Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May peace be with you!
As we stepped into the year 2021, my country, Myanmar, has stepped into a dark and chaotic period because of the military coup on February 1. As the rising of conflict was threatening the safety of lives of the people in Myanmar, being a Myanmar born Chinese, I watched the sad news of my county everyday and wept for my country. I am looking forward for God’s mercy to come upon Myanmar. I have been stuck in Thailand for some time because of the closure of the border, and it has become a safe place for me and my family now. Unfortunately, Thailand is experiencing the third wave of the pandemic outbreak in April. People in Thailand are once again facing another challenge of fighting the pandemic.
I am writing this letter to invite you to continue praying for Myanmar and Thailand. I also would like to share with you how the situation in Myanmar impacted our ministries and also would like to share with you about my personal situation. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
How Does the Situation in Myanmar Affect Our Ministries?
Thailand Bethel Theological Institute
After the military coup in Myanmar, the military tried to stop the protests by cracking down and cutting off the internet. It has affected some of our Myanmar students who are joining the online classes. Right before the end of the semesters, some of the students faced the internet disconnection problem. However, teachers managed to send them handouts and class audio records to help them complete their courses for 2020 school year. TBTI has successfully held the graduation ceremony for the 2020 academic year on March 19, with 12 graduates from the Chinese department and 9 from the Thai department, but there were seven graduates in Myanmar unable to attend the ceremony. We thank God for the teachers and student of TBTI who were able to overcome obstacles and difficulties to complete the last school year. During summer holidays, as the third wave of Covid-19 strikes Thailand, one of the TBTI teachers was affected and began being treated in isolation. We pray that God’s healing will come upon the teacher. We are praying for a better situation in the coming school year. If not, we pray for strength to keep going.
We thank God for Pastor Doudu. He has made 7 trips to the Lahu villages and brought more than 80 villagers to Christ last year 2020. This year, Pastor Doudu and the team faced more challenges than before. There were many military check points on the way to the villages since the unrest situation in Myanmar happened in February. However, Pastor Doudu and the team were able to overcome those dangers and difficulties and went to the villages as many villagers were longing for them to come. The trip of the team was fruitful. There were 17 villagers who accepted Christ as their savior and one of them was a wizard. The multifunctional church building plan in Babao village was already in progress. Glory to God for He is faithful to his people.
One of our mission partners, Zheng Zhu Student Center, is located on the border town of Thai-Myanmar, Tachileik. Because pf the closure of the schools due to the pandemic, the director of the center Pastor Zhao Shan Neng and his coworkers took the responsibility for educating 76 children themselves. They are facing the challenges of living expenses as well as safety concerns under the influence of the pandemic and the political issue in Myanmar. In order to reduce the cost of living, the co-workers led the students to start growing their own vegetables. In the meantime, the students could learn new skills and the fresh and organic vegetables can provide the children with good nutrition for their growth. Thank God for our partner and that they had the wisdom and creativity to face this difficult time, to be able to bear God’s witnesses to the community.
My Personal Situation
The Thai schools have started their summer holidays. My daughter Sophia has completed her fifth grade at a local Thai school. Although her Thai language learning is still full of challenges, we are happy to see her progressing in her study. This coming school year will be her last year of primary school study. We pray that God will continue to lead her in His own way. I thank God that my husband Joseph has officially joined CBM from April 1 this year. We will work together in the Golden Triangle Region to serve the lord and the local people. We hope that we can make a good team and support each other in every way.
Bethel Theological Institute has entered its summer holidays and a new semester will begin on May 18. During this summer, I need to prepare two courses. I really need both physical and spiritual strength to prepare the teaching. During the last semester, we have gone through a special way of teaching and learning which is synchronization of online and in-person classes . This was a new challenge for me, but I learnt a lot of new things at the same time. The synchronized classes make me do more work for the course preparation. It was not easy to mentor or care for the students during their learning. However , this experience helped me to be more thoughtful while teaching , and I also noticed that the students came to cherish their learning. This has been a good opportunity for us to grow.
My husband and I continued to serve at local churches at the weekends. Many churches had to worship online again because of the Covid-19 outbreak. I continued recording of the devotional video ministry which began in June 2020 and is ongoing. It has allowed me to have fellowship with the brothers and sisters and grow together with them in the spirit. In March, I went to teach the youth at Phamee center. Our topic was, “No apologies”. This course was designed to help youth learn about life and marriage, so that they can grow and mature without regrets. During my teaching these young people, I really felt that we need to take our young people back from the world. We particularly note a rise in campus violence and juvenile delinquency problems and so the Church needs to take urgent action to teach and guide the young people to follow the right path of Christ.
- Please pray for the situation in Myanmar. Pray that God will reduce the dark days in Myanmar and protect the innocent people, saving them from the chaotic political situation.
- Please pray for Thailand as the third wave of the pandemic has begun in many cities. Pray that the officers would have wisdom to deal with this situation.
- Please pray for one of the teachers of TBTI who was affected COVID-19 and the safety of other teachers and students in the campus.
- Pray for the coming school year of TBTI. Pray that God will lead those who received His calling to serve come over TBTI to be equipped.
- Please pray for Pastor Doudu to have strength and wisdom while facing difficult challenges. Pray that he would continue to bring good news to the Lahu villages. Please also uphold Pastor Doudu’s family unto God’s hand. May God protect every member of his family.
- Please pray for the safety of the teachers and students at Zheng Zhu student center, pray for the students will continue to grow both physically and spiritually.
- Please pray for me and my family. Pray that we would experience God through our daily life, and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit on our ministries to serve God and the people more efficiently.