Class of 2013-14 Commencement (KnBABS).

The 8th commencement of Karenni Baptist Association Bible School was held on 8th March, 2014 at the school premise. The theme for the graduation exercise is based from the book of Isaiah 60: 1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come…” Several Reverends, Pastors, church elders, parents, relatives etc. from Myanmar and from different refugee camps attended the program to honor and bless the graduating students on the occasion.

This year, 21 students received the degree of Licentiate of Theology and very soon some of them will go back to their villages (Myanmar) and some to the refugee camps (Thailand) as Pastors, Evangelist, Youth Pastors, Sunday school teachers etc. The Bible school is sending two students to Nagaland (India) to pursue higher theological studies, so that one day they will come back and teach in Karenni Bible School and make disciples.

Time passes by so quickly, as I reflect back about the present graduated students how we spent four our years together and which makes me happy and sad at the same time. Why happy?  It was their first year in Karreni Bible School and it was also my first year too. Let me share in brief how exciting and mind blowing in knowing the conditions of my students sharing their experiences, during their journey from Myanmar to Thailand crossing through the mountainous terrains, rivers etc. Their parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, Aunts, etc, gave them food supply to reach Thailand in knowing that it’s not an easy journey. On their journey if the situation is/are bad and becomes dangerous to travel further then they had to hide in the jungle/caves etc fearing that the Burmese military will shoot them. Anyhow, on reaching Thailand they are all in a wondering state, as we all are new to each other’s, but by looking at their innocent faces it seems to me that they want to ask something or have problems.

On one occasion while we were having dinner (the recently graduates in their first year) are constantly staring at me so I inquired and what I came to know is that they want to share their food with me whom their loves one back at home gave it them for their journey to Thailand, and they want me to try it but they hesitates and reluctant to approach me, thinking that I being a foreigner will not like their homemade foods. I taste a little bit and I like it so much that I asked for more! Their smiles, their innocent faces and their bright eyes I can never forget. One of the most interesting thing I learn from the Karenni people is, they are very generous and hospitable, the little things that they have will be shared. The fun we had and laughter’s we shared will always be cherished.

The sad part is, they are leaving the school and I might not see them again but on the other hand I am proud that they will be the light bearer of the Gospel in Myanmar.

Let me highlights more about the present graduated students in order to let you know more about the Karenni students and situations and to have a closer relationship with the Karenni people as a whole.  Our first year was not easy, language barrier for them (English) and me (Karenni) not only about the language but practically in the past they had faced what is hardship.  Poverty, they know what is hunger, experienced fear (their village can be attacked any moment by the Burmese soldiers) and therefore they are being traumatized. At times even in the class room some of them will just stare at the wall and tears roll down and I do not know what they are thinking or what to say. Whether those tears are happy tears or sad tears all I can do at that moment is pray to God for that students to give strength and happiness.

In our four years journey we have built a very close relationships and therefore they address me as daddy. I am proud that they call me dad, though I am not yet married but to them as they say, they feel secure when they address me as daddy knowing that their dad will always be there for them no matter what the circumstances and they can freely share their problems with me. So today I am a happy unmarried father with 68 children. In the gradual process they had released their burdens to God, forgiving their enemies who tortured them, rape their people, killed their love ones, burned their food (Granaries) etc. Today, they are ready to go into the battlefield with brighter perspectives, stronger, bolder and above all with the love of God to share the Gospel to those who gave them nightmares.

Long live Karenni Bible School.

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Jesus said I came to serve and not to be served. The Pastors and teachers washing the feet of the graduating students.

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Tharamu Baw Shar, the pioneer of Karenni Bible School giving me the privileged to honor the graduating students with their Karenni respected necklace.

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Posing for lens with the graduating students and current teachers and former English teacher Christine Marie Sian and visiting teacher Yoshiya.

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Rev. Dr. Shay Kwe a truly God’s servant with a humble heart, delivering speech on the graduation ceremony.

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Myself, confirming the degree of Licentiate of Theology to the students.

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Christine Marie Sian, former English teacher presenting gifts to the students. (Christine is the students favorite English teacher, because of her contributions the students speaks good English. Towards her students she is like a mother to the motherless, a sister to the sister-less and a friend to the friendless). 

