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Greetings from Yangon!
They call Wednesday hump day and that’s exactly what we encountered today. Four of our ten men were not able to return to class after completing two days. We don’t know all of the reasons but our focus today has been on the six men who are strongly committed to finishing the course by Friday noon.
Today we were teaching Anthropology from a Biblical worldview. It’s interesting to watch the men as you teach because oftentimes their understanding of basic concepts we might take for granted are new to them, or at least better understood. Most of the pastors we encounter were only mentored by their pastors and so on and so on. Theological training is allowing these men to have the basic Biblical training they have never been able to obtain for the ministry. Its so gratifying to see the men actually “getting it” as you teach.
One of the pastors among our six faithful students is the son of the president of Yangon Bible College. Today he asked if I would be willing to come lecture and teach at the college on Monday morning. They have 15 younger students in school this term who are able somehow to actually afford a Bible education. They truly are the priveleged few. I will be interested in getting to know these young men on Monday and I will keep you informed on what I discover about them.
Today when we broke for lunch, we were all excited that one of the dishes that was prepared was “fried chicken.” Actually, it wasn’t bad at all. Since Grace has not had an easy time of it eating here, it was a welcome treat. Our host Siama, who is my translator ate too much of it and got very sleepy during the afternoon session. When this happens I have to repeat things sometimes two or three times before he is able to translate it! Actually, it was pretty funny. I guess you had to be there.
This week is the festival/celebration time of the month on the Buddhist calendar. Unfortunately this means that just a few hundred yards from our compound they play this crazy music all day long loud enough to make it hard to be heard in our own building! There were a few moments of sheer frustration on my part today, but my Burmese students took it all in stride. They know that the only way to reach these people is with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
On our way back to the compound today, the road conditions were far better than yesterday. We left about 45 minutes later yesterday and the traffic was terrible. Today it was better, but the trucks and haulers were driving like madmen. There were some moments I almost had to just close my eyes and hang on. I am constantly amazed that there are not more accidents and outright fatalities but strangely enough, there are few. These people don’t even know what car insurance is about. If they hit each other, they have to settle it between themselves. To involve the police is to invite a much costlier process which probably includes a hefty bribe.
Well, that’s about all for now. I will catch up with you all tonight or in the morning. I want to tell you about my “morning runs” around the countryside here. What a hoot!