As you read in our last two posts, last year we hosted a team from America. Among our team we split into three different groups. Austin, Mark and Rakchat went to Hskay Village (two days walk from Bung Klung Village) to encourage the new believers and for the baptism of three new believers. You can read more about their trip in Blog Trilogy: Episode 1.
Charlie Coe, Felicity Coe, Sarah Rosenbaum and I with our two kids Eliana and Ewing stayed behind in the Bung Klung village area to do two activities. One was a children’s program which was written about by Sarah in Blog Trilogy: Episode 2. The second was a woman’s training that I along with Paula Hey (an Elder of Bung Klung Church) led at the same village.
The women’s training is amazing in so many ways. Perhaps the best thing about it is how women come from so many different villages as well as from the nearby refugee camp. It’s an opportunity to make new relationships as well as encourage one another. Every day our team and family would wake up around 6:00 am to prepare. A little after 7:00 am every day we jumped into our truck and drove about 40 minutes up a mountain road to a village called Kui Lah Daw. It is a pretty rough road with almost the whole way having lots of bumps. Ewing seemed to be the only one in our group to enjoy the ride. We would come back to Bung Klung after the training around 6 pm. We went to Kui Lah Daw Village for three days and every day when we got there we would break up into two groups.
The first day, Paula Hey taught about tithing and I taught about building a Christian family. I taught this topic in portion last year at Nupo village training and was requested by many women who wanted to learn more about this.
During the women training, some women brought their infant babies and older kids as well. I sometimes taught them while holding Eliana Parsin (our 9 months old daughter) in my arms. It was easy to tell that we were really doing a women training by what was going on in the room. Some of the women shared with me how they were encouraged by my teaching them while caring for my two kids, I was also encouraged by their walking (sometimes many miles) from their village with their kids to join the training.
We had many discussions with one another about how we to build up a family with such a love base that it would lead our children to the living God and glorify Him. As Mother Teresa once said, “Love begins at home.” I truly believe that we really need to create a healthy environment in our home and let love grow in our home. God is love! If we can shine the love of God in us beginning from our home then to our neighbor and then to strangers, people may see the love of God through us.
Among those who came to join the women training, some of them had yet to receive Jesus in their lives. I shared the love of Jesus and prayed with them. There was one woman who came to join the training while her child was sick at home. But she told me that she did not want to miss the training because of the love she experienced from us. This woman is not a believer but seem very interested in hearing about Jesus Christ. She invited us to go pray for her sick child at her home. Pastor Samuel (the Bung Klung church pastor), Paula Hey and I with some other local Karen went to her home and prayed for her sick child. We were also asked to help name her child. Since she shared with us how it was such a blessing for us to come into her home, we thought blessing would be a good name for her son. The Karen also have a tradition that they take the name of their child, so she too is now named Mother of Blessing.
On the last day in the morning, we did a study on the Five Love Language and many found out what our love language was. We had a fun time together as we shared the results with one another. Many women said they wanted to test their husbands as well. Also, one of the biggest suggestions we had for next year was to include husbands in the training as well.
During the afternoon on the last day we attempted to make Swiss Sunday bread. We had tried to get an oven from Bung Klung but found that it was broken. Since, there was no oven in the Kui Lah Daw village we had to change the recipe and instead of baking the bread, we fried them up in a frying pan outside over a wood fire. The bread turned out great! Every woman who came to the training got to bring bread home to share with their family.
We did a closing ceremony worship service. These always take a while because so many of the people want to say thanks, share the world of God and testimony, singing and prayers. Almost everyone shared how they wished they could have this kind of training in the coming years.
During this time, Charlie and Felicity Coe gave out the packages to each of the women from the training and they all had a big smiles on their faces. We really want to thank Pender United Methodist Church and Greenwich Presbyterian Church for preparing all of these kit packages for our team to give out.
One of the solar panels from Pender UMC was also given to the church in Kui Lah Daw village. They shared with me how useful it will be for the church to have light during their worship and meetings as the electricity is unreliable at village. Thank you so much for that wonderful gift.
Finally, thank you to all the churches, family, friends for supporting us in the mission field. We are truly blessed to be in partnership with you. May the Lord bless you all with His presence and guide you through out your days.