We were picked up at 7:30 and instead of going to MAO, we first went to Canaan mission field. We were greeted by about 20 children and adults. A former Buddhist monk became a Christian and then with Joseph established Canaan mission field as an outreach. There is already a preschool, but the vision is for it to become a ministry center with a chapel, buildings for teaching classes like English, math, etc.
The holdup is money, which is the case for most of their projects. The director of Canaan was sent to establish another mission field in Shan State, so now a young man, also former Buddhist monk and son of the a man you’ll meet next, is now in charge.
We got to hand out two handmade quilts here. A group of women sewed quilts to give out, and although we only had like 15, they’ll continue making them for whenever there’s a trip to MM. Joseph chose the two people to give them to, and we presented them and blessed them. At Canaan they went to a little baby boy and a man in his twenties (forget his name) that we met last time. My friend Dan B became friends with him and I think on account of that relationship, he received the quilt. It is a reminder that there are people praying for them and G—covers them with his love.
They were so excited by the blankets. We explained that the ladies who made these are praying for them and want them to know how much G—loves them. For people who have so few personal possessions, a blanket makes a huge difference.
Oh, and Lois dropped her sunglasses in the potty, but decided not to fish them out.
Next we went to Macedonia mission field, which is also led by a former Buddhist monk. His son is the one who leads Canaan now. His entire family was either monk or Buddhist nun, but all decided to follow J——s at a Bible conference led by Joseph and Dan Nold a few years ago. Now they are serving the Buddhist people and discipling them. It’s the same setup as Canaan—preschool with the hopes of becoming a ministry center, all they need is money for more land and buildings.
We passed out two more blankets and also prayed for the two men – father in charge of Macedonia and son in charge of Canaan. It was awesome to see this precious family ministering together and again I was reminded that the only thing holding them back is not lack of vision or workers, but the money to move ahead.
Next we went to Mary Home, which is an orphanage that houses eight children. Philemon graduated from the seminary last year and was then put in charge of the orphanage. He is an awesome guy, 22 years old, and is now raising up these children. He does have some help, an older couple who do not have children of their own. They have a cow who just gave birth to a baby cow the day before. It was cute.
This property is an ideal location for a ministry center because it is along a very good road that leads to downtown Yangon in just 30 minutes. Joseph would like to build a Bible training school and also an English school. He said English is a strong desire of so many people and if they can teach it, many will come. It’s a very practical and valuable way to serve the community.
Next we went to Calvary Children’s Home, which is run by Ruth and Noah. Ruth is Joseph’s youngest daughter and has been our main interpreter. There are 31 children and 6 staff members. After a delightful lunch, we went to their chapel room, where Ruth introduced each child and told us their background, why they came to Calvary. So many precious children.
We played for a bit next. Caleb and John played cane ball or seepak takraw it’s also called, which is volleyball with your feet. Then they played regular volleyball. Noah showed Oakes and me the bricks he made, which are for building the girl’s bathroom. When they direct the orphanages, there are many things they need to know how to do.
We left and returned to MAO because it was time for seminary graduation rehearsal. It is a very big deal to graduate from seminary and four of the students are graduating and two ministry leaders are being honored for their work. We rehearsed walking in, getting up for our portion, and walking out.
We passed out five blankets to children. One of the recipients was Abraham, one of the cutest kids in MM and the youngest at MAO. He was brought to MAO after Cyclone Nargis. I’ve connected with him and earlier when he saw me, he threw up his hands for me to hold him. I picked him up and he cradled his bald head into my neck. I thought of Elliott.
I have been reminded so many times of my kids Asia and Rex. They would love playing with all the kids here. We have twice been at an orphanage with Asia in the Philippines and she had a blast, especially with the boys. They would call her Asia from Malaysia because one of our connecting flights was through Malaysia. I think Rex would enjoy himself, too.
Then it was time to leave again, this time for another orphanage, Love Children’s Home. This is run by Peter, who is Joseph’s eldest son. There are many looms there, and they make wool for blankets and other goods, which they use and sell at a store. The store is a popular stop for really nice items like blankets, scarves, wallets, and jewelry. After taking a tour of the grounds and shopping at the store, we left for dinner.
We had a great pizza dinner and like usual, we ordered too many pizzas, but no problem because Joseph took them back for the kids at MAO. Whenever have leftovers, he has taken it back to the kids, which makes you want to always order too much food.
We met for a team meeting, one of our last, and planned which song we will sing on the closing night. We will stay at MAO later than usual on the last day. There will be a celebration service with singing and dancing, and when it was suggested I be the one with the microphone leading the song, I quickly stamped out that idea. We want them to still like us.
We give thanks to G—for letting us come here. Each one of us has been changed drastically by this experience and it will be cool to see what future paths it will lead us down. Already we have received word from people that they’d like to go on next trip, so the change continues.
For the team,