Time For Another Trip
It is hard to believe it has been nearly a year since my last trip to Myanmar, but time does get away from us sometimes. It has been a profitable year. The New Life Orphanage continues and with more support could easily double the number of orphans we presently have. At the present we are supporting 75 orphans, including food, lodging, and education. As the orphans become older they also learn trades (generally sewing, farming, and carpentry). Our biggest "structural" need at present is for a carpentry shop. We have the space to build it -- it would go on about 1/3 of the 7.5 acres that we are presently using for rice. But we need the funds (yes, that is a hint).
The Ticket Has Been Purchased
So, the plan is presently for me to leave Dallas-Ft. Worth on February 1st. The trip this time takes me through Los Angeles, Osaka, Bangkok, and then to Yangon (Rangoon). I will arrive in Yangon, DV, mid-morning on the third. We "lose" a half day when we cross the Int'l dateline, so it doesn't really take 48 hours to get there. It only takes 33-36 hours on the trip -- but about 8 hours of that is a layover in Bangkok.
And For Those Who Have Prayed With Us In The Past...
The next step is that of receiving an entry visa from the government (embassy) of the Union of Myanmar. I have been there seven times now -- this is my eighth trip. So the immediate temptation is to think of the visa as a "given." But the fact is, "man proposes, but God disposes." We have received the visas in the past, it is true. But we have also undertaken to pray with hundreds of people that those visas would be granted. So God has been pleased to go before us in the past, just as he went before the Israelites in the desert. But we dare not think we should quit praying for his will to be accomplished in us and through us.
Actually, Myanmar visas are very hard to get. I know of others who have gone there and been turned down for subsequent trips, so it is not "automatic." Please do be in prayer -- remember this as you pray for missions. And please pass along this request to others in your congregation's membership and leadership as well.
The Psalter Is Ready To Go
The digital file has been brought up to date. We simply need to compile all three portions into a single document for the "final review." This will be the first complete Psalter available for singing in any of the languages of Myanmar. There are over 100 distinct languages and dialects used among the tribes of Myanmar, and we have been helping in getting Psalters for two of them. Most of the work being done on the Burmese language Psalter is being done by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (EPCM) and the Protestant Reformed Churches of Myanmar (PRCM). We are happy to be of some help to them. But most of our work has been done on the Falam language Psalter. That is the "family" language of most of the Christian Chin in Myanmar.
And We Hope To Do Some Teaching
We will be getting to Yangon just at the end of the school year and hope to teach at the Reformed Bible Institute (RBI) under the presidency of U Thang Bwee. In two weeks, it will be difficult to teach much in depth, but I will have the students for six hours per day and six days per week. So the lecture time will actually be comparable to 3 or 4 semester hours. Please pray for understanding. The men I will be training will be carrying the gospel to the villages of Myanmar for the coming generation.
More later as the day of departure approaches.