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Goodbye Buddha, Hello Jesus, January 2009

Hindu monk turns to Christ
Every morning’s ritual: Begging for rice. Buddhist monks do not eat after noon, an act of self-denial.

myanmar horizon
We met secretly, in
the morning. He had only a limited amount of time to be missing from the
monastery where he’s lived for the past thirty years. To be absent too long
might arouse suspicion among the sixty other Buddhist monks with whom he
resides.

From inside his
saffron robe he drew out a New Testament. He’s read it six times through so
far, and I noted that many verses were underlined. He told me that his favorite
one was John 14:6, and then he quoted it: “I am the way, and the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” He is a Buddhist
monk who is a secret disciple of Jesus.


Our hour together was
one of the highlights of my recent three weeks Myanmar, a Buddhist nation
where Heaven’s Family has
been working for the past six years. More details of that monk’s fascinating
story follow in this update, along with four other encouraging reports. All of
them are only a sample of the good that is being accomplished around the world
because of your compassion. Thanks for being a part of Heaven’s Family. — David


Goodbye Buddha, Hello Jesus
A Morning Meeting with a Remarkable Monk

old monk
A 70-year spiritual journey: Buddhist monk ————-

Trying to decipher the
doctrines of Buddhism has been compared to searching for a black cat in a dark
room in which there really is no cat. Not an easy task. There is, however, one
of Buddha’s teachings that makes very good sense:

Do not
accept anything by mere tradition….Do not accept anything just because it
accords with your scriptures….Do not accept anything merely because it agrees
with your preconceived notions…

Thankfully, some of
Buddha’s followers heed his advice regarding the traditions, scriptures and
preconceived notions of Buddhism, and they’re turning to Jesus. One of them
attended Chuck King’s recent pastors’ conference in Myanmar (Burma).

For the first forty
years of his life he was a Muslim, and he was known as Raja Mohammed Adam. From
reading the Koran, he learned about Jesus, respecting Him as a prophet. But Islam
did not fulfill Raja’s deepest spiritual yearnings. Most of the citizens of his
country were Buddhists, and Raja was quite familiar with their numerous temples
that dotted Myanmar’s landscape. Hoping to find what he was searching for,
he joined the ranks of the Buddhist monks who roam the streets each
morning, barefoot, begging for rice. He moved into a monastery, and
his name was changed to ————-.

Buddhists believe that
all suffering stems from unfulfilled desire, so Buddhist monks attempt to
restrain their desires, following a path of asceticism. But after
twenty-seven years of begging, fasting, meditation and celibacy, ————- still hadn’t found what he was searching for. So he borrowed a Bible. As he
read through the four Gospels, he encountered a different Jesus than he had
learned about through Islam. Jesus was much more than a prophet. He was the
Creator and Master—in the flesh. As he read, it seemed as if Jesus was saying
to him, “You are just like a Pharisee.” ————- was
cut to the heart. He decided to repent and follow Jesus. That was three years
ago.

After thirty years of
being a monk, and now at age seventy in one of Asia’s poorest
nations, ————- is afraid to leave his monastery, not knowing
how he would survive. But he is looking for an opportunity, and he knows that
his fellow monks are very suspicious and watching him closely. He told me he
would renounce his robe immediately if he had a way of escape. Please pray for
him as we work on a strategy to help him with the exodus for which he longs.

The Bigger Picture: In November, International Director Chuck
King ministered to 170 Christian leaders during a two-day conference in one of
Myanmar’s most unreached states. ———- attended each
day. Each participant received a copy of the 760-page Burmese
version of The Disciple-Making Minister. Chuck also visited Nazareth Children’s
Home
in Shan State, one of
thirty-one Christian orphanages in Myanmar assisted each month by our Orphan’s
Tear
Division, and where
thirty-two children live. Fourteen are waiting for $20-per-month sponsors.

3 beautiful orphans
Three of the thirty-two beautiful children of Nazareth Children’s Home in Shan State, Myanmar

Learn how you can help

A Miracle Kid
Orphan’s
Tear at Work in Myanmar

cute miracle orphan's tear
Jesus is still doing miracles. Six-year-old Lal Sang Pui knows it from experience.

The parents of Lal
Sang Pui noticed that he was different than other children when he was just a
baby. He wouldn’t respond to sound. As a toddler, he didn’t learn to talk. His
parents took him to two doctors where their fears were confirmed. Lal was deaf
and mute, and there was nothing that could be done for him.

