Our brother is in fellowship in the Joo Chiat assembly in Singapore and serves the Lord full time in southeast Asia. (Editor)
I am thankful to God for the spiritual growth of the saints in the places I visit in South and Southeast Asia. Some are going on with great zeal even though the enemy attacks in different ways. Sadly, others have succumbed to such wiles and are no longer in assembly fellowship. This sifting, which He allows, is for the furtherance of faithful testimony of the Savior through His outposts here on earth.
In Sri Lanka, the saints in Colombo assembly continue in their testimony in the capital city that is trying to catch up with the rest of the world since the end of the 26 year civil war in 2009. We thank God for their devoted ministry among children and youths in that area. At the mountainous tea estate city of Hatton, the saints were taught basic assembly truths on the Breaking of Bread and the how they ought to understand and prepare before the meeting. The gospel meeting was attended by parents who send their children to the nursery school run by brother Sivakumar and his wife, Vimala. Those who come to the meetings work in the tea estate. They are the poorest among the poor. Most are without basic education. Please pray for the assembly at Hatton for their spiritual growth and faithful testimony in a place given to idolatry. In the Northeast of Sri Lanka, various meeting places were visited and the word of God taught to the believers there. Some believers have opened their homes to invite friends and relatives to hear the gospel. In Valaichchennai, the assembly held a Bible conference where saints from the island gathered for this three-day meeting. The epistle to the Colossians was taught during that time. We trust that the Headship of the Lord Jesus might be displayed by the saints in their relationships and personal walk. Please pray for blessing among the assemblies they represent.
At the end of July was my second visit to Myanmar (Burma) this year. The meetings were arranged for the benefit of the same group of believers who attended during my visit in January of this year. On this visit I was mainly in Yangon (Rangoon) which is the largest city in the country. Most of the believers in this meeting came from Southern Chin State and Magway Division, which are about a distance of 757km and 400 km respectively, from Yangon. Except for two, the rest were all at the January meeting this year.
We had six days of Bible teaching from 9 am to 4 pm with lunch and short breaks in between. They were taught New Testament principles of gathering unto His name. As all of them were converted to the Lord Jesus from Buddhist and Animist backgrounds, they showed keen interest to learn these spiritual truths. God in His goodness gave much help, and I am ever so grateful for His enabling grace.
The pace of teaching was slow as in their unsaved years many were given into alcoholism and drugs, which have dulled their minds. Illustrations and learning through questions and answers were helpful in bringing Biblical truths to their understanding. I was told that more are interested to come to learn but in the extreme poverty, they are unable to pay for their transportation and food to Yangon. In Myanmar, food, security, and high cost of transportation are crippling two-thirds of the 60 million people.
Last month, in Indonesia, I visited Mr. Bangun and his wife, Mdm. Yayuk. I am so thankful to God for their great desire to follow the Lord Jesus according to written Scriptures. We spent time studying the Scriptures together. Subjects like Lord’s Supper, local assembly reception, and assembly privileges and responsibilities were taught from the Scriptures. I was happy to note three friends, in regular contact with the couple, are interested in the gospel. Bangun and Yayuk are also involved in Bible Correspondence Courses. They translate, edit, and publish the course and exam books from English to Indonesian and distribute to interested parties. As the work here is in its embryo stage, please pray for the prosperity of the gospel in this part of Indonesia.
The Lord permitting, there are scheduled ministry visits to the Philippines, India, and Nepal. Please pray for the Lord’s help in making known His Word, plan, and purpose in His vineyard.