About three blocks from our church building M-F from 12:30 to 3:00 Pastor Sitt Lin conducts a Bible study. On Saturday other groups of people have Bible studies because this is the only day free from work. This is discipleship training for new converts and encouragement for longtime Christians. Participants are feeding on the Word of God, growing and being grounded in their faith. Here are a couple of pix from the other day.
A couple of weeks ago I got an updated snapshot of Nay Lay’s family. Here are their names: Nay Lay & Poe Now (father and mother); Taw Nay, Lay K’Por, Hsi Ku, Hto Ki Baw, Koka Maung, Lay K’Por (all sons); Poe Htoo, Poe Kyi, & Poe Pleh (the daughters). I think the children are listed from oldest to youngest.
The family arrived in August of 2011. The oldest son is now married and living here in High Point. The children are speaking English. We are blessed to have them as a part of our church family.
Da Htoo and his family of origin arrived in High Point about 8 years ago. He has been living in an apartment and working for a local company for the last couple of years. This fall he studied for his CDL license and got his driving permit. He made plans to “learn the ropes” on long haul driving working beside his uncle Nay Dah. He had about a month of transition and has been a real blessing to Pastor Sitt Lin as our new Burmese pastor was getting a car and learning how to get around in High Point.
Da Htoo’s sister, Hser Htoo, is in her second year of community college. She is planning on being a missionary doctor so is starting a pre-med track. She also holds down a job at a local restaurant.
Pray for Da Htoo as he is driving long-haul. He is already finding Karen families in the cities to which they make transport. Day Htoo sat under Sitt Lin’s evangelism leadership and helped him while soul winning this fall. Pray that Da Htoo will be bold and sensitive to opportunities to share the gospel.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
After a busy Saturday with Christmas festivities for a crowd between 350 and 400 the church leaders picked back up and had a joyous time of worship yesterday. The service was led by Eh Lay Wah. Again the young people led the service with worship choruses that I have enjoyed over the years. Click to sing-a-long and enjoy.
It is with bittersweet emotion I share this post. My friends from the Chin state of Myanmar who have been worshipping in our facility have decided to launch out on a new chapter and will be relocating to another facility in town. I remember being present in the summer of 2008 when the root congregation met in a home on Wise street under the leadership of Biak to organize a High Point fellowship. I am happy for the leadership and independence shown by this group but I am in pain as I think about not seeing them every Sunday in their exuberant worship of our God. Until this fall, for about a year I had the privilege of preaching on a monthly basis in this congregation. Below is a picture of a commissioning in the 10:30am American service and prayer led by Pastor Chan. Pray for this group to grow strong in their walk with the Lord. Interestingly the High Point area has two other congregations that are offshoots from FWC and this fellowship. One is a Kachin congregation led by Pastor Knaw Bawk and another is a Mizo Chin group led by Vena.
On Christmas Eve the First Wesleyan Church congregation gathered in with their families to celebrate the night before Jesus was born. Pastor Sitt Lin helped in the service led by Senior Pastor Chris Thore with the lighting of the candles. Caught a picture of some of the Burmese who also came to worship. From left to right is Mu Mu, Daniel, July Paw, Esther Moe and Nelson. Not pictured is Da Htoo, My Moo Htoo and Sitt Lin Hay.
I ran into Tee Ray last Saturday at our FWC Karen Christmas party. When his family first arrived in the US they stayed in our home for one week before settling in Winston Salem, NC. The last time I saw him was two years ago on an outreach day in SE Greensboro.
Here is a picture of his family five years ago. He is on the left back row.
Saturday, Dec. 20 the First Wesleyan Karen congregation hosted their annual Christmas party. It was standing room only as people kept arriving all morning long. Ray Wah emceed the program. There were duets and chorale groups, Pastor Sitt Lin preached, the children performed under the leadership of Esther Moo. Musical groups from Winston Salem and Greensboro contributed to the festivities. A meal was served at the end of the program to all who attended. Here are some snapshots:
On Saturday 12/20/14 the High Point First Wesleyan Karen congregation hosted a Christmas celebration. Two church were reprresented by their pastors and choral groups from their congregations. In the second picture is the Karen pastor from the Greensboro Karen congregation. He is standing in the back by the banner. The first picture is of Htoo Gay, a Karenni pastor, who serves with the Winston Salem Calvary Baptist Church congregation. Htoo Gay was leading in prayer. He also had a group from his church to sing at the event.
I wanted to give you an update on how God is working with the Burmese. A couple of nights ago I got a call from Thaw Dar telling me about a Karen Burmese fellow in town who was extremely sick, probably with pneumonia. Now this fellow has been here about 4 years and has been using up all his earnings buying alcohol. I talked to Klo Say and we asked Pastor Sitt Lin to go by to pray with this man. The next morning Sitt Lin stopped in at this man’s apartment and not only prayed for his physical healing but after witnessing, led this man in the sinners prayer for salvation.
After returning home Pastor Sitt Lin had a dream about this man that night that he was drinking dirty water. His friends were having him drink dirty water. The following day after leading his daily discipleship/evangelism class he took one of the students with him for practical witnessing with this baby Christian. Sitt Lin told the man his dream and the man confessed that his friends had come and had had a couple of drinks of alcohol. Pastor Sitt Lin worked with him about how he was a new creature in Christ, old things were passed away. He encouraged him to be strong when his friends try to tempt him in the future. As they witnessed to this man the evangelism “student” was very moved with this practical evangelism and is motivated to be a witness for Christ. This student is Steve Thavone’s (Lao) wife, Mimi (a Burmese speaking lady).
This evening I learned of a delightful Karen Burmese tradition to start the advent season. On November 30, midnight they hold a special service celebrating the beginning of the month in which Christ was born. When the clock strikes mid-night they all shout “Sweet December”. Sitt Lin said this year they did the service twice, once earlier in the evening to include those starting the third shift of work and once again at midnight. He said there were several non-Christians in attendance.