by Russell & Sandra Board
Greetings from Japan!
MILESTONE IN MYANMAR
In early March, I journeyed to Myanmar to join Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham and missionary Vijay Balla for some exciting times of ministry among our IPHC churches. Myanmar has suffered for decades under oppressive military rule, but has begun opening up under a democratically elected government. In answer to the prayers of God’s people, freedom and opportunity are expanding!
A three-day celebration was held in the town of Khampat to commemorate the silver anniversary of IPHC Myanmar, known as Church on the Rock. In answer to God’s call, Rev. James Lian Sai left his home state 25 years ago to establish a Bible College in Yangon, from which church planters have been sent out across the nation. His apostolic ministry has resulted in 137 churches now operating throughout Myanmar!
As many as 1500 people attended the worship and teaching services in the town hall. The meetings featured lively and passionate worship, anointed preaching, and intense prayer. Two new ministers were ordained, and prayer services were held in believers’ homes as well.
While in Yangon, Bishop Beacham and I had the joy of visiting ACTS Children’s Home, where orphaned, abandoned, and endangered children are taken in from war-torn tribal areas of the country, and given a Christian upbringing, a good education, and hope for the future. Many of these children have gone on to become teachers, church planters, and missionaries to their home villages!
CONFERENCE IN THAILAND
In May, I traveled to Thailand for the 14th Annual Conference of IPHC Thailand, known as Alliance Church Association. More than 100 pastors and leaders joined together for three days of business, worship, prayer, fellowship, and teaching from the Word of God.
We were blessed to have Dr. Terry Tramel and Rev. Lorenzo Aguilar as special guests, presenting unified and anointed messages on the theme “the Power of Faith.” ACA ministries are multi-ethnic, reaching not only Thais, but also Filipinos, Nepalis, several native tribal groups, and refugees from Myanmar.
On the final day, credentials were awarded to 11 mission workers, 10 licensed ministers, and 2 newly ordained seminary teachers. We thank God for continuing to send more workers into the harvest!
Thanks to the outstanding leadership of ACA President Dr. Wallapa, and the dedicated efforts of missionaries Albert and Jiep Gonzales, the number of IPHC churches increased from 44 to 54 during the past year. In spite of tightening legal restrictions and growing political uncertainty, the Lord has granted us favor in many ways, and the conferees left the campground encouraged, inspired, and determined to “run with perseverance…looking unto Jesus!”
POINTS FOR PRAYER
- Pray for continued expansion of freedom and opportunity in Myamar, and continued multiplication of disciples and churches.
- Pray for financial support for ACTS Children’s Home, so that more deprived children can be given hope for the future.
- Pray for the ACA outreach efforts to unreached tribal areas and the refugee population.
- Pray for Russell’s upcoming trip to Pakistan, and for our visit to the US this summer.