Pray BFF Letter #198
Thursday, September 22, 2011
STM11 Asia Reflections
Dear Prayer Partners,
Home and unpacked
I landed in Pittsburgh Tuesday, Sept 20, after a long but otherwise good flight from Singapore. I stopped in Singapore for consultation with several churches and pastors that use BFF materials and also had opportunity to meet with some supporters.
The LORD opened an opportunity to preach at a Filipino church (in Singapore). Their small groups have been using BFF discipleship materials for 3 years and plan to use the Reaching Beyond Mediocrity series. How exciting to see churches taking Jesus' mandate to ‘make disciples' seriously. Other pastors are struggling to help the families and the congregants' marriages and wondering how they can use BFF materials to help them in that process.
I also had a brief medical check up. Some of you have been following update letters. My physical weakness affected me during the second seminar. It is not certain that it is related to the former problem as I also had some serious stomach problems at the same time. In any case, the doctor didn't find anything wrong and encouraged me to follow up with further blood work.
God greatly encouraged me numerous times with the phrase, "As for me, the nearness of God is my good" and "For the sake of Thy people" (1 Chronicles 14:2). God had been training me during this seminar along with everyone else. Trust God. Live for the sake of bettering others.
When flying north we went through thick and heavy rain clouds, but God broke them up. The same was true for those meetings in Yangon. Many of the leaders came by a two hour bus ride each day (each way). Heavy rains would have held them up. Good weather during the day enabled us to have another rich and wonderful seminar.
One coordinator just wrote, "Some leaders say that they never tired of listening your message. We feel that you are preaching only for personal, this means you exactly point out our weakness and with what we really struggle in each day."
The attendees were attentive and prompt. Each of them received an extended Burmese handout that they could take notes on and which included many exercises they could follow up on. There are very few Christian materials in Burmese. They greatly appreciate the time and money going into translating and printing. By God's grace, we will also be able to provide this same material to Burmese around the world through audio/visuals.
The mission training school in the north continues to use last year's seminar materials to train their students and will start implementing this new seminar material when possible. They are serious about training people for life ministry. We are grateful to God that these materials can be used to strengthen God's people around the world.￼
The seminars went well. Hearing the orphans sing is always a highlight of the trip. Testimonies on how God is moving in their hearts further stirs my heart with the needs of pastor/leaders around the world.
Thank you for keeping us in prayer and for good financial support. This was spiritual warfare in action. God kept me focused on His Word when things looked or felt discouraging and helped me triumph through them. God was at work. We praise God that, once all the donations come through the system, that it should cover all the expenses. Again, thanks for the privilege of working with you at this critical time in God's kingdom. I and the ministries there greatly appreciate your support.
God has also been powerfully speaking to me during this trip from 1 Chronicles about BFF team development to further accomplish His purposes. More on this in future letters.
Able to conduct each message as planned to eager attendees.
One attendee that I talked with came from far up in the Shan State next to the China border. Another came from far away next to India in a strong Buddhist area.
Thank the Lord for donations to cover the expenses of this trip.
Praise Him for sufficient strength for the work and clearing up the unusually heavy rains.
Thank the Lord for speaking to me much on further direction and development for BFF ministries internationally.
God has nicely cared for our family and ministry while away. I even got to video Skype Linda and family a few times here and there!
Ask God to further minister to the attendees in each of the three areas of ministry in Myanmar.
For diligence in shaping these Burmese seminar talks into video/audio training sessions.
Help and clarity as I work out figures to resolve this government tax-exempt issue. We are hoping to be exempted from the $850.
Wisdom in plans for the next trip to Africa.
Focus and dependence on God to understand and implement plans for the future.
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Phone: (+01) 412-398-4559
3276 Bainton St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA