Saturday, October 9, we drove from Mae Sot to the village where Mangte Pa and Sinte live. The mountains here are the most beautiful I have never seen. The rocks leap up from plains toward heaven, covered with a forest of teak and other hardwoods. A steady stream of rain clouds keeps the jungle green and the peaks covered in a gentle mist. As hard a place as this is to live, it is a very peaceful land. But of course it is not at peace. Just a few kilometers from our road is the country of Burma where the army regularly attacks villages to keep power over the people.We passed several other refugee camps along the way where displaced people live, waiting for a way out of the camp. In one of the camps I met a Burmese man named Cain who came to this refugee camp 2 years ago. His English was pretty good because he had gone to school in Burma but had to leave the country after he participated in a demonstration against the Burmese government. He expressed a lot of anger and frustration about his situation. He feels like he and his people are very alone and forgotten in the world. He said, “All I want to do is have a way to finish school and to work. But I am stuck here in this place where I don’t have anything. And I don’t know what is going in the world or if anyone knows about us.” I told him that we know about the pain he is in and that I would tell his story to other people and that we would pray for him and continue to try to help.
On Sunday, we joined the village church and it was a blessing to participate in worship again with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. Mangte Pa preached with Saw Eh Kuh Lu Moo translating for him. He talked about the light of the world and how we cannot hide the light of Jesus Christ we have from the rest of the world. We knew the Spirit of God was there with us as we worshipped together and the people were very thankful for our presence. One of the elders said that having us there was like a gift to them. We were very encouraged at how faithful the people are to their ministry and what a witness they are to the rest of the village.
Sunday afternoon, Mangte Pa, Saw Eh Kuh Lu Moo, and Eric are walking to a more remote village in the area to help with a worship service and encourage the believers there. There is a lot of spirit worship in this village and a lot of darkness that has made preaching the gospel there very difficult. But, two years ago one family accepted Jesus Christ and as Lord and Savior experienced tremendous freedom. Through this, Christianity has blossomed to 48 believers in just two years. Please pray for us as we continue to help this young church shine God’s light into their community. – Eric