Dear Christian friends and supporters of Asian Mission for Christ,
Thanks to you all for supporting Ahpu's family and ministry of native missionaries in Southeast Asia through AMC faithfully. Every one of us in our family and our native fellow workers in Christ are doing well. This letter is proposed to report a mission update from January-April 2018. May the Lord bless you as you read this mission report.
One of our primary focuses currently is to start LBI (Lisu Bible Institute) back up. The purpose of the school is to train up disciples and leaders so they can go back and minister to local villages. In the past, we have graduated many students and have accomplished many evangelism missions. Many have come to know Christ through our school. LBI has scaled back operations over the past two years due to decreasing support of this ministry. Our leadership team and local members are in talks of reopening it again in the coming June. Though LBI struggles financially and we do not currently have support required to fully operate the school, our vision is to start back up with very few faculty members and students in faith that the Lord will provide its needs as we operate. There are still uncertainties but we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance; please keep LBI in your prayer. We believe this ministry is vital to the Lisu people.
Our ministry in Thailand continues to grow and evolve. This year I had the privilege of teach Lisus in India for the first time. In January I taught at Lahu (another tribal group) Christian leadership training center in Doi-Sa-Ket, Chiangmai, Thailand. About 40 Lahu Christian leaders from many different churches came for the training. One of my former students conducted the training, and four other teachers taught as well. We taught in a class room setting from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day. Lunch was served at noon.
In February, I made a trip to India. I had the opportunity to visit a Lisu community in India. I was invited among several missionaries to go teach the word of God and provide discipleship training. A medical ministry group also tagged along to bless locals with free medical services. This was some of the most remote Lisu village in the hills of India. Getting to this village requires driving to a make-shift airbase, taking a helicopter ride, and trekking for hours up the mountains! A little hard to imagine in this twenty first century world that we live in. God provided protection throughout the trip. Lisu from ten different churches traveled for miles from the surrounding areas over the course of two weeks to hear myself and the team teach all day. We ate together, communed with one another, and worshipped together. I also went to preach at a Naga Christian church. The Naga are another tribal group. This Naga church was started by Lisu Christian leaders, and now the Naga Christians are self-sustaining. One of the Naga Christian leaders came for the Lisu Christian leadership training seminar since he also understood the Lisu language. He was trained in a Lisu Bible School in northern Burma many years ago. He has expressed his eagerness to learn more about the Bible and he looks forward to our team returning to India to teach Bible to the Naga Christians in near future.
The Lisu people live very far from the city. No cars go to the Lisu area, and no planes go there except helicopters. The Lisus walk on foot to the nearby city. It usually takes 4 to 7 days to get to the nearby city. They must carry supplies on their backs, or on horse’s backs. However, very few own horses. The road from one village to the other is rough, stony, dusty, and muddy. It is muddy when it rains, and it is dusty when it is sunny. No electricity here. No T.V. and no internet. Most of the villages have no cars and no motorbikes. Every village is surrounded by deep forests. Most Lisu people in these villages are Christians. These Lisu Christians are working to reach out to their local Indian neighbors. A number of churches have been successfully planted in this area.
In March, I had the privilege to teach a short-term Bible training seminar at Pa-Tue Lisu Christian Church. Lisu Christian leaders from seven churches came for the training seminar. About 50 Lisu Christian leaders came for the training seminar. Most of them were women. Classes began at 8:00am and ended at 4:00pm every day. The pastor at Pa-Tue church was Ya- Xue, a graduate of LBI.
In April, I went to teach at another short-term Bible training seminar held at Hui-Nam-Dang village, hosted by two LBI graduate couples. The village has more than a hundred families, but less than half of them are Christians. This village is a three-hour drive from Chiangmai. About 40 people came for the Bible training seminar. While I was there, I had the privilege of attending multiple home prayer meetings. Through the labors of a LBI graduate couple, the church grew, and several new converts have been added to the growing number of believers. One of the village shaman's (witch doctor) sons recently became a Christian. He and his wife are actively involved in church activities. Another woman, who was tortured by evil spirits and almost died under the treatment of shamans and monks, also came to accept the Gospel. It was her final hope. Christians in the village gathered singing hymns and praying for the woman. After singing and praying three times, the evil spirit left her and she was healed. Shamans and the monks witnessed the result of God's power, but their hearts are still hardened. The Holy spirit will continue to convict their hearts. We serve a true and powerful God!
In April I also had the opportunity to teach a Bible training seminar at Lin-Luang village. A couple of LBI graduates are pastoring a church there. The church has about thirty families, and about 35-45 people came for the Bible training seminar. The village is about 30-40 minutes’ drive from LBI. I taught from 9:00am to 3:00pm with a lunch break at noon. Most of the people who attended this Bible training seminar were elderly. After the training sessions, I was presented a gift of Lisu hand bag. These bags are unique in color and design. I was very thankful for it.
In the same month I was also invited to teach a Bible training seminar at Borneo Lisu Christian church. For a few days, I taught from 9:00am to noon. Most of the attendees were young people from Chiangmai. More than 40 people came for training seminar. At the end of the month, I was invited to teach in a leadership training seminar at Mae-Ja village. The village has more than a hundred families, and over 60 families are Christians. 3
All the native missionaries are doing Well. Wuzziah is serving effectively in Tachilek area among the Lisu, Lahu, and Ahka people. There was a large youth camp held in Tachilek area and hundreds of youth gathered there for a week. He also travels to churches and teaches Bible training seminars with his friends. He is the chairman of the mission board in his area. Another native missionary named Jeyki is also serving as a Bible school professor at Eastern Myanmar Bible Institute, and as a pastor at Hlai-Ta-Ya Christian church. He travels to Ta-Nai to teach at Fu-Gong Bible school from time to time. He is now in northern Myanmar and conducting youth camp. More than 250 young people came for the camp.
Another native missionary, Ngwalisi is teaching Bible at Bethany Lisu Bible School in Myitkyina, northern Myanmar. He is dean of students at Bethany. He and his family live on campus. Bethany has about 80 students each year. Most of the students are Lisu, but other tribal individuals who understand Burmese also come to study Bible at Bethany. This school has two sections. Lisu language section for the Lisu students and Burmese language section for other Burmese speaking students. Ngwalisi is teaching at Burmese section.
Our other native missionaries, Thomas, Jeypi, and Charlie are teaching at Myitkyina Christian Seminary. The seminary has college level of training and master level training. The total number of students is about forty. Most of the students are Lisu, and there are some other tribal students as well. The school year begins in May and ends in February. During school break, a group of professors and students went to Putao, northern Myanmar for an evangelistic trip. They went to visit and encourage many Lisu churches. The three native missionaries (teaching Bible at MCS) also went with the evangelistic group of the school. Please keep Myitkyina Christian Seminary and Bethany Lisu Bible School in your prayer that it can continue to be an effective institution to train leaders.
Thank you for partnering with AMC through your prayer and your financial support. Your partnership in the ministry is vital in carrying out the command of the Lord in Southeast Asia.
The man with the orange T-shirt was a student of LBI. His name is Yaku. He completed 3 years at LBI. He is now working as a pastor and an evangelist in several Lisu village near Myanmar border area. He wants to complete his studies at LBI. Please, keep him and LBI in your prayer. Recently, eight people converted to Christ from animism through his ministry. Though he has only completed third year studies at LBI, he's serving full-time as a graduate of LBI. LBI aims to produce such Lisu Christian leaders, as many as possible, through your partnership in the ministry.
In His Service,
Ahpu Nguapha Ahpu and Acha Nguapha