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March 2020 E-Newsletter

Kairos in Myanmar

Master of Theology students--Course on Paul

In January, I preached at the Myanmar Institute of Theology on  the difference between kairos and chronos, two different Greek words used in the Bible. Both are translated "time," but with different connotations. We look at our watches for chronos time. We look at what's going on around us, what crisis we may be facing, and what opportunities are emerging for us in order to see what "time" it is (kairos). 

At this time ( chronos), there is a growing number of crises here in Myanmar, each one creating its own unique opportunity ( kairos). Coronavirus has become a global pandemic. There are no official cases reported here in Myanmar yet, but we border on China and Thailand. It's only a matter of time before it reaches us.
But the coronavirus is the least of our worries. Politically, fighting has intensified in Shan State, to the east, and in Southern Chin State, to the west; and the army's relentless efforts to quell all resistance throughout Kachin State, to the north, is continuing to displace people and terrorize the people.

This month, we were scheduled to teach three, four-day Spirit-Led Leader w orkshops-in Mandalay, Kanpetlet (Southern Chin State), and Sittwe (Rakhine State). However, due to intense fighting, the third has to be postponed. A rebel armed group, the Arakan Army, has shut down all travel on the key roads from Paletwa (where the pastors would have been traveling from) to Sittwe. It's unsafe for the pastors to travel to attend the training, and the people in the villages are running out of food.

New Testament Theology students

So, what is the kairos at this chronos ? For one, we stay the course with all of our Kingdom work. We keep holding classes, conduct workshops, send students out on summer internships. We keep preaching, evangelizing, and doing mission. We live by our faith, not just when it is convenient or rewarding but when it matters most for others. Rather than be intimidated by fear, we stay on track, fulfill our calling, and keep the wheels turning as much as possible to develop leaders, strengthen the church, and take the Gospel to those who do not know about God's love and forgiveness.

Final charge to graduating seminarians

Second, we show up for those who are suffering. We make sacrifices in order to be there for others when they need us the most. We show them by our actions that Christ's love is real and that the lordship of Christ truly makes a difference in our decisions, priorities, and what we do for others.

Each time I travel to Myanmar, I never know which trip might be my last or what crisis my students (or I) may have to face. I must continually deal with uncertainty, dangers, an unstable political situation, and health issues. Yet, all these challenges and unknowns have made me keenly aware that I am living in a series of kairos moments. Each trip opens doors to serve, teach, contribute, minister, or offer something of real value to our oppressed brothers and sisters in Myanmar, providing opportunities I may never have again--or at least, not in the same way.  
Special Labyrinth Prayer
Thank you for your prayers and support that enable us to seize the many opportunities God is giving us here at this time. Please continue. 
We depend on you.  

In Christ's service,

Rev. Timothy C. Geoffrion, Ph.D., D.D.
President and Teaching Minister

Myanmar Institute of Theology, 89th Commencement

Follow along with the seminarians by watching Tim's New Testament Theology lectures (13-16), corresponding to what Tim has been teaching most recently at MIT!

Week 13  *Newly Recorded!*
Unity Amid Diversity in the New Testament

Week 14
Tensions and Challenges in Doing NT Theology

Week 15
What is the Gospel in a Pluralistic Context?  

Week 16
Hermeneutics and Contextualization 

You can now watch all the lectures on  Tim's YouTube Channel ! Subscribe for free and you will get notifications of when new content is added. 
Tim's Most Recent Sermons

Biblical Text: Philippians 1:27-30
New Life International Fellowship, Yangon, Myanmar
January 26th, 2020

Biblical Text: Philippians  2:12-30
New Life International Fellowship, Yangon, Myanmar
February  9th, 2020

Biblical Text: Philippians 3:1-14
New Life International Fellowship, Yangon, Myanmar
February 16th, 2020

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