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Southeast Asia Winter 2015

Undisclosed Location January 16-27, 2015

We will be training pastors in closed country. The pastors we work with serve in difficult situations.

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Jan  24th,  2015Week of Training Complete

There was a tragic event that took place in the Kachin community this week. Two young girls (18, 21) from the Kachin Baptist Convention outreach ministry (teach children and share the gospel in different remote area of the Kachin State) were murdered by soldiers. The community is in an uproar over this injustice. Pray for the families and the KBC community as they grieve the loss. Our training session was cancelled on Friday so that the pastors along with our team will be attending the memorial service.  We are grieving with the community... but yet not as those who have no hope. 

It's Sunday morning now. We took most of Saturday to complete our training with the pastors because of our delayed arrival on Monday and the memorial service on Friday (which took all day). We concluded our time together with a Q & A sessions and giving the pastors a set of books we brought from The Gospel Coalition. We also provided the pastors some digital resources (books, articles, charts, etc) on a USB drive. The KBC presented each of us with a Kachin shirt in apprecation of our ministry. All of us thank the Lord for the opportunity to teach and encourage these pastors who are often serving in difficult circumstances. Pray that these pastors would be faithful teachers and preachers of the Word.

Each member of our team will be preaching at different churches this morning. After that we will be visiting an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camp. It is a "refugee" camp for people who have been driving out of their homes / land in the Kachin State. The KBC has a ministry and churches within these camps. This evening we will be getting together with the Kachin Theological College faculty and staff.IMG_03580b2aa66e45

Weymann -  for the team

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Jan  20th,  2015Grudem for the Kachins

We are about to begin our second day of teaching this select group of pastors that have been chosen from the various associations of the Kachin Baptist Convention  Two pastors could not join us this time because of fighting between the government troop and the Kachin Independent Army.The road has been shut down and no travel is possible We also got a report yesterday during the afternoon class that two female workers from the KBC were murdered in another part of the country. Please pray for the peace of this nation and for wisdom for the pastors as they shepherd their flocks amidst the long-standing civil war in their country. 

Yesterday Weyman and JD began their course on the Attributes of God, what they are and why they are worthy of passionate study. They focused on how great it is the we can know an incomprehensible God, that He wants to known, that He makes himself known through His Word. They close the class celebrating the good news that we will never stop knowing him better and better throughout eternity. 

Before class actually began we had the privilege of putting into their hands a brand new hard copy of Wayne Grudem’s Systematical Theology translated into the heart language of the Kachin: Jinghpaw. This is the first volume of this length and magnitude that has been translated into their mother tongue. Chuck Steddom initiated the project. I had the privilege of meeting the man who translated it when I was hear at the 75th Anniversary of the founding the Kachin Theological College back in 2007. He came up to me in a crowded room and asked if I would like to see the project which he had just completed. Hearing my enthusiastic yes, he dug his satchel out of a pile of satchels in the corner of the room and pulled out a ream of paper about five inches thick. Here before my eyes was Grudem’s complete systematic theology (the big version!) handwritten.
After catching my breath at the magnitude of this project and the persistent zeal of the man, I asked him if there we any copies of it? He said no, but that he was taking good care of this one! Thankfully it was recorded digitally soon after that, went through committee review, sent off to China to be printed, finally making its way to Myitkyina. What a privilege to watch these precious volumes be distributed into the hands of grateful pastors for the first time.
In the afternoon Jonathan gave the opening lecture in the Pastoral Theology Glass while Weymann and I were invited to speak at  a class for 60 seasoned pastors being held at the Kachin Theological College. We were asked to help the Kachin Pastors become more informed about issues facing the Christian church in different parts of the world.
What a pleasure to interact with this band of pastors who have the potential to pass on what they are learning to their own flocks and their own pastoral associations.
We are off to a good beginning. Please continue to try.
Together with you in the Greatest Cause,
Tom Steller

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Jan  19th,  2015Teaching Begins

We finally made it to Miytkyina! We took the flight on Monday afternoon and after the two and a half hour arrive safely at the airport. We found out that the reason our plane turned around yesterday was because of bad weather in Miytkyina. Still doesn't make sense why the ground crew was looking at the propeller after our plane returned to Yangon. Oh well... only God know!!! Another reminder of God's attributes... He is omniscient.

We were met at the airport by Samson, the general secretary of the KBC, who was able to get us through the airport and to our hotel to check in. After having dinner with him and one of his daughters, we retired for the evening.

Pray for our team as we begin teaching this morning (Attributes of God) and this afternoon (Pastoral Theology). We are looking forward to meeting the pastors!  


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Jan  18th,  2015Timely Reminder

After spending more than 24 hours on three flights, our team arrived late last night in Yangon. After checking into our hotel after midnight we ate our "lunch" in the hotel restaurant and then went to bed.

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We learned that one of the important qualities needed for serving on short term ministry trips is "flexibility"... especially when it comes to scheduled event.Things don't always turn out the way that we planned so we have to be flexible and adapt accordingly. Well...we were put to the test today (Sunday).

This afternoon we boarded our fight to Miytkyina which is a two hour flight north of Yangon. Twenty-five minutes into the flight they announce that they were having "minor" technical difficulties and had to return to Yangon.. After waiting for more than an hour in the terminal, we learned that the flight was canceled and there were no more flights for the day. So we had to rebook for a flight tomorrow and stay one more night in Yangon.

What that means is that we won't be able to start teaching on Monday as planned but on Tuesday.  Therefore we will have to adapt our teaching schedule accordingly and even possibly teach on Saturday.

We know that God is sovereign...that He is in control... which is what we will be teaching in our course on the attributes of God. What a timely reminder! 

Weymann - for the team

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Jan  16th,  2015Our Journey Begins

There's an old song that begins "My bags are packed, I'm ready to go..."  The words could apply to the four of us headed out to SE Asia to train national pastors.  Tom, Jonathon, JD and I are on our separate flights to Seattle where we will all meet.. From there we take our international flight to Korea and then onto Myanmar.  We will arrive in Yangon late Saturday night and then after a night of rest, we take our final flight on Sunday to our destination in Northern Myanmar. 

We're all excited about this opportunity the Lord has given us to minister to and encourage these pastors, some who serve in difficult circumstances.  Pray that we...and our bags including books for the pastors, will arrive at our destination. Pray also that we would be rested after our long flights and ready to teach on Monday morning.

Lord willing ... and if the internet is working, we will keep you updated about our trip.


for the Team

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