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A summary of our recent trip to train local pastors in Vietnam and Burma. 
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Images of Vietnam: formerly a French colony, now a Communist state whose official religion is atheism, 1% are Protestant Christians
Images of Myanmar (Burma): formerly a British colony, a military state since 1988, but recently held democratic elections; primary religion is Buddhism (80%), 3% are Protestant Christian
  • Map 1 below illustrates the entire route of my trip.
  • Map 2 shows all the nations of Southeast Asia. 
  • Map 3 identifies the areas in Vietnam and Burma in which we worked.
The mission of this trip was to train local pastors - some of whom traveled from 1-1/2 to 4 hours on motorbikes to attend - in the theology surrounding the Christ's work to accomplish salvation and the Holy Spirit's work to apply salvation in the lives of believers. 
  • One section included a study of Christ's humiliation and exaltation, his role as Prophet, Priest, and King, and his work of atonement and redemption.
  • Another section included the doctrines of man, sin, election, regeneration, faith and repentance, justification, adoption, sanctification and perseverance.
  • And in Burma, because we had a smaller group, we also studied the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments as explained in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. 
But this was not merely a lecture series. After each topic was explained, a group discussion followed to develop applications and illustrations appropriate to the pastors' particular cultural settings and to answer questions that frequently arise concerning those topics in their churches and communities.
And during each week we took time to share meals together, to share personal testimonies, personal struggles and to pray together. 
Perhaps the highlight of each week was the opportunity to visit the homes, families and churches of some of the pastors. 
The two pastors below are brothers. Their father was a pastor before them, and that's their mother standing between them. While their father was living and pastoring the church in the 1980's, the Communist government closed and destroyed many of the church buildings. So their congregation met for a number of years in the attic of their home. As you can see, the ceiling is so low, Steve Curtis couldn't stand fully upright. 
The pastor and assistant pastor below are an uncle and nephew duo pictured with their mother-in-law/grandmother, and the uncle's wife and sister. Their church building is attached to their small living quarters and located on top of a hill far out in the countryside.
In Burma, because the current government does not permit construction of new church buildings, many congregations meet in the pastor's home as seen below. We were invited to worship with this congregation on a Sunday morning, and I was given the privilege of preaching with an interpreter for the first time. 
My next teaching trip will be to train local pastors in villages near Medellin, Colombia, South America in May-June.  

Also, I will be travelling to Atlanta in early May to investigate the possibility of future trips to Haiti. 

Click here for more information about our work with Timothy Two Project International.
Thank you for your prayers and support. 

Dan & Beth Sonnenberg
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