About five years ago my wife and I were led by God to begin helping with the resettlement of Chin Burmese refugees. We were blessed to host the first Chin Burmese family in our home. They introduced us to their homeland of Burma, now known as Myanmar, and the opportunities for evangelistic outreach.
The obstacles in proclaiming the gospel in Myanmar are many: persecution from the Buddhist military government, lack of transportation, over 40 dialects in the Chin State alone, as well as scarce financial resources. The Chin State is one of the poorest in Myanmar. The lack of printed Christian materials including Bibles can and does make spreading the gospel and discipleship of believers a daunting task.
Through this first Chin Burmese couple we were introduced to Pastor Go Lian Pau director of the Myanmar Inland Missions. Over the course of time Pastor Pau asked if we could send him a Gospel tract that could be used as they visited villages. God directed us to International Outreach and that is where we found the Quest for Joy tract. After Pastor Pau had it translated into Burmese and the Tedim Chin dialect, we sent copies to International Outreach and they expressed an interest in helping cover the costs of printing. An initial grant from them led to the first large printing. As they were distributed, God began to reap a rich harvest as we first heard of a few, then scores, and now more than 800 who have come to know the Lord. The Quest for Joy tract has now been translated into Burmese and seven Chin dialects.
With new believers came the need for discipleship materials and the International Outreach booklets In Our Joy and For Your Joy. These have been translated into Burmese and the Tedim Chin dialect also. Again with the help of IO, over 1300 copies of In Our Joy and 2000 copies of For Your Joy have been distributed and placed in the hands of village pastors for distribution. Additionally, through the gifts of individuals, over 500 Bibles have been placed in the hands of believers.
With the cooperation of International Outreach, we were also recently able to supply Pastor Pau with 100 copies of the book Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die by John Piper.
Below are some of the testimonies of the impact of these resources:
I decided on ending my life… because of my sin I was thinking to go to hell. Later, my friend Ko Soe invited me to go to Sunday service with him to hear the Word of God for myself. On that Sunday the preaching was based upon “Is there salvation after death?” The answer was ‘No.’ Just before I left the church; I was given a small paper called Quest for Joy. As I read and read at my home, I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Savior.(T.H.)
I am serving as a pastor as well as mission director located in Yangon. There are 32 missionaries serving under my leadership among the pure Buddhists especially in the Nargis area. I found your Quest for Joy, In our Joy and For Your Joy materials somewhere in my mission field as I visited my missionaries in last week. I looked at them and learned that how your materials are powerful and effective to evangelize and follow up new disciples of Jesus Christ. There are places in our mission field, we cannot have a worship services for worship. In such places, your materials will be a great impact for the secret believers. (Anonymous)
In our church we started using the Quest for Joy tracts and we registered 11 new converts in only 17 days and some of them have asked for about water baptism.(K.Z.C.)
More than a thousand Dai tribal people, in 30 villages were reached with the gospel through the Quest for Joy tract. (Pastor Pau)
Our literature ministry is reaching out to the spiritual needs of the churches in our land. There have been great blessings to see thousands of literatures we distributed and reaching to the unreached. As I started using the Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, many were edified and benefitted from it.(D.L.)
One problem is how to properly train all the new believers to obey all the commands that Jesus taught and live as disciples of Christ Jesus. These new believers are thirsty for the Word of God. It has been a great blessing for us to make use of an excellent tool called, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die in my mission field area. As I started using it, my church members and the new believers are encouraged by it.(G.L.M.)