To all of you supporters of Christian Aid Mission: your gifts are truly changing the world.
How can I make such a lofty declaration? Because thousands of souls heard the gospel and were led to Christ last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. At the close of each year, we can look back and see how God's Kingdom grew—that more "living stones" were built up "into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5 NIV).
I've worked at Christian Aid Mission for over a decade, and I appreciate the way we go about contributing to Kingdom work. I believe that the reason our method is so effective is because, as Henry Blackaby famously taught, we find out where God is at work and join Him. We don't plant churches or train people or hire people to further an agenda. We find the nation-changers, already working in their own countries, and simply help them.
Who are these nation-changers?
Timothy is one of them.
In 1966, all foreign missionaries were expelled from Myanmar. Christianity, it seemed, had been dealt a harsh blow. Outward vestiges of the Christian faith disappeared, but God's people were still present. Persecution had driven thousands of native believers underground, to worship the Lord in secret.
Under pressure, the church grew. Believers told their children about the Living Savior. The power of the gospel message, spoken in the native tongue of those who heard it, produced vibrant, indigenous churches—people with a burden to share this Good News no matter the cost.
Timothy was among these people. His heart burned with passion to reach the lost in his Buddhist country. Poverty was no match for the strength of his faith. Together with three other believers, he started a ministry that would forever change Myanmar. In 1989, Biblical Faith Mission (BFM) was born.
Year after year, Timothy pushed forward, training believers who desired to reach their Buddhist families, friends, and neighbors with the life-changing message of the gospel. For the first time in their entire lives, people were hearing about the Savior who died for them. Groups of believers sprung up in formerly unreached areas—lights in the darkness. These churches sacrificially gave what little they had so that Timothy could continue his important work.
In Myanmar, one-third of the population lives on less than a dollar per day. Typical offerings from those poverty-stricken believers consisted of rice, eggs, or vegetables they had grown.
When Christian Aid Mission discovered Timothy in 2001, he had trained 95 Bible students who had planted five churches. The following year, we began making Timothy's work known to supporters like you, who provided him and his hard-working missionary coworkers with vital help.
Timothy finally had a proper place to train his missionaries-to-be: a school building and dormitories, along with beds, kitchen items, school books, and a photo copier.
Every year, the number of students increased. So far, he's trained 500 believers from 17 people groups.
"Our students have a burden and passion for their own people groups and they open a mission field in their native place," wrote Timothy.
When these Bible school graduates return to their home mission fields, Christian Aid Mission supporters continue to uphold and encourage them in their church-planting endeavors, providing them with monthly financial assistance through our sponsorship program.
And when Christian Aid Mission made it known that gospel workers were spending long hours traveling on foot to share Christ in remote villages, our supporters responded by providing them with bicycles and motorcycles.
In addition, generous gifts from people like you have enabled some gospel workers to provide actual buildings in which their church fellowships could meet and worship God.
Of one grateful congregation, Timothy wrote: "Pastor Sang said that all the church members wept because of great joy. Because of your financial assistance, they could have a church building."
Throughout our relationship with BFM, Christian Aid Mission has continued to learn the needs of this effective ministry and provide them with gospel "tools," which have included support for their Bible translation project into the Falam Chin language, wells, relief aid after Cyclone Nargis, and supplies for their prison ministry outreach including towels, sandals, clothing, and Bibles for inmates.
After all of the support Timothy has received, however, he still knows from Whom his help ultimately comes.
"Outside funding strengthens our ministry, yet we depend on God, not outside funding. However, in the ministry, when we partner with outside help, we can accomplish more," he said.
"What if there were no outside funding? We have Hope Children's Home where 31 orphans are cared for. Without outside funding we cannot run orphanages. With your help, we have a good Bible college, children's home, 110 pioneer missionaries, 37 mission church buildings, a good library, and purified water for students."
Biblical Faith Mission in Myanmar is only one example of the hundreds of quality indigenous ministries Christian Aid Mission assists throughout the world by partnering with gracious supporters like you. These ministries were hard at work sharing the gospel before we connected with them. Our role is simply to encourage, strengthen, and expand their work so that the gospel goes forth to every tongue, tribe, and nation on the earth.
Thank you for joining us in this Kingdom work, for getting behind the nation-changers. Together, as a family in Christ, we will continue working to complete the Great Commission task our Lord gave to us.