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The graduating students praising God through message in song “A Place in the Valley”

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Post graduation, teachers and  students of 2014.

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Boys and girls behind the scene for the successful graduation, cooking for around 400 people. A big thank you and God bless you all.

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Together in Christ

Bother Luther.

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Retrospect, Introspect and Prospect.

A reminder for Christians, “Retrospect, Introspect and Prospects” because at times we tend to be asleep and face difficult to wake up from our deep slumber. Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the time is here and now that we need wake up from our slumber and comfort zones to fulfill the “Great commission”.  God has blessed us with different talent(s)/gift(s), so make let us make the best use of it and experience our gift(s) and share our blessings to the people around the nations, some to stay at home and support and some to go in the mission fields. Luke 10:2, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…”.

Mission is not an options! It’s a mandatory, throughout our Bible Jesus talks about sharing not only the Gospel but also wealth. God give some people more than they need so that they can be tremendous channels of blessing to others. God’s intentions/desires is equity between His people and that is why the early churches had no poverty. Are we simply going to sit in our chair and think about our self, our jobs, future of our children? “Love not the world” says John in his first epistle “neither the things that are in the world”. If any men love the world than the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15-17).

There are thousands of poor and hungry people living in the border of Thai-Myanmar, not only physically hungry but spiritually too. How can we preach the Gospel to a man with an empty stomach? The man will not listen to the Gospel until we give something for the stomach first! When Jesus came, He not fed people’s souls with the Kingdom of heaven and Him as the bread of life, but He filled their stomachs with fish and bread and wine as well. Let’s join our hands together and make the world a better place and a brighter life to live. Today, an average person can live for 70-80 years and within this period of time what can we do for the Lord? What are your resolutions for 2014? We set a list of prayers to God so that God will answer our prayers and make us happy and contended, instead pray: God what can I do for you? Do ordinary things for God than He will do extraordinary things in your life.

NB: In mid-March till June first week, our team will be in Thai-Myanmar border as well as to some remote villages preaching the Gospel to non-believers and help the needy person (s), if you are interested to join our team than you are most welcome. (It will not be easy to stay out from civilization for months, no electricity, no internet, rough bed and at times sleep in hammock but remember it’s all for the Glory of God). For more details see “Prayer      Request”.

Together in Christ

Brother Luther.

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Silver Jubilee and KBAPLT.

The Karenni Baptist Association Pastoral leadership training was held on 21-25th October, 2013 at the bible school premise basing on the theme from the book of John 14:12, “…will do greater things after me..” The Reverends, Pastors, and church leaders from Myanmar and Thailand attended the program. I was honored to be one of the speaker/trainer in the one week long training.

In the leadership program there was time for interactions, theological discussions and spiritual awakening moment.  Each pastors brought up some issues that are being facing in their local churches and we tried to tackle the situation and to bring solutions to the problems. It was a very insightful moment in knowing the situations and context in a better way.

After the discussions I had realized that it’s easy to say: Jesus loves you, have faith, trust in the Lord etc. Instead, it must not only be mouth service/pulpit service, we need to empathized with them and walk in their shoes, feel the pain that the refugees are going through, breath the air that they are breathing, in other words know the context and situation above all know them personally and have a good relationship with them then they will pour out their hearts, then we can uplift and encourage one another in a better way.

I’ve learned so much from the experienced pastors and matured Christians. How much pain they had gone through in serving the Lord, their villages and churches are burned down, their paddy fields are gutted, the young girls are being raped, the people are left homeless, little children becomes orphans. Yet, in all these circumstances they are holding strong in Christian’s faith and teachings. These leaders practice what they preach, they have a humble heart, forgiving and praying for those persons who tortured them physically, mentally and spiritually. These leaders are not ordinary men but they are extraordinary persons and a truly servant of the Lord. They are not only physically matured but also mentally and spiritually, who is giving their best to encourage and uplift the young and tender faith. Though I was one of the speaker yet I was being humbled in learning from them how a true Christian should do and therefore I thank our good Lord for opening the doors and opening my eyes.

