The Christchurch (NZ) team made it safely to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)! We travelled via Guangzhou in southern China, and because we had a long layover there we had a tour guide take us into the city to see some of the sights. Of course, this was also an opportunity to share the Gospel with the tour guide!
We arrived in Yangon on Monday, late in the afternoon, to heavy rain and made our way to the hotel where we met up with the team from Australia (and a Kiwi now from Malaysia!). They had arrived in the morning and had conducted a training event with the local Christians we will be working with.
So Tuesday was the first official day of outreach. The whole team headed to Sule park and then we split into smaller teams to spread out and share the Gospel!
My team didn’t have translators in the morning, so we loaded up with tracts and headed to a nearby intersection where we all took corners and started to engage with people. Many tracts were politely distributed. And, as some of the locals speak English, many Gospel conversations were also had. In fact, one on the team simply asked everyone he was handing tracts to if they spoke English and ended up having a constant run of Gospel conversations!
The highlight conversation for me was with a man who was deeply indoctrinated in the idea that his good works would get him to heaven. After I had explained the serious nature of sin via the law of God, and the amazing Gospel of Jesus, I used a checking question to see if he understood the way to heaven. His answer: good works. So I backed up and re-explained, and I could see understanding starting to dawn in his eyes. So I used a checking question again. This time he was slower to answer, being very thoughtful, and said: “I need to trust in Jesus to save me from my sin… but I also need to do good works…”. So for a third time, I explained that we are saved by faith alone. He was really understanding now, and the thoughts seemed to be very foreign to him - but he was very interested! He said he had an appointment, but he wanted to talk more. Thankfully all the tracts are printed with local contact details, so I encouraged him to get in touch that way.
In another conversation, I found it fascinating that, even though I hadn’t talked about repentance, the guy seemed to be understanding the impact that faith in Christ would have on his life. He said something like: “But I would have to change my mind about everything I believe; but I can’t change my mind!”. So I told him to cry out to God and ask Him to change his mind for him. Repentance and faith in Christ are a gift from God!
During our lunch break, the heavy rain started, and continued all afternoon. The teams split up and found shelter as best they could. Tracts continued to be distributed and Gospel conversations were had.
The team debrief in the evening was very encouraging: hearing all the testimony of the wonderful Gospel opportunities God provided.
Please keep the team in Myanmar in your prayers over the next two weeks! Thank you. :)