Back from Tahan
Note: Pastors report on his trip to Tahan got lost in transit but has now been posted following this entry in its correct place.
Classes Started Yesterday
Classes began yesterday at the City Star Hotel for my Greek students. All returned, including Matthew. We had a brief quiz that covered all our memory work to date (PAI conjugation plus 5 noun paradigms). Then we began on adjectives and the article. Of course, if they have done all their memory work up to now then there is not a lot of new work. We will begin Machen's chapter 7 today, DV.
More On Sending Photos
I tried sending a photo earlier (taken at the church opening at Sadaw village). Outlook express did not like it for whatever reasons seemed good to Bill Gates. So it seems that I will simply keep my photos handy and post them either at the blogspot or on our fpcr website upon my return to the USA.
And More on the Conference in Tahan
The morning sessions were on "The Gospel of Free Grace" and were very well received. The attendees were almost exclusively from the MRPC and the URCM (two reformed denoms) church officers, so that bodes well for the future of those denominations. The state of education here in MM is such that, both within and without the church, there is little emphasis placed on genuine study. The lecturer generally places his notes on a board and the students copy them into their notebooks for future reference or memorization. The approach definitely fits the old definition of a college lecture, "when the notes of the professor become the notes of the student without having to pass through the mind of either one." The really refreshing thing about teaching language is the necessity to break through that mold and actually deal with the students' understandings.
There was quite a bit of discussion both during and after the conference sessions in Tahan. Many of the officers brought notebooks and wrote furiously -- many times when I had not even put anything on the board. Either they were understanding what I was saying or my translator had some really interesting things to say that had nothing to do with me. In any event, they were very much interested in the fact that God alone saves sinners.
I Finally Got My Beard Trimmed
But it took a really long time. The barber (stylist?) had never trimmed a beard before, so it was a new experience for her. It took her a long time and then they couldn't decide if they should charge extra above the usual 80 cents for a haircut. They finally decided that 80 cents was for the whole head. Normally I would have gotten my beard trimmed before I left Texas, but Pres the barber was on vacation that week. Then when I had my haircut before going to Tahan, the barber was unwilling or unable to undertake cutting a beard. In fact, she came over and watched the barber yesterday. So it has been awhile since my beard was trimmed and it tends to look a bit scraggly after a few weeks. U Khin finally suggested I may want to stop by the barber shop.
Did I Mention in a Previous Blog?
One of the men staying in the hotel with me here at GGI is Curtis Thomas. Back "in the day" I used to hand out many copies of his book (along with David Steel) on the Five Points of Calvinism Defined, Documented and Defended. It was a pleasure to get to meet him. It turns out we know some of the same people -- or have known them in the past. When you get to a certain age, I suppose some large percentage of the people you know have already died. He is a very pleasant man and is here teaching at Henry Mang Hlei Thang's seminary. I have asked for the name of the seminary, but he simply refers to it as "Henry's New Seminary." So, I suppose we need to add HNS to our list of reformed schools in Yangon.
It is getting pretty close to 8:30, so I need to put some finishing touches on today's lesson plan and get a ride to the City Star. More later, DV.