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November 2003

Myanmar, November 2003

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you dreaming of a white Christmas and rejoicing in Christ. Merry Christmas and God bless you from the Servant family!

pastor myanmar

I returned two weeks ago from Myanmar (Burma) where we held our most significant pastors’ conference of the year. We anticipated 200 pastors and leaders, but 370 registered. Shepherd Serve fed them three meals each day, paid for their transportation and primitive lodging expenses, and gave them all a copy of The Great Gospel Deception in either Burmese or Chin. Being the only speaker, I was privileged to teach for many hours each day, covering such topics as discipleship, unity, the Holy Spirit, church structure and contextualization. It was like heaven. The pastors were incredibly hungry and receptive. Some walked many days from the mountainous area of Myanmar near the border of India to be with us, from places so remote that there are no roads, only footpaths. The pastor at left (above) walked nine days!

orphans worshipingMy oldest daughter, Charity, joined me on this trip (using her own money for her international airfare), and she took lots of photos. She enjoyed herself so much that she didn’t want to come home. We were also joined by three Canadian friends who visited and blessed five orphanages, even purchasing a ten-acre rice paddy for one of them so they can better feed and support their children. Shepherd Serve was able to help two of those orphanages in smaller ways, and you can see many of the orphans in Charity’s slideshow. There is hardly a way to describe the orphanages. The children usually sleep together in one all-purpose room on hard wooden floors, subsist on rice and beans, and have one set of ragged clothes. But they love Jesus. The photo above is of some of them worshipping.

Please consider coming with us next November to Myanmar. You will never be the same. And there are no more gracious hosts I’ve ever met anywhere in the world than our Chin friends. One of them is Simon Ling (not his real name), an illiterate saint who once spent seven months in prison for smuggling Bibles into China. The two policemen who arrested him both mysteriously died within 20 days of his arrest.A few months later, the entire jail compound where John was incarcerated was burned to the ground, with the exception of the one building where his confiscated Bibles were being stored. Upon his release, the judge told Simon, “Normally a person who has committed your crimes would spend seven years in jail. But the anger of your God has released you in seven months!” At one of the evening services during our conference, Simon invited five missionaries to the front of the sanctuary who had just recently been released from prison. What a church service!

I’m leaving January 2nd to teach at three consecutive pastors’ conferences—two in Tanzania, East Africa, and one in Ghana, West Africa. I’ll be gone two weeks. Hundreds of African pastors will be edified, challenged and encouraged, and thus thousands within their churches will be touched.If you feel He might be speaking to you to help us out, let me confirm that is His voice! Our situation is critical at the moment, but God is our provider through faithful friends like you.

May your Christmas be graced by a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit.

David

baby P.S. And just a quick note: We’ve completed all ten $100 micro-loans to some very poor believers in Nigeria to help them start small businesses. We actually received $900 more than we needed, and so we’ve contacted those who gave more than we needed to ask if we could use their gifts for our vocational sewing school project in Sierra Leone, the world’s poorest nation. There, about 15 women, some of whom are war widows, are learning to sew on three treadle sewing machines purchased by Shepherd Serve. As a result of the extra $900 that we received, and with the donors’ permission, we’ve been enabled to purchase one more sewing machine and pay the full salaries of the two sewing instructors for a number of months (they each are paid $20 per month), plus help the pastor who has started the school. Thanks to everyone!

myanmar pastors conferenceRev. David, I have many, many thanks to express to you. You come all the way from America, spending so much money, time and energy, holding a very valuable training for us. I can never express by gratitude to you. I now look at Matthew 28:19 with new insight, and thank you very much again….Blessed be the God who sent you. Grace untold to you and those in America who help you—Amen. Rev. Thaug Tin Klum

I have always been listening to all sorts of teaching but none of them ever give me new insight like this one. From now on I will live and teach the way you taught us. I know it is the truth directly given by God through you. Pastor Thang Ceug Hug

Because your sacrifice in money, books, cash and kind, we cannot but express our deep heartfelt gratitude towards you, your family and the sponsoring persons in the U.S. May God add blessings upon blessings to you all. Rev. C.H. Sui Hre

From your teaching we are much strengthened and especially for me making disciples touches me most. I know now that making my members disciples is my number one responsibility. And I know now that words of God must be preached without regard to men’s opinion. Pastor Mang Za Peng