Category Archives: Christmas

Would you go to prison for sharing the Gospel this Christmas?

Imagine a Burmese pastor handcuffed and beaten and paraded through a muddy Buddhist village. His crime? Sharing the Gospel with the local people at Christmas time.

Myo Chit is a friend of mine and the pastor arrested for sharing the gospel. I’m writing today to share how you can help persecuted pastors like Myo Chit this Christmas. Your gift will give pastors like Myo Chit everything they need to push back the darkness by hosting a powerful Christmas Outreach event program in their village.

Myo Chit’s Story

Myo Chit leads a house church and has helped five others start in his area. Villagers have stoned, shot at, beaten, and spit on Myo Chit more times than you can imagine. Still he shares the gospel and prays. He believes everyone in Myanmar will bend a knee to God and accept Jesus as Savior someday. And he is doing his part. But he needs your help.

He has a beautiful family, including a handicapped son who they must carry everywhere. In spite of all the struggles, Myo Chit always has a warm smile and loves people. He is one of my heroes.

Myo Chit was one of the Burmese believers who gave us the idea of starting Christmas Outreach events. Our family used this method when we lived in Myanmar with great results.

Giving in Honor of Holli

People like you care about seeing people’s lives changed by following Jesus. So I wanted to ask you to be a part of our annual Christmas Outreach Project. Funds from the Holli Lancaster Memorial Mission Fund sponsor it. The fund’s purpose is to equip believers to make disciples and start churches in Myanmar. I know Holli is proud of what we have accomplished so far.

The Christmas Outreach idea is pretty simple. Throw a party for the village and invite everyone to attend. Make bright red Christmas decorations, have some yummy local food, listen to Christian CDs, play games with the kids, and share the Christmas Story. The village kids enjoy dressing up in costumes of the Bible story and acting it out.

End the event by giving every family a gift of food and something fun for the kids. Explain Christians give presents at Christmas because Jesus gave his life as a present to us. The villagers are always touched by this act of love and ask why we do it.

At the end, let everyone know if they have questions about Christianity, please stay for hot Myanmar tea. Many a good conversation on the way to salvation has started this way.

In our experience, more Buddhists come to Christ during December than any other month of the year. That’s why your donation matters. Here’s how you can help. Your gift of $ 50 or more will equip house churches yearning to share the gospel through a Christmas Outreach event.

You can help encourage Myo Chit and twenty-one other pastors like him. You can keep their dream alive. Things are tough in America right now, but miserable in Myanmar. The government spies on Christian families. Local officials make their kids go to Buddhist schools that teach Buddhism. Even more, the average monthly salary is only $60. You read that right, monthly salary.

Christians are poor in Myanmar because their government has sold them down the river. They are often passed over for jobs just because they are Christians. In my experience, the Burmese people are some the hardest working people you’d ever want to meet. You can see why their only hope to have this effective outreach is you.

You’re pushing back the darkness in Myanmar and making a big difference. You’re helping us stand strong in our mission.

Myo Chit will have you to thank – for encouraging and equipping the house churches to see souls come to Jesus. And I thank you for caring so much.

Can We Count on You?

Your gift of $50 or more will give our pastors all they need for the Christmas Outreach project. They’ll receive Bibles, worship CDs, food, decorations, cloth to make home-made costumes, and small gifts for each village family.

Please send your gift by December 1st. Then our pastors will have plenty of time to prepare for their crucial outreach event.

Rejoice

I asked LFM’s long time friend Chin Chin to write a little bit about Christmas in Myanmar. To help you understand some of the context of things she is writing about I need to explain some cultural norms, recent political changes, and my own observations about the people of Myanmar. The freedom to congregate openly is a new phenomenon in Myanmar. Openly congregating together, especially of young people or religious movements, was frowned upon by the previous government regime. It is not surprising that out of a fear of loss of power and control, laws were made to make meeting openly a serious crime. This is why the meeting of 70,000 Myanmar citizens at the Shwedagon Pagoda for the MTV Exit/ Walk Free concert last year holds such significance. Never before would so many people have been allowed to meet all together for any reason. Chin Chin uses the word ‘crusade’, which sounds funny in our American ears. What she means is the ability to congregate and share the gospel (or anything) in public. (Chin Christians in Myanmar commonly call this crusading; it doesn’t have the same connotative meaning it holds in English). Notably, to my knowledge passing out any ‘propaganda’ (IE pamphlets or handouts) is still illegal. You must make your face time count, you can not rely on a micro encounter to hand a passerby information about your church or your group or where you meet regularly. Even if you could do this, previous fears of military threat would dictate a hesitance to have anything in print that would lead to your church. In Myanmar, if you were to visit, it would seem like the whole country was alive in song. The people love to sing.  It is no surprise that this ‘Christmas crusading’ often takes the form of door-to-door caroling. Young people often go out at night with a guitar and a lot of laughter and walk the streets singing for their neighbors, sharing the story of Christ in song. It is almost always well received, with people waiting at their doors or in their yards for their chance to hear the songs. Sometimes they even sing along! Chin Chin makes some insightful observations about her country and some that maybe even we here in America could take to heart. Enjoy!

The, Christmas season, which brings peace and joy, is coming back again with a winter breeze to Myanmar. Although everyone does not know the full meaning of Christmas, believers rejoice in this time. Myanmar is one of the developing countries in Asia and different colors and beauty of Christmas traditions are being introduced to the country. Outwardly, colors and ways of celebrating Christmas can be realized. But, there is still a crucial inward need of informing the history and the real essence of The Christmas Story to the citizens of Myanmar.

Buddhism is a major religion in this country, and so, Christmas celebrations were not considered as a serious event until the last little decade. Moreover, most people thought Christmas celebrations were just for having a big party.

In the last two years, we have all noticed the introduction of Christmas decorations imported to the Supermarkets, adorning city buildings and in some families’ houses. As soon as out-door crusades (meeting together) was allowed by the government, believers also began to feel brave and celebrate the Christmas holiday (Sweet December in Myanmar) as an opportunity to get outside and talking about the real meaning of Christmas through song and laughter.

If we could all focus on spending our precious time with family and friends through giving meaningful presents and making fellowship with each other, singing carol songs and sharing the Good News in this Christmas season, the essence of Christmas will be brought to a fuller purpose inside Myanmar.

Let the peace, joy, and blessings of Christmas be with you all from now to forever.