Thursday, July 31, 2014

Proclaiming Christ in Yangon

Recently our family spent two weeks in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) where Evan taught an M.A. level course on biblical spirituality to Burmese pastors.

A few pictures & some trip highlights:

1)  We were privileged to visit some of the historical sites of the life and ministry of Adoniram Judson (the first American missionary). Yet the most impacting legacy of Judson’s work was not a site but a book—the Bible that Judson translated into Burmese, which is still used and loved by Burmese believers to this day.
the Judson Bible; Burmese church service;
Evan and his students

2)  Evan so enjoyed teaching biblical spirituality to the Burmese brothers, most of whom are pastors in different parts of Myanmar.  They have emailed us already to tell us how the Lord used the class and how they are now passing on the teaching to their churches in areas of Myanmar that reach tribal people groups like the Karen, Kechin, and the Shan.

3)  We celebrated the graduation of some of the Burmese students, where Evan delivered the commencement address, urging the brothers to pursue a life-long study of the greatest of all studies—the study of the love of Christ.

4)  Kristie and the boys ventured out into busy and rainy Yangon to ride the train, visit the local market, and check out a third-world zoo.
We encouraged the boys to pray about giving a Burmese gospel tract to someone.  At the end of the trip, they made drawings and gave a tract to the Burmese man who cleaned our hotel room each day.  He was delighted.  Another house keeping man saw the gospel tract and asked for a copy as well.

The boys prepare drawings to give
to the hotel workers
5)  We attended a Burmese church where Evan preached on Hebrews 11 and taught how the honor and shame paradigm that is deeply ingrained in the Asian mindset can be understood through honoring God through faith and bringing shame to God through unbelief.

6)  Evan has been working with a Christian Burmese lady to translate one of Judson’s books (called A Digest of Scripture) on basic Bible doctrine for discipleship.  She just finished the translation of the first-ever English copy.

7)  Another highlight was Evan’s opportunity to share the gospel at length with a Muslim, though most Burmese are Buddhists.  One of the benefits of being in Yangon was that most people spoke English, so it made sharing the gospel quite easy.

8)  Here are short portions of some emails written by a few if Evan’s students after the class:
Yangon's Shwe Dagon pagoda, Buddhist monks,
and the busy streets of Myanmar
          “You did leave an impression of desiring Jesus more and the impact of the gospel on my heart. Your passion inspired me and the rest of the class for sure. Now I have been practicing praying through the scripture and the tips of meditation in my personal devotion. Surely, it brings a lot of excitement and freshness to my devotional life. Thank God for that. I just passed some lessons from your teachings to my church and they were truly blessed. The fire is spreading. I am excited about to translate your work on Judson's spirituality. That will be a great benefits for our Myanmar Christians.”
          “I will never regret about that as God used this course, Professor Burns and my fellow brothers to change my spiritual life. To tell you the truth, It was burning in my heart during the class as we study God's word.  Praise God, now, God is leading me to another step of my spiritual life as I humbly come to the Cross again. May the Lord bless  all of you according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

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