From the Field – SE Asia Part 2 – Jan. 17, 2018
This is the second part in excerpts of reports from Mark Bohde in his independent work in SE Asia. If you want the full reports with pictures you can contact him directly at comabo [at] consolidated [dot] net
“After teaching in… my translator and I took the long bus ride to… The bus ride takes a while because we had to travel on a two lane highway rather than a modern freeway. I have attached a photo of the bus we took as well as the bus stop restaurant we ate at mid trip. The group of 13 that I taught in… was new group. I always start new groups with the book about God’s Word. Once again the enthusiasm was exciting for me. When I return, God willing, this group will study spiritual warfare.
After the training with the men in…, I made a short trip to see one of the children my wife and I support from our personal funds. Her name is Sa Thor. Her and several other girls are cared for by a … Christian couple who have a home close to school. We also support her brother Teng who lives with relatives. She is 9 years old but is only in the second grade. She did not have the opportunity to go to school before. In,,,, tuition is required for all schools including government schools. Since many people are poor, they don’t have the money to send their children to school. It is common to see small children selling things like pencils or pens etc. on the street rather than going to school. Without schooling her future would be bleak.
After teaching in … I flew to the … city of…. I met and worked with my new translator, Phu. He is good at English and a very dedicated young man. I will be using him in … in the future. Over the years the Hmong language has changed so that Hmong word usage in … and Thailand is different.
… I did get some photos at break time. Those pictures are attached. They were taken from both ends of the worship room. As in …, we used care and discretion for our meetings. We had pastors and a couple of women leaders. It is such a joy to see the enthusiasm for God’s Word. We studied spiritual warfare. The group in …was so grateful that they would not take any financial help for travel. Some came from a long distance. Because the men who come are so poor, I try to provide gas money for the motorcycles. They commented, as they did in …, that they were so happy to study just the Word without the admixture of men’s ideas.
The idea of going into Cambodia to help the Christians there was discussed. The Christians in Cambodia are in great need. They are working on the arrangements right now. I may be going to Cambodia on my next trip. I ask for your prayers. One of the pastors has friends in Cambodia and is currently working on arrangements to go there.
I was supposed to teach two groups in … but we changed the venue for one group back to …because it is closer and much more convenient for that group. My new translator and I took a bus from ..to …. I used the bus because I had enough time and the cost was only $11.00 per person…
Such a dedicated group was a joy to teach. In … they asked me to return soon and continue teaching. Please pray that God’s will is done.
My last conference took place in a Mekong River town in Chiang Rai Province by the name of Chiang Khong. Since this is a new group, we studied the book on God’s Word. Most of the students are immigrants from Laos. Laos is a small but hardcore communist nation where persecution of Christians is still severe. It is hard to show the excitement the participants demonstrated about learning God’s Word. Their knowledge of Scripture is limited but their desire to learn is not. We had a great time together. I have attached a photo of the group and the restaurant(2 pictures) we went to on the last night. The restaurant is located on the … River. You can see Laos across the river. The prices were very good for their delicious food (we had various fish dishes).
In the photo of the group, the man at the top right is Song Wa. He has nine children. He was born and lived in … Because of persecution he emigrated to Laos. Because of the threat of jail time because of his faith, he moved back to … Once again because of severe persecution, he moved back to Laos. Once again he ran afoul of authorities. This time he decided after prayer to move to Thailand. It was a joy to teach such a devoted Christian as Song Wa.
The group was extremely grateful to study the Word. They strongly suggested that we have a large conference and invite all of my students from …, Laos and Thailand. They said we could sing hymns, worship Jesus, and asked if I could preach. I told them that I would like to do that, but not now. We still have many doctrinal issues to study together. I want to wait until we have real unity based on agreement according to God’s Word. At some point in the future, God willing, we will have that large conference. We still have much more work to do. They also asked if we could form another new study group.”