Impoverished parents
in poor nations sometimes drop their children off at orphanages,
a decision that most of us who eat every day simply cannot comprehend.
Perhaps the closest equivalent to this phenomena in developed countries is when
authorities take children from unfit parents and put them in foster care. In very
poor countries, parents who can’t feed their children sometimes judge themselves to be unfit, and so they place their
children in places where they will receive food every day and have an
opportunity to go to school. In other cases, parents sometimes reveal their unfitness for parenting simply by
their cold-hearted act of dropping off their children at orphanages, and for
that reason, orphanage directors sometimes accept such children. There are,
unfortunately, no perfect solutions. (If you are shocked by this revelation,
keep in mind that millions of parents in our culture don’t want their children
either, and so they pay to have them murdered in the womb.)

In Lal’s case, being
handicapped made him even a bigger burden for his impoverished parents. So they
took him to Emmanuel Orphanage in
Kalaymyo, Myanmar, believing that he would receive better care there than they
could provide, even though the only “dorm” at Emmanuel
Orphanage
is a bamboo
shack. That was six months ago. Little Lal was six years old.

Emmanuel Orphanage is no ordinary place. The director, Joseph,
believes in Jesus, and he believes that Jesus still does miracles. He wrote to
me (in his best English),

We often
prayed and fasted for him specially with believing this sickness is not
difficult to be healed by Jesus. For Jesus answered our prayer and now
joyfully he began to talk and hear the voice. Jesus said that neither this
man nor his parents sinned but the work of God should be revealed in him
(Jn. 9:3).

A few of our team
members met Lal when we visited Myanmar last month. Although they could not
confirm that he was deaf and mute six months ago, I have no reason to doubt
Joseph’s report. They can definitely confirm that Lal is not deaf or
mute now. He is hearing about Jesus and singing His praises every day at Emmanuel
Orphanage
.

Emmanuel Orphanage miracle
Joseph, Par Dim, their son Jedidiah, and the kids at Emmanuel Orphanage

The Bigger Picture: Lal Sang Pui is one of over a thousand
orphans and children from impoverished families who live in Christian
orphanages that are assisted each month through our Orphan’s Tear division. Currently we assist forty-one
Christian orphanages in nine nations. 100% of the $20 per month that sponsors
contribute is sent to the orphanage where their child lives. Hundreds of
children, including Lal Sang Pui, are waiting to be sponsored at
Orphan’s Tear.

Learn how you can help

An Excellent Wife in India
The Widows & Abandoned Women Fund at work in India

excellent wife in India
Happy with a new treadle sewing machine from Heaven’s Family

Shoba was twenty-one
years old when she was married to B. P. David by the arrangement of
their Hindu parents. Their marriage was blessed with two children, but after a
few years, B.P. became bedridden with sickness, and he was unable to do any
kind of work. Shoba and B.P. spent all their money on doctors, but B.P.’s
sickness could not be diagnosed, and it only grew worse. They turned to their
Hindu gods, giving offerings and beseeching them for healing. The painted idols
at the local temples, however, proved themselves to be powerless. Soon Shoba
and B.P. had no money for medicine, their house rent, or even food to feed
their children.

One of Shoba and
B.P.’s neighbors introduced them to a Christian pastor, and they shared their
plight with him. He told them that Jesus was more than willing to fix their
problem if they would believe in Him. They learned, for the first time in their
lives, of His life, death and resurrection. They believed. B.P. was soon
completely healed and returned to work to support his family. Shoba and B.P.
were baptized and became members of a local church. Joy and peace filled
their house.

But news of their
conversion was not received with joy by their extended family, who became their
enemies. They did everything they could to persuade Shoba and B.P. to abandon
their new faith and return to their Hindu gods. But Shoba and B.P. were not
willing to go back to worshipping idols. Finally, their extended family hired
someone to kill B.P. He was brutally attacked and beaten on his way home from
work and left for dead. His life was spared, however, after some good
Samaritans rushed him to a hospital. Unfortunately, his brush with martyrdom
permanently disabled him.

Shoba learned how to
sew in order to support her family, but being unable to afford her own $100
sewing machine, she went to work for a tailor. She and her family, however,
prayed for their own sewing machine. The Lord answered their prayer not long
ago through a gift from Heaven’s Family. Shoba wrote to us saying, “This a great
blessing. This machine will bring an additional income to our family and bless
us and the Kingdom.”

The Bigger Picture: By means of gifts to the Widows & Abandoned Women Fund, fifteen widows in India
recently received their own sewing machines that now enable them to support
themselves and their children. Although Shoba is not a widow, an exception was
made in her case by our partners in India. The Widows & Abandoned Women Fund assists Christian widows every month with
life-saving assistance and grants to start small sustainable businesses.

