Today winds up our final day in Myanmar. I preached the morning service at Independent Baptist Church just outside of the city. Pete and Marta also participated with Marta teaching Sunday School and Pete maintaining the camera and offering the morning prayer for the church and its continuing ministry.
Pastor Siama took us out to the goat farm yesterday and showed us the government farmland he was able to purchase via a US church donation. This five-acre plot is rough hewn and still very early in its development. Because of the price of bringing in heavy machinery to level and plow, all the work has to be done by hand. By ten-o’clock yesterday morning we estimated the temperature to be somewhere between ninety-five and and one-hundred degrees Fahrenheit. With whatever the relative humidity was (we never found out), it was like being a cookie in a hot oven. By the time we looked at the land with pastor Siama, and walked back to the truck, we were totally zapped of energy.
We then got some lunch and then went down to the market in downtown Yangon to do some souvenir shopping. You can’t imagine what this place is like. The market is best described as a bazaar where stalls of merchandise are stacked so close you sometimes don’t know where one ends and another begins. From rolled cloth for dresses and other clothes to hand-carved animals, tools, jewelry, and utensils, it seems like an endless array of stuff that just boggles the mind. And then once they see you are white and very possibly American or European, the sell is on! Most of the time we were able to negotiate good prices and like the Proverbial writer said, “Bad, bad says the buyer, but when he goes away he boasts!" We all had a good time buying trinkets for our families and some friends and by the time we got back to the hotel we were so tired we were almost delirious.
Tomorrow we will finish packing, do some office work in the lobby of the hotel, and finally after some dinner tomorrow night, Siama will pick us up here at the hotel and drop us off at the Airport to come home. It has been a long trip for me. I am very tired but very satisfied with what God has allowed us to accomplish here. We graduated nearly ninety persons from the classes and there have been some very promising students among them which gives us hope that the training will continue after we are gone. May God raise up strong national pastors and leaders who will commit themselves to changing Myanmar from the inside out by bringing them the gospel of Jesus Christ.