Great News On Our Visas
This is the first trip we have planned for Myanmar in which the visas actually arrived within a reasonable time. All praise be to God who has provided for this need! There have been times in years and trips gone by in which we have been waiting right up until the last few days before the visas arrived from the MM embassy.
Getting Fit For The Trip
I've been walking between four and five miles a day in order to increase my physical fitness and endurance for the trip to Myanmar. It is the rainy season in the tropics right now. I'm hoping to preach at the Mt. Zion Reformed Church, which is at the top of an eight-story ladder. So, the physical training involved in getting ready for such a trip is taking about two hours a day in physical exercise.
The Orphanage Hostel is Nearing . . .
As the orphans of the New Life Orphanage get older, it becomes increasingly important for many reasons that we have separate hostels for the boys and girls. A hostel is what everyone else in the world calls a dormitory. As some of you know, the orphans and their neighbors just built a large capacity septic field, which will accomodate 10 toilets. Much of the work necessary for the hostel will also be done by the faculty, staff, and older children of the New Life Orphanage. As a result, we expect to be able to build a brick nogging structure for approximately $6.67 per foot. We had the cost estimating done by a firm in Yangon, but we expect the total cost to remain about the same even in Tahan. The materials will be a bit higher, but we expect the labor to be lower due to the lower labor "rates" in the vicinity and because we anticipate a lot of volunteer help from the faculty, staff, and even interested neighbors.
The hostel, which measures overall 58' by 24', will have two stories, each with a wooden floor. Some of the wood will be simple (cheap) "jungle wood" and some of it will be the more expensive teak. The actual living area will be about 50x18x2 = 1800 square feet. The children will not have individual rooms, but will share a large hall and simply roll up their bamboo or cotton mats during the day and use at least one of the stories for class "rooms."
The overall cost of the building will be approximately $12,000 U.S. Of that amount, just over $10,000 has already been raised. But we would really love to be able to turn over the first spade of dirt while I am there next month. To do that, we will need some more contributions to this fund. The regular living expenses are taken care of by First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett and the orphans themselves, though we could certainly use regular help on that count as well.
Readers might be surprised to learn how a small gift can be used mightily in Myanmar. I wish you could all read the letters the orphans have written to us showing the gratitude these little children have to you who have helped in the past. They pray every night for those who have helped them. They praise the Lord for those who have given money so that they might have food, clothing and shelter. And in an act of Christian charity of their own, they, who to us seem to have almost nothing, fast one day a week and give a portion to those more needy than themselves.
Are you carrying 1000 bricks in your pocket? Set out a jar and begin to toss in your spare change each night. Every dollar will buy over 30 bricks. Every brick will help build a wall, which will help build a hostel, which will help build an orphanage, where young souls are being “built” for the kingdom of God.
How You Can Help
To make a contribution to the hostel fund for the Myanmar orphans, you can use either a check or money order and send it by mail to the address below or you can use a credit card or bank account that you have tied to "Paypal." To use paypal, point your browser to this URL: http://www.fpcr.org/missions.htm. Then click on button that says "Make a donation" and follow the instructions. Be sure to comment that your contribution is for the Myanmar orphanage hostel (or "New Life" orphanage). We praise God for any help you can tender.
To make a contribution by check or money order, please send it to:
Mission to Myanmar Hostel Fund
c/o First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett
8210 Schrade Road
Rowlett, TX 75088
It is my intention to leave the DFW area on July 19th, so please try to contribute before I leave if it is in your power to do so.
The Reformed Bible Institute
It is my hope to teach two seminary level courses at the Reformed Bible Institute this trip. I will teach the same hermeneutics course I have taught in the past and will also be teaching a course in New Testament Introduction. It is our hope that some students will also attend from other sems; esp. that of which Rev. Henry Mang is president.
English As A Foreign Language
We will be taking an English teacher with us, DV. Miss Hannah Allie will be spending the month in Myanmar teaching English as a Second Language (or English as a Foreign Language as it is known there). Please be especially in prayer for Miss Hannah. There are already enough students signed up for her to teach at least two classes.