“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16)
The 1st Myanmar CMI International Conference was held from August 12th-14th at MUST seminary campus in Yangon, Myanmar, with 55 participants from 8 different countries—India (1), Bangladesh (1), Malaysia (2), Korea (5), Germany (7), Austria (1), US (6) and Myanmar (32).
By the grace of God, a new democratic government was inaugurated in Myanmar this year after 40 long years of military dictatorship. It was more than a political regime change; it was a victory of God through many Christians’ prayer and devotion. We realized that God is going to create a new history in Myanmar and decided to open a Bible conference to celebrate God’s victory. With the conference theme, “You are the Christ,” we prayed that the season of Christ advent in this continent that many people shall have the same confession of faith as Peter had made it 2,000 years ago. And God sent us 23 delegates from abroad to celebrate and pray together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit has been with us from the first day. While Hannah Tak was leading the praise, her guitar string snapped. The same thing happened again the next day. That much praising and singing was moving and powerful. But the Lord supported us with cool weather from the beginning to the end of the conference. The main meeting hall has no AC at all. So, we really prayed for cool weather and God answered our prayer. While the entire peninsular of Korea was suffering with a record hot summer heat, Yangon maintained cool weather. The Korean delegation was very happy to be in Myanmar.
The main speakers of the conference were: Pastor David Lian and Shepherd Shwe Mana from Myanmar, Shepherd Kummar from India, Shepherd Pial from Bangladesh, Pastor Park Joong Yong and Dr. Timothy Hong from Korea, Dr. Paulus Kwon from Germany and Missionary Joshua Hong from the US. There were also 4 life testimony sharers. Also, we divided all the attendees into 10 small groups for group Bible study and testimony writing and sharing. The climax was the world mission report night. The representatives from India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Gabon and Myanmar reported the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in each respective country. We praised the Lord who is working in every corner of the world through His Holy Spirit, especially in the region of South West Asia. We deeply appreciated the brave missionaries and gospel workers in India, Bangladesh, Malaysiaand Myanmar who were working so hard in such a hostile environment. The last day of the conference was on the Sunday and we had a united worship service with the MUST students and the local church members and the orphan children. Altogether about 100 people worshiped the Lord and celebrated the Lord’s Supper together.
On the Monday following the conference, the 15 members of the 2nd generation missionary young adults started their own ministry. Every morning, 3 English classes and one Korean class were held for the MUST and CMI members. And each evening, brother Chung Yong Hyun from Korea taught self-defense skill to some male students. From 3:30pm as the orphans came back from school, they held a VBS program for them. This year, the theme of VBS was “The Conqueror” based on Romans 8:37. Based on the theme, they had Bible study with a subtopic for each of the five days—Abide, Trust, Prayer, Stand, and Obey. There were also craft sessions to go along with each topic. They also took the children to a big amusement park in downtown on Thursday where they had a lunch and dinner at nice restaurants and enjoyed swimming in the huge swimming pool. All of these programs have been planned and designed by themselves through months of preparation under the leadership of Susie Hwang. Even though they suffered many things while staying in MUST campus, such as eating foreign foods, uncomfortable lodging, mosquito bites and diarrhea and so forth, they were joyful in giving what they had. They were even thrilled that their little talents, such as language skill and music talent, could be a bridge in connecting them to each other. They also were convicted when their sweet sleep was disturbed by the loud prayer and praise sound at the 5:00am chapel hour every day by the MUST students. They were challenged by encounters with many of MUST students who freely professed that their future goals were to become a missionary or a pastor. One of the second generation volunteers confessed that she thought she came here to give something to them, but she was returning home with so many more things from those she served.
God has done three major things through this mission trip.
First, God strengthened CMI Myanmar coworkers. Shepherd David Lian and Shwe Mana struggled in preparing main messages. Also Shepherd Han Sowin shared his life testimony and Shepherd Kee Naing shared mission report. Also Shepherdesses Dwat Dawt, Mou Mou and Haney served as group leaders. They enjoyed the first international conference and learned many things in the process of preparation. I pray that they may grow into wonderful Bible teachers and shepherds for God’s flock.
Second, God established a spiritual network in the South West Asian region. Shepherd Kummar of India, Shepherd Pial of Bangladesh, Missionary Lucas Go of Malaysia and the Myanmar shepherds and myself created a group Kakao chatting room for the future work of God in the region. And Dr. Timothy Hong and Pastor Park Joong Yong are participating as supporters. We agreed to have a kin spiritual fellowship for each other by sharing prayer topics and updates.
Third, God established the international network for the 2nd generation young adults. The 15 of them from 5 different countries gathered together for the first time and they performed one week long project. They want to join Myanmar mission trip again in the coming years. The Myanmar mission trip has become a training camp for them. I believe God is answering our prayers. We are looking forward to next year’s summer ministry in Myanmar.
Thank you very much for your prayer and support!
Missionary Peter Chung