Monday, January 31

Chin Religion is Christianity

Canadian Group Protests

Of course as those who read the MTMblog know, we have been working with the Chin people for nearly five years. We do not object to the removal of crosses from mountain tops in the Chin State, but of course we object to the erection of Buddhist payas (pagodas).

But we must understand something that many do not understand in Burma. Political action is not the answer to the longrange problems of either the Burmese majority or the Chin minority in Myanmar. The only hope is in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As I prepare to leave for Burma tomorrow, please pray for me that God will enable this humble servant to bring hope to both the Chin people and the Burmese people -- not in the form of democratic reform or other political action, but in the proclamation of the rights of King Jesus over all the nations of the world (Psa. 2:6-12).

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.


Friday, January 28

The Visa Is In Town

Praise the Lord, the entry visa came in this morning. I just now received a phone call from my visa expeditor and the visa is in town. So, I will be going over to pick it up this morning. My thanks go up to God for all those who have been praying for this matter.

So as things stand right now, I will leave the ground at 8:00 AM on Tuesday and will depart LAX around noon the same day. Because of crossing the international dateline and the length of the flight, I will touch down in Yangon, DV, on Thursday AM. That is after spending about an eight hour layover in Bangkok on Wednesday PM (local time).

I've heard from my contacts in Yangon that the plane that goes to Kalemyo/Tahan is very irregular, so it does not sound good for me to make it all the way to the orphanage on this trip. Nevertheless, it is my hope that Rev. Moses will perhaps be able to meet with me in Yangon for a season.

RBI will be meeting with me at the Golden Guest for part of the time so I can teach the students. Hopefully Rev. Thang Bwee will be able to do the bulk of the translation work for me. RBI has an English teacher, so we may use him as interpreter.

Again, Hallelujah (Praise ye the Lord).


Thursday, January 27

Whatever Happened To Military Intelligence?

There have been a number of changes in Myanmar in the past year. None of them rival the changes in Iraq either in scope or direction, but there are some reports coming from that part of the world. Ron Corben of the Voice of America reports,

Burma has begun holding trials of associates of former Prime Minister Khin
Nyunt. Most of the defendants are accused of corruption and economic crimes.
The trials are expected to last six weeks.

Several members of Khin Nyunt's family, including his two sons, were detained
and are reported to be among the dozens of people on trial. In addition to
members of the military, some police officers are being tried.

Of course, it is far too early to say that this is some sort of move toward democracy. What is far more likely is that these trials are intended to consolidate power in the hands of the present ruling junta, led by Sr. General Than Shwe. Khin Nyunt was head of MI (military intelligence), and with his fall from power the MI has lost some of its internal grip. However, there were some who regarded Khin Nyunt as something of a reformer. This trial may reflect more of a Stalinist type purge than anything else. It was shortly after Suu Kyi's re-arrest that Khin Nyunt was first accused of corruption.

Meanwhile the UN's darling, Aung San Suu Kyi remains incommunicado under house arrest.

At the end of the day, Myanmar's hope does not lie with reformers like Khin Nyunt or democratic leaders such as Suu Kyi. The only hope for Myanmar is in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The leaders of the country have lost hope; the would-be reformers are aging away in prison. The answers to the questions of the Burmese people are answered only by the sovereign salvation of God and it is only as the gospel permeates the thinking of the Burmese that they will have any hope for the future.

Please continue to pray for my visa. It still has not arrived as of this morning (1/27).


Wednesday, January 26

As Of Today, Still No Visa

No, I don't mean the credit card! The Myanmar embassy still has not given us firm word on my visa. Yes, I know this is something we go through everytime. I think the closest we have come to the "last minute" before was Elder Seekamp's visa when we went together in November 2000.

Anyway, for those reading these blog updates, I hope you will make the arrival of my visa a matter of prayer. The sovereign God hears prayer and he is often pleased to make use of his people's prayers to work his most holy will. Please join us in prayer concerning this matter.


Wednesday, January 5

Hundreds of Myanmar fishermen likely killed

Hundreds of fishermen were probably killed in Myanmar by Indian Ocean killer waves, the World Food Programme said Tuesday, as Yangon put the tsunami toll at 53 killed and 21 missing. ‘We are afraid that hundreds of fishermen may have died,’ a WFP spokesman, Simon Pluess, said. ‘Some 30,000 people are in immediate need of shelter, food, drinking water and medical drugs,’ he added. Yangon made an appeal for international aid on December 30, four days after the tsunami devastated Indian Ocean coastlines after initially believing that the problem could be resolved by local means, said the spokesman. On Saturday, official Myanmar media reported that 53 people had died in the waves in 17 fishing villages. Another 21 people were reported missing, 43 injured and 778 homeless.


Saturday, January 1

Myanmar & Tsunami News (Jan 1, '05)

A Reuters report says death toll is now 53 in Myanmar. It is amazing that on both sides of Myanmar, geographically, the death toll was orders of magnitude higher. The article states, "'The Andaman Islands seemed to have protected the Coco Islands as natural barriers,' a geologist said of India's Andaman and Nicobar islands where 712 people were killed and some 3,000 missing and presumed dead."

The Coco Islands belong to Myanmar, while the Andamans and Nicobars belong to India. There are accusations that the government is covering up the true extent of the damage, but my sources in Yangon report something very similar.