Right after the pastoral leadership training, in Karenni refugee camp (1), The Sey Hay Bi Lia church celebrated the silver jubilee on 26th October, 2013. This particular church was established in the year 1988 at Myanmar in Kayah state but due to military oppressions the people fled and took refuge in Thai-Myanmar border. In the refugee camp, the believers are longing to worship the Lord, so they build the church with bamboos wall and teak leaves roof, but there is no pastor to lead them or give a sermon. Thus the believers on Sundays they simply gather and sing some hymnals and a prayer and dispersed. After many years in fasting and prayers the Lord answers the faithful believer’s prayers and today they have a pastor (Khe Oo Reh).  The church is growing spiritually as well as in numbers, today there are around 60-70 church members and winning souls to God’s kingdom.

Together in Christ

Luther.

IMG_2809Myself teaching on Jesus’ servanthood and Biblical principle of a leader.

IMG_2815Honouring some of the reverends and pastors with presents, for their dedication in their ministry.

IMG_2843The Sey Hay Bi Lia church, (karenni Camp 1) celebrating silver Jubilee.

IMG_2927Some of the Reverends and pastors posing for lens before the inaugural ceremony. (Behind: Jubilee memorial stone)

IMG_2959Around 400 people attended the celebration of Silver Jubilee.

IMG_2973The Sey Hay Bi Lia church pastor Khe Oo Reh surrendering the worship service into God’s hand.

IMG_2940With Reverend Ma Gay Moo: Front pictures, three pigeons to release, signifying freedom in Christ: Log Drum and cymbal, to hit 25 times by different pastors (Silver Jubilee): Two Buffalo horns to be blown, signifying victory: Bamboo Xylophone, signifying togetherness.

God bless you all.

Luther.

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The joy of blessings.

May Shi Ya, a former student, a quiet person and who smiles all day long, he gives his best in what he does. He is the man behind the curtain working quietly for the betterment of the Bible School; he works all day long and never complains. He would often go to the jungle to cut trees, bamboos; collect leaves (thatch) to build the new teacher’s quarter. The new house was started with a zero budget and by the grace of God and selfless sacrifice of May Shi Ya it is about to complete. Expecting foreign aid for several years to build the teachers quarter but it never come to pass and thus May Shi Ya took the initiative to build it on his own capability and faith. He knows well that though there may be hundreds students but if there is no teachers to teach then it becomes vanity.  And therefore it is very important to have a teacher’s quarter so that the teachers can stay long terms and make disciples. The new house has four rooms, though the rooms are small yet it can help immensely for the teachers to lay their heads and to prepare their lessons.

May Shi Ya is now the care taker of the Bible School, since he works very hard to complete the new house at the earliest.  He carried woods from the jungle to make doors, windows and post, bamboos for the wall, ceilings and floor, and now he got a severe back ache and his health is deteriorating.  Please my prayer partners and sponsors around the world, pray for May Shi Ya’s good health. As we do not have excess health care and also pray for the students health, due to the climate changes many of them are sick. We trust in your prayers and the few minutes in prayer that you have spend for the students then God will bestow His joy of blessings upon you. Our doctor is Jesus Christ and your prayer is the medicine for us.

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May Shi Ya, on the process of constructing/building the teachers quarter all by himself. A big thank you May Shi Ya for your selfless sacrifice. May the good Lord bless you with good health.

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We are all excited because it’s about to complete. Faith and actions still governs in this 21st century. “If  you have faith like a muster seed then you can move the mountain” (Bible).

God bless you all my dear fellow Christians workers.

Together in Christ.

Brother Luther.

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Karenni’s ” faith and action”.

Each passing year the students are increasing and the girls and boys dormitories are full, two of our teachers stay with the students in the dormitories since there is no room in the teachers quarter. But now they had to move out because there is no place for accommodation. There is an old teachers quarter which had two rooms but its too old and when it rains water drips from the roof and create inconvenience and difficult to stay. The walls are falling apart and when the wind blows heavily the house shake and vibrates. The house is in pathetic condition and it can fall down any moment and now it is too risky to live in the old house.

It is very important and urgently in need of a teachers quarter. Today (25/07/2013) by faith we prayed to God and to starts the new teachers quarter and office with a zero budget. The teachers and the students gather together and had a fellowship where the house is about to build. We prayed earnestly to God to listen to our prayers because its not our wants but its our needs. Having faith in God that He will touch the heart of Good Samaritan and help us. Since we do not have a financial support we cannot build a concrete building and thus we had decided to build a bamboo walls and leaf roofs with four small rooms, so the teachers can lay their heads and prepare their lessons to teach the students.

