Myanmar is a land of mystery, poverty and hope. This year Maciek and I conducted three conferences between 11th and 27th October. We found the country to be experiencing great change, with new freedoms under the new government and courage among the Christians who are seeking to reach their nation.
In Yangon, the economic capital, we meet with fifty church workers. We led studies in a Biblical overview, the book of Philippians, and the Life of the Pastor; and we led workgroups in how to preach through Philippians. Those attending demonstrated a growing commitment and skill in seeking to expound the Bible passages
We then ran a five-day conference in Kalaymyo for about forty pastors. We ran a programme which was similar to that in Yangon but extended – we had more time here. This conference focused much more upon a basic commitment to teaching the Bible. We were encouraged with the pastors’ enthusiasm which grew as they discovered how to unpack different passages.
Finally we ran a three-day conference in Mandalay for eighty-five workers. This conference worked through the book of Deuteronomy, a Bible overview and the Pastor’s Life. It was particularly encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the pastors within their workgroups as they sought to understand both the teaching of Deuteronomy and how its message could be applied in their churches.
Hunger for the Word of God
The ministry of PTI to the churches in Myanmar is both deeply appreciated and unique. Two comments remain in my mind. Firstly, it was clear that they had previously never heard such detail about opening up passages. The conferences over the years have opened the eyes of these pastors to see the value of expository preaching, and have equipped them with skills to work with the passages for themselves. Secondly, it was good to hear how some of the churches meet on a monthly basis to work, together with their workers, to expound passages. There is an emerging culture of Biblical teaching among these churches.