spiritual life.

The Lord is our Wonderful and Faithful Shepherd in whom we place all our trust. As we were about to go to the village church in Dalah, we realized that we forgot to bring the craft materials we prepared for the children! Thus, we decided to make do with the extra A4 sheets we had on hand. Upon reaching the village church, we were pleasantly surprised at the number of children flocking to the home to learn more about our Saviour. Even with space constraints and the absence of light in the village church (it was held in a member’s home made of straws), the children were able to hear the Gospel mes-sage, say the sinner’s prayer, complete a simple craft and praise the Lord by singing “Praise Ye the Lord” in English. We thank the Lord for the many souls who came and we pray that they too can experience the Christian contentment and rest assured in His love, joy and peace. The Lord’s guidance strengthened our faith when the A4 sheets that were provided at the eleventh hour were just sufficient for every kid! There is no lack to every one that trusts in the Lord, each step of the way, every moment of every day.

I pray and trust that Christ’s ministers – Brother Thangno, Brother Joseph and Rev Andrew will be used mightily by the Lord to be a beacon of light in a Buddhist-dominant nation where Christians make up only ~ 4% of the population. May they persevere on with their walk with God, remain faithful stewards of His Word, that the children will be instructed in the ways of holy living and when they leave the orphan homes one day, they will not depart from the faith. There will be persecutions and times of discouragement but may they always draw strength from the God of all Comfort. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

May the Lord continue to prosper the Gospel work in Myanmar for the glory of His blessed Name.

Testimony by sister Qiaoyan (True Life BP Church)

I thank God for the privilege that I am able to serve in the mission trip minis-try in Myanmar for the third time this year. This year, I was assigned to plan for the games in the VBS for the older children in which I had no prior experience in. Thus, it forced me to pray earnestly for ideas and really depend on God totally for the tasks that He had assigned for me. I thank God, despite that it was a simple game, the children and I enjoyed it and indeed God blessed me with the joy of serving Him and reminded me that this mission work is His work and we are just the instruments that He used to fulfill His great commission.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The Lord planned our every destination for the trip even before our arrival. For this year, we are supposed to go up north to the Chin village after our 3 days of VBS but yet it was cancelled in the last minute before the trip. It turned out to be that on the last day of the trip, there is an earth-quake of magnitude 6.9 at the north. Thankfully we are not affected in Yangon. This reminded me of how the Lord leads Apostle Paul on his missionary journey to Asia Minor and Europe where every destination is determined by God Himself. Likewise for us, God is the One who sends us to wherever He want us to go to preach His Gospel. This deeply humbled me that that it is God’s work and He will bring it to pass. I cannot trust in my own discretion for planning but to trust on Him.

Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

For this year, we manage to witness the yearly Myanmar Thingyan Festival which is from 12 from 16 April where people of all ages are seen splashing water to one another based on the Buddhist belief of cleansing their sins with water. This festival is used in the lesson to teach the children on the real cleansing of sin which is through the blood of Christ and not by any outward water splashing ceremony. The children in the orphan center also showed forth their testimony for Christ by not participating in the nationwide event which was indeed encouraging.

Pray that God will continue to bless this ministry and if God willing, we will be able to even go forth to the village of Chin in North Myanmar to conduct the VBS there next year.