You can be part of in the making of disciples among the Karenni students by either praying for them or help them financially. If you are led by Holy Spirit to donate/sponsor the Karenni Bible School you can contact me either by email or phone (see Contact) or the principal of the Bible school Htoo Lar Paw. I will reply to you  as soon as possible. Together in Christ we can make the world a better place for living and we can make the difference.

DSCN2156This is the teachers quarter, with two rooms and a bathroom.

DSCN2078Students and teachers worshiping God (The place where teachers quarter is about to build), praying earnestly to God to help us.

DSCN2151On the process of teachers quarter and bible school office. By faith we started to build the house believing in Him because we have learn to trust Him and we have learned to depend upon His word.

DSCN2159Girls dormitory its already full, 39 students and a lady teacher (Lah Shee).

DSCN2163The boys dormitory, 28 students along with teacher Ephriam.

Brethren in Christ, please do not let your your heart be hearten to help the poor, needy and orphans, be a part of blessings.

Brother

Luther.

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Post fire tragedy (Karenni camp 2).

Hi everyone,

In March 22, 2013.  Karenni refugee camp 2, section 1 and 4 was gutted down where 39 people were burned alive (including two pregnant women) and 27 people were injured. 408 houses was gutted down into ashes including the Ebenezer church and the school, yet the believers of Christ never lost their hope in Jesus Christ and they started to re-build the church on 3rd of June and it was completed and inaugurated in 28 June 2013.

Eight of my students along with Htoo Lar Paw and Ephriam (Teacher of Karenni Bible School) went to camp 2 to attend the new church inauguration ceremony. We all had a blessed time in worshiping the Lord.

IMG_2469This old lady husband was the founder of Ebenezer church, since her husband left for heavenly abode she inaugurate the new church.

IMG_2442                                                 Standing in-front of the new church.

IMG_2450The Karenni Bible school students playing flute at the church inaugural function.

IMG_2523We (special invitees) were honored with a garland and Karenni traditional attire.

IMG_2486Karenni camp 2, section 1 after the post fire tragedy.

IMG_2484Section 4, in the above picture the blue fence is the place where the fire broke out.

IMG_2423Ephriam and me in the Karenni refugee camp 2, this is where we sleep. The Karenni people are so kind and generous, they will share whatever they have. The house owner gave us food and shelter.

Thank you for being interested in my ministry.

God bless you

Luther.

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Being transformed to transform.

Hello friends,

The Lord’s been gracious to the Karenni Bible School showing His immense love and unconditional blessings towards the students and teachers. Through all the hardship the Lord is strengthening, molding and shaping us to be more like Him. The labor of the teachers and the sponsors had been paid off, 14 students graduated and out of which some are pursuing higher theological studies, some became pastor in their local churches in Burma and refugee camps.

Going on 2013-14, we have 22 new students who enroll in first year. The Karenni people believe in this Bible school because it equipped the students in the word of God and enabling them to go back to Burma and share it to their people. The students had faced hardship in crossing the borders yet the Lord was their custodian throughout their journey and they reached the Bible school (Thailand) safe and sound.

Since this year the students are increased, we really need your prayer support as well as financial help, if you are led by the spirit of the Lord to give and help us then we will ever remain grateful to you. Your financial help will be used in student’s expenses like their food, medicine, toiletries, note books, pen, pencils, books, Bible, dictionaries,  clothes, shoes etc. Your good deeds will never go in vain, though we may not be able to give you anything in return, we will always pray for you.

While interviewing the new students, to them it’s a dream come true to study in Karenni Bible School because they had never imagine going for higher studies! because in Burma they cannot afford to go to school, at the Bible school getting a square meal a day is a miracle! Where as in Burma they had to go on hungry for days! Due to military pressure the students had to hide their rice in the jungle fearing that the soldier will snatch their rice. When the situation is relaxed they will go to the jungle and dig out the rice!!

The students are extremely happy now, believing that they are safe from Burmese military. Every weekend they have chain of prayer without sleeping! Praying for their family members back at home in Burma.

IMG_2418                                           2013-14, first year students. 9 boys and 13 girls.

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