Learn how you can help

A Kyrgyz-Kenya Connection
The
National Missionary Fund Connecting Asia and Africa

national missionaries
Erick and Margret Situmah. Inset: John and Beth Carey with their congregation in Kyrgyzstan

Can you imagine the
blessing of supporting a national missionary who is reaching the lost and
planting churches in remote regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America? Through
the National Missionaries Fund,
such a blessing is possible, and it may surprise you to find out who is taking
advantage of the opportunity.

American missionaries
John and Beth Carey have planted a church in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, and they
are teaching their disciples the importance in being involved in the Great
Commission. So their church has adopted a church planter in Kenya named Erick
Situmah, to whom they send $30 every month through Heaven’s Family. Forsaking good-paying positions as staff
members of a large church for the sake of God’s kingdom, Erick and his wife
Margret are planting a house church in the Shimolatewa slum of the city of
Kitale. Sixteen people regularly meet there to draw closer to Jesus and each
other.

Because of gifts to
the Mobilize a Minister Fund,
Eric also now owns his own bicycle, which he plans to use to travel to nearby
villages to plant more churches.

If you, your home fellowship,
or your church would like to adopt an effective national missionary, we
personally know hundreds around the world who could use your help. You can set
the dollar amount that you would like to send each month to your national
missionary, from $20 to $200. We will automatically deduct the amount you chose
from your bank account each month if you live in the U.S., or you can have it
automatically charged to your credit card each month no matter where you live
in the world. We will forward 100% of what we receive to your national
missionary.

Perhaps the best part
of our National Missionary Support Program is that you will receive personal
monthly emails from your national missionary in the field, in imperfect but
understandable English, first-hand reports regarding your national missionary’s
work. If you desire, you can reply and correspond.

Most of the unreached
people of the world can only be reached by national missionaries. If you are
interested in adopting one, drop us an email at [email protected] and
we’ll work out the details with you. You’ll share in the reward of your
missionary, on earth and in heaven!

Humiliating Failure to Sweet Succes
The
Books for Pastors Fund at Work in Uganda

mobilize a minister in Africa
Applying the truth and enjoying it: Pastor Protus Wepukhulu

Pastor Protus
Wepukhulu of Uganda was doing the best he could, but it wasn’t good
enough. After pastoring for ten years, he had only twelve people in his church.
The tithe that he brought each month to his denomination’s headquarters was
embarrassingly small. So his denominational leaders (not to be confused with
“demon-in-national leaders”) stripped him of his ordination papers
and expelled him from their denomination. Pastor Protus believed he was a
failure before God and men.

Someone, however, gave
him a 500-page book titled, The Disciple-Making Minister. After reading the first chapters about making
disciples and house churches, something happened. He no longer felt, in his
words, “low and guilty and hopeless,” but rather, he believed that
“life was just beginning.”

He started a new church
in his house. That was just eight months ago. He now has ten families who
are part of it. Things went so well that he started a second church in another
house. Then he started another. Now he overseas five house churches near the
border of Uganda and Kenya that consist of an average of eight
families each. Each church is being overseen by a pastor whom Protus
disciples.

Last month pastor
Protus also received a bicycle through gifts to the Mobilize a Minister
Fund
. He’s now setting his
sights on planting more churches.

The Bigger Picture: Pastor Protus represents one of tens of
thousands of pastors who have been better equipped through reading The
Disciple-Making Minister
, now
distributed in twenty languages around the world because of the gifts to
the Books for Pastors Fund.
And he represents one of hundreds of church-planters in Africa and Asia who
have received bicycles through the Mobilize a Minister Fund.

Learn how you can help

Essential Reading for Camels
…squeezing
through the needle’s eye

through the needles eye

Jesus commanded His
followers to sell their possessions and give to charity (Luke 12:33). He
forbade them to lay up earthly treasures (Matt. 6:19). He told stories
about rich people who went to hell (Luke 12:16-20; 16:19-31). He warned that eternal
damnation awaited those who don’t help the very poor among His family (Matt.
25:31-46). What are we to make of these “hard sayings,” as they are
commonly called?

While many professing
Christians ignore Jesus’ words regarding money, possessions and stewardship,
there are those who take Him seriously. For them, David Servant has written a
book that honestly examines everything that Jesus and the New Testament
authors taught about stewardship. He often questions modern interpretations
that effectively neutralize plain biblical doctrine. Don’t be among the duped
dunderheads! You can read Through the Needle’s Eye for free on our website, or you can order Through the Needle’s Eye as a printed book.

Parting Shot
Cut
Kid, Shan State, Myanmar

cute little boy kid in shan state myanamr
This photogenic little fellow is the son of the directors of Nazareth Children’s Home. He has 32 big brothers and sisters who give him lots of love and attention (perhaps even spoiling him a little)!