Building for the long-term in Burma

from Plant & Build | The Sovereign Grace Blog by amahr

Two pastors from Sovereign Grace churches recently traveled to Burma and South Korea in order to visit the church planters whom Sovereign Grace Ministries supports in those countries. Today’s update will focus on their time spent in Burma, and our next update will highlight their time in South Korea. For security reasons, we won’t share their names.

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In Burma, we have the privilege of working with a budding church-planting ministry led by a recent graduate of our Pastors College named David. In a recent visit, pastors and members from Sovereign Grace churches got to demonstrate that partnership through both practical aid (mercy ministry) and strategic training.

The mercy ministry was extended by a team consisting of members from five Sovereign Grace churches (Gaithersburg, MD; Chesapeake, VA; Fairfax, VA; Spokane, WA; and Franklin, WV) who operated a series of medical clinics over the course of a week. Quoting from the blog of Covenant Life Church (which sent several people), “The team saw approximately 1500 men, women and children in four days of clinics! Three clinics were held in rural villages, and two of those were in areas that lack a church. The hope is to eventually establish churches in both locations. Another clinic was held in a more urban setting at an orphanage.”

The other priority of the trip was to help David plan strategically for long-term growth and health in the churches he leads. Given the context and resources available to him, there are several questions and challenges he needs to address:

  • What theology courses should he prioritize at his ministry school, which hosts men who are both recent converts and developing leaders?
  • How can he provide ongoing care and training for pastors in a network of roughly 45 churches, some of which are several days travel apart?
  • How can he lead the mercy ministries of his churches (an orphanage, disaster and famine aid, and other projects) without neglecting the care and training of current and future leaders?
  • Where will funding for the ministry programs come from?

Although the visit was brief, the pastors who spent time with David were able to help him think through several of these critical questions and begin making concrete plans for future leadership training. Although building the right foundations there is going to take time, it is a mission we believe has significant potential for building the Burmese church, especially given David’s proximity to people groups who have never been reached with the gospel before.

If you give to the Mission Fund, we want to sincerely thank you on David’s behalf for the support you’ve given his ministry over the last several years. He is a humble and grateful man, and would be the first to tell you that your example of service and generosity have in no small way shaped and enabled the ministry philosophy he now models in Burma.

He would also be the first one to tell you that the Burmese church needs your prayers. When you think of them, here are a few ways you can pray:

  • Pray for favor with local officials, who often are the deciding in factor, humanly speaking, in whether ministry programs can function or not
  • Pray for financial provision, not only for the mercy ministries but also for the critical leadership training and church-planting work that David hopes to lead
  • Pray for the next generation of leaders in the Burmese church, that God would raise men who can think, lead, and teach with theological precision
Image: Pagodas and temples in Bagan (public domain).

 

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