Our ministry trip through SE Asia in March included teaching in Myanmar (formerly called Burma), a country very important in the history of the Baptists in the US. It was exciting to see sparks of hope and change in this former military dictatorship.
We were invited by the Myanmar Baptist Convention to lead a week-long intensive training of trainers in “Mobilizing the Whole Church for Holistic Mission.” Mission & evangelism coordinators from the 17 ethnic conventions that make up the MBC came to Yangon, some traveling 3 days to get there.
We led the pastors through topics such as: the identity and mission of the church; the whole gospel of the Kingdom; what is poverty and poverty alleviation; the role of the mission mobilizer; how to analyze the community and its needs; ministries of health, economic development, and appropriate technology; how to mobilize the whole church for mission, and how to plan a holistic evangelism program. It was a full week! At the evaluation session, our host Rev. Siing told the group, “I see now that we need to completely rethink what is mission, what is evangelism and what is the role of the church.”
We did lots of simulations and dramatizations that will help these leaders teach the material to churches back in their home regions. A highlight of the week was a trip to Proximity Design: a social enterprise that manufactures pedal powered pumps and water storage solutions for Burmese farmers.
At the end of the week groups presented their plans for holistic mission projects based on what they learned. These leaders left for their long journey home energized and excited about echoing the training in their regions. At the closing celebration, they affirmed it had helped them rediscover Jesus’ model of holistic ministry: that proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and demonstrating its present reality are two wings of the same bird. Thanks for being with us on the journey. Your partnership in the gospel is having an impact literally around the world!