our CLC Board of Missions updates us with the latest news from various mission fields.
The CLC is in fellowship with two church bodies in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). One is the National Lutheran Church of Myanmar (NLCM), centered in the city of Yangon in southern Myanmar; and the other is Zomi Lutheran Church of Myanmar (ZLC) which is headquartered in Kalaymyo, in the northwestern portion of the country. These two church bodies came into contact with us independently of one another, and are separated from each other by many miles in the country of Myanmar. Due to the distances which separate them, the pastors of these two church bodies are not able to get together with one another very often. But once a year they do attend the Joint Asia Pastoral Conference, along with pastors from India and Nepal, to study God’s Word and to encourage one another in their service to the one and only Savior for sinners.
Delegates and attendees to the 2016 CLC Convention may be familiar with one of the leaders from Myanmar. Last summer Pastor Kham, secretary of the ZLC, addressed the CLC convention with greetings from our fellow believers in Myanmar.
With assistance from the CLC Mission Development Fund, the Zomi Lutheran Church of Myanmar was able to purchase property in 2011, with hopes of building a facility there. That hope is now becoming reality, as our fellow-believers in the ZLC near the completion of their facility in Kalaymyo, Myanmar. Two buildings are being constructed; between them they will serve as a worship facility, classrooms for pastoral training, offices, residence for two pastors and their families, and an orphanage. This project is being funded in large part from offerings given to the CLC Mission Development Fund.
Since the construction began, the ZLC has faced several problems from the government, which is not favorable to Christianity. The government has increased red tape, slowing the building process. It has also added regulation fees and taxes which would not be required of others. Most recently, government agents required that a large construction tax be paid. Missionary Koenig writes, “The CLC has borne most of the costs of construction, while the members have contributed some and helped with labor costs. While our sister church numbers over five thousand souls, they are rather poor, with up to six congregations supporting one pastor as well as contributing to the headquarters expenses at Kalaymyo.” Please pray for our brothers and sisters in the ZLC, that the Lord would give them strength and courage, and keep them faithful to Him as they serve their Savior in a country that is hostile to Him and His people.
Check out our Lutheran Missions Facebook page to see more pictures and updates on the construction progress on the building in Myanmar, as well as other updates from our fellow believers around the world. https://www.facebook.com/lutheranmissions/
Nathanael Mayhew is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and a member of the Board of Missions of the CLC.