Rev. Thang Bwee recently invited me to join the first graduation class of Reformed Bible Institute (RBI). Sadly, it was necessary for me to decline at the present time. I have previous commitments in this country at the same time that RBI is graduating its first class. RBI is the school that is sponsored by the Korean Presbyterian Church of Rev. Changwon Shu (pron. "saw"). Thang Bwee was recently awarded a D.Min., so it was my hope to be able to be with him, but as we say, "man proposes, but God disposes."
Work On Psalter Progresses
Some of my readers know that we have been working for some time on a Burmese Psalter. At present we are actually working in two distinct languages. One is the Burmese tongue, which is the "universal language" of Myanmar. That translation is being done primarily or exclusively from The Psalter (UPC 1912 version). At the same time we are working on a Falam language Psalter based upon The Comprehensive Psalter (a version of the 1650 Psalter) settings, with comparison and additional translation from the Hebrew.
On my last trip to Myanmar, last Feb, we updated all the settings. There was a committee of about 21 or so Chin men. We also "translated" the musical notation from standard staff notes to "Sol-Fa" notation. We are now in the process of updating the digital file to incorporate all the committee's changes. We hope to have this work finished by next February. Right now it is progressing, but very slowly. Anyone who would like to make a (financial) contribution to this project can send his or her check to the address at the end of this blog entry.
Siang Hope In India
Pasiang (a diminutive or "nickname" for Siang) has journeyed partly by foot and partly by rail to get to Dehra Dun, India to attend the Presbyterian Theological Seminary (PTS) there. All courses at PTS are taught in English. It has already begun to stretch him not only in his theological studies, but in his English study as well. For a picture of Pasiang, see the picture "Here is Pasiang." It should be just above this entry.
Pasiang's tuition comes to about USD 900 per year. This does not count expenses for clothes, bedding, books, and supplies. It does cover bed and messing (board). If anyone would like to help with Pasiang's education, a gift in any amount would be welcomed. First Presbyterian Church's deacons are currently keeping a fund for Pasiang's education. If you would like to contribute to this cause, please send a check in any amount to:
Mission To Myanmar
c/o First Presbyterian Church
8210 Schrade Road
Rowlett, Tx. 75088
Please make your checks or money orders payable to First Presbyterian Church and indicate if this is for the New Life orphanage or for the education fund.
New Life Orphanage
I received an accounting from Rev. Moses Dawnga just this morning for their expenses through the month of September. Because they raised rice on a 7 acre paddy this year, their rice expense was lowered by about 25%. We are presently housing, clothing, feeding, and educating in the reformed faith, 75 orphans in the northern part of Myanmar for about $135 US per year per orphan. They are learning not only basic "3 Rs" education, but they are also receiving training in various trades as they get old enough to be trained in that way. Rev. Moses Dawnga loves these children and was keeping about a dozen orphans in his home when we first heard of his ministry.
Sadly we cannot simply adopt the orphans and bring them home with us. We have quiet and diplomatic arrangements with the local authorities that the children can be educated in the Reformed Christian faith and not attend the Buddhist run schools. If we were to bring these children to the attention of national authorities, they would immediately give them to the Buddhists, who use them to go house to house begging rice. So we have adopted a course that we believe is best for the orphans themselves. They are quietly educated in the Reformed faith, a Christian worldview, and given trades by which they can "give back" to those who follow them.
If you would like to help with this effort, please let us know you are praying for them; and if you can give financially, please send any contributions to the above address. Simply let us know that it is for the New Life Orphanage. A gift of $135 will support an orphan for an entire year.