Recently,Hsi Htoo an evangelist whom works with us and I went to visit Hskay village. I was asked by Hsi Htoo to go as I am his teacher and he wanted me to speak with the village leader and assistant leader about him moving there. This village has been resistant to Christian outreach so I had some doubts about the meeting. This was compounded by the fact that I knew we would have to walk two days in the rain and down muddy trails just to get to a meeting that would probably last no more then one hour. We also were going to have to walk through an area which only a few weeks earlier the Burma Army had killed a man. But after some prayer I knew we couldn’t turn away from this opportunity to establish a Christian leader in a village that was desperate to know Christ.
So we went and the journey wasn’t exactly pleasant. We faced muddy trails, flooded rivers, running into a yellow jackets nest and we heard fighting from the Burma Army attacking a village two hours from where we were walking. Was it worth it? Absolutely!!! The leaders at Hskay village were very welcoming towards us and said they had no problem with Hsi Htoo moving there as an evangelist. They also shared with us how we might be able to help serve this village in other ways. The village leader and I hit it off quite well and he joked with me constantly that I should move there too. While it’s an intriguing idea, I think I’ve dragged my wife and son far enough into the jungle and will instead visit his village often to do discipleship, evangelism and build relationships with our brothers and sisters there. We’re encouraged by our visits and the welcoming we’ve received. It won’t be easy in the coming months to do outreach, but we’re making steps of progress. Praise God for this wonderful opportunity!!!
The few new Christians in Hskay Village are in desperate need of discipling. One Karen Grandmother ‘Ma Keo Si’ who we helped to lead to Christ on our last visit, continues to worship at the Buddhist temple. When I asked her about this she said to me; “I worship God there, because we have no other place to worship.” I prayed and thought about this and then talked with her how she can worship God wherever she chooses, she has that freedom in Christ. But that she must also take care about her witness to share whom her true Lord is in our life. She replied “You are our younger white brother, we’ll trust your teaching us about God, but we won’t trust anyone else.” While I was flattered by this compliment (and a slight hint of pride was felt) I also knew in her mind was a mistrust of a Karen church that is mostly stagnant ‘cultural christians’. She wants a personal relationship with the living God and is grasping for it. However, I encouraged her that all of those whom are in God’s Kingdom are the same in God’s eyes, and that she should welcome Karen evangelists into her village too as God will use them to speak truth to her. Please be in prayer for ‘Ma Keo Si’ and the many new Christians at Hskay Village.
On my way to Hskay and inside the village, I tried to take pictures of what a typical jungle walk/day looks like. I hope you enjoy these pictures below.
Hsi Htoo and I are now planning another trip in July where we’ll stay in Hskay village for one week to do discipelship and evangelism. I hope to take Rakchat and some of the evangelism team along as well, they are such a blessing for this kind of work. Please be in prayer for this upcoming trip. Our ministries continue in our own village as well. Sinte is starting up the nursery again this year and I am leading discipleship classes for the local church. We’re encouraged by the advances we’re making here but truthfully we’re also growing tired and weary. Please continue to pray for our family and those we serve. We’re also looking forward to seeing many of you in the US when we come in Sept-Dec this year. It’s going to be exciting to spend time with you and share in person about what God is doing here. Blessings to you all.