The political and social news from Myanmar is grim. The regions the US State department warns me against visiting keeps growing. Yet, at the same time, by the grace of God, our ministry is thriving and growing more than ever.
In collaboration with FHL Global, the Rev. Dr. Eh Thaw, MBC Director of Ministers Department, has mapped out a multi-year, multi-phase training program for Baptist pastors throughout the country. Our plan is to bring the Spirit-led Leader (SLL) message to as many pastors and ministers as possible in the largest Christian denomination in Myanmar (1.5 million members and regular attenders). O
ur prayer is that God will keep using this teaching, training, and curriculum to revitalize many pastors and leaders throughout Myanmar and to help Burmese Baptists gain a better understanding of the important role of the Holy Spirit in their relationship with God, in their churches and for spreading the Gospel.
Participants took the teaching very seriously
In Phase 1, we trained Regional Ministry Directors from most of the 18 MBC regions. Now, in Phase 2, we are offering SLL workshops to multiple leaders from various clusters of regions--four to six regions at a time. In March, 30-40 representatives from Segaw Karen, Po Karen, Asho Chin, Myanmar Baptist Union (Burmese speaking congregations), Mon, and Lisu gathered at MBC headquarters in Yangon for a four-day extensive workshop. This coming October, we will conduct another SLL workshop in Lashio, Shan State (eastern Myanmar). We are anticipating 100 ministers from another cluster of regions.
To get a feeling of how the workshops are touching the pastors, here are some more quotes from the pastors and ministers who attended:
"With the help of Holy Spirit, I need to take courage and serve more for God's ministry."
"My leadership role needs to be more sacrificial and be humble."
"Every Christian minister needs to be a Spirit-led leader."
"I will try to love those who hurt me, I will humble myself as Spirit-led minister."
"I am very eager to share these lecture notes in my church."
Tim with Rev. Dr. Eh Thaw, MBC Director of Ministers' Department
Thank you for your prayers and continued support for our Christian leadership development work in Myanmar and elsewhere globally. God is using our ministries in many ways--the SLL workshops are just one of several major initiatives. God is also changing lives through our teaching in the seminary and our ministries on MIT campus. More of my books are being translated into Burmese, Chin, and soon Karen and Urdu (the latter for distribution in Pakistan). We have just hired an outstanding new staff member, Saw Newton (see below). So many good things are happening. We're humbled, excited, and highly motivated to keep the ministry going and growing in the flow of the Spirit. I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do next!