We received an update from Philip with details about his preaching tour to the western front. Philip states that he had recently felt the call to return to the area of his early childhood in Falam and to bring the gospel to his people there. His report is too lengthy to print in its entirely, but bits of it are recorded here. (If you want to read the entire letter, call Gail.)
Philip begins his letter with reports of his teaching and preaching in and around Falam. Each day was devoted to exhausting hours of testimonies and sermons throughout the region. He says he was able to visit four villages before encountering any difficulties from the military.
“And I was ready to go to Hakha, the capital of Chin State and it was during this time that the People Defense Force blocked all the streets in order to execute their mission and thus all traveling is banned, especially public Buses transportation and for days no fuels to buy. So, it was in this awkwardness of uncertainty that I had to make my mind and I did. I took a bike from my nephew and started driving toward home, about 76 or more miles…”
“It was lonesome and scary, even the fact that “what I’d do if my bike broke.” I met three check-points when I met the PDF and was interviewed with questions but was able to talk through. Glad that two of them know me from my facebook post and this helped much. As I was about to find detour by which I could reach Kalay, out of unexpectation, I met two motorbike-riders and since they know the trail, I started following them within their speed. I so wished that I had a motorbike riding experience in recent years or months. Driving that motorbike for over 3 hours in a very smoky, windy, zigzaggy, muddy at times, trail and plus sun-burning was the darkest ride taken then. Plus the disconnection from my contact was something else during the ride. It was like a drive in a graveyard, silent and no noise. But thank God that I did not meet any military personnel…”
“In all of this, God’s purpose was to bless His people and to let them know that He is in control and that He is our only HOPE. But also His purpose includes me to experience His grace woven within my physical and mental tiredness and exhaustion. And I like to conclude with this verse a friend of mine sent me while in Kalay as I rest and wait for the uncertain flight to Yangon. ‘For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.’ (2 Cor. 1:5)”
Gail and Susan will be teaching in Taunggyi and in the In Le Lake region in late February. Moving the gathering from Yangon to the new locations will reduce overall expenses and provide cooler temperatures (mainly for us A/C dependent Americans!). We would appreciate your prayers for study preparations, travel arrangements, and a safe environment at the time we travel.