The latest FiRE newsletter is now available and contains stories about the cutting edge of mission in Nepal, Team Australia leaving a mark in Africa, the amazing story continues in Vietnam, updates on the Sumatra school project and a wrap up of AFA’s mission in 14 countries.
2018 was as eventful, wonderful as well as stressful as every other year if not more so – with plenty of drama and pain mixed in as well. Overall the number of donors and interest in AFA keeps growing. But like the LCA itself, we are also suffering from the effects of a declining church as people age and die or join other churches and stop to support Lutheran-based mission work.
FiRE No66 - December 2016 has been released featuring articles about a mission to the frontier of Myanmar in aid of the poorest, life in a bucket and a celebration of survival from Liberia, pushing the gospel across borders in Vietnam, leaving a mark on a post-earthquake Nepal, and updates from our other mission projects around Asia.
Here are some images of the Flood Relief Trip to the Paletwa area, South West Myanmar, with and through the Myanmar Lutheran Church supported by AFA funds. There are no roads in this mountainous area, only creeks, rivers and walking tracks. No relief had reached here before.
We are in almost daily contact with our friends in Myanmar – those who have been nearest and dearest to us for many years – people in three churches, friends who are heartbroken about what they see before their very eyes: wholesale destruction in vast areas, with hundreds of thousands of people thrown into desperation and poverty. Farmers overnight become homeless, landless, refugees, peasants. Many of these are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The implementation of this emergency relief response was well organized and led by two MLC staff from Yangon office and two pastors from Paletwa Myanmar Lutheran Church. By God’s grace, this relief response implementation was ended with a good impact to the affected families. This relief arm may keep them to have food security for 15 days depending on the number of the families.
On March 28, 2015 a severe fight started between Arakan Army and Government Army at Praingcho village in Paletwa Township. The fight threatened the lives of many people and the villagers had to flee to other place called the Kalardan River near the Kyewtaung village. They took some clothes and blankets, but did not have time to bring rice and other food supplies.
Damadi Home – formerly Immanuel Children’s Home – was officially opened on Saturday 14 February 2015 in the presence of international guests from Finland and Korea and our team from Australia and representatives from many local church groups. It is a dream come true – a wonderful ‘act of God’.
The Protestant Churches are surprisingly strong in Myanmar. Large Baptist and Methodist churches have been there for the last 100 years. Tamil Indians introduced Lutheranism to the country years ago but, in the overall scheme of things, they remained a small minority.