DECEMBER UPDATE 2016
A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
Below is the latest news on an important and exciting opportunity before us.
A WINDOW OF GREAT OPPORTUNITY
Addressing this window of opportunity, a missionary of 25 years in Asia said, “If you are going to invest in missions in Asia now, invest in Myanmar.” Myanmar is wide open for a move of God! Let me explain…
The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the ultimate collapse of the former Soviet Union opened up a window of opportunity for the Gospel in Eastern Europe in ways it once had not known. Suddenly, the Church saw open doors which were previously closed to meet the tangible needs of hurting people and to proclaim the Gospel among those who did not know Jesus.
An open door stands before us in the country known as Myanmar (Burma), where a communist military dictatorship ruled the people from 1962 to 2011. Myanmar is nearly 90% Buddhist and is the third poorest nation in Asia, dealing with many issues such as extreme poverty, human trafficking, forced child labor and civil war. In 2015, the National League for Democracy won power, led by a woman who lived under house arrest for many years under the brutal military regime. I recall driving by the home where she lived under house arrest in 2003. Now she helps lead the nation.
These recent changes have paved the way for more opportunity in the nation and for freedom of religion. Though strong persecution still comes against Christians from devout Buddhists, the changing government and resulting changes in society have opened a window of great opportunity for meeting the needs of hurting people and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In partnership with Robin Kung and Christ for Asia Myanmar, the goal of Encounter Generation is to develop a headquarters in the largest city in Myanmar, Yangon. We are looking to raise $50,000 for this headquarters which would allow us to:
¬ Provide a training center to equip and raise up church planters, pastors and future church and community leaders.
¬ Provide basic training for life and job skills to a community where training can improve the opportunities and lifestyle for many.
¬ Provide a permanent home for the base church in Yangon.
¬ Begin building an orphanage for children, many who were displaced because of Civil War.
¬ Reach out to children in holistic ways through Sidewalk Sunday School.
¬ Hold revival services, training conferences, youth camps, mentor and equip leaders and much more!
This is the biggest project EG has ever undertaken because I believe in the opportunity before us. Every gift counts. No amount is too small or too large!
Our expectation is that reaching this goal will not only position the ministry in Yangon, Myanmar for greater impact, it will position us to plant multiple churches in unreached Buddhist villages across the nation in the coming months and years, where people live in poverty, some often in the wake of civil war, and where they have no opportunity to hear the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to experience the demonstration of His Kingdom in their lives…We want to change that!
You can be part of this in multiple ways.
¬ We greatly need your prayers.
¬ We also need financial partners who will join with us to see these goals met.
¬ If you have a small group, Sunday School class, club, or would host a group in your home, we would love to present this window of opportunity to you and talk about how, together, we can see the story change for many people living in hopeless situations in Myanmar.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership in the Gospel and for all you have done in 2016. Will you join me to advance together in 2017 for the glory of God in unreached Asia?
Thank you, thank you to those of you who have already been partnering with us! We are grateful and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
To Partner With Us Financially Send Tax Deductible Donations To:
Encounter Generation, Inc.
P.O. Box 523
Marion, VA 24354
Or Give Online on this website by clicking on the Give Tab at the top of the page above and follow the directions to donate securely online and even to set up monthly recurring donations.
Kids from Children’s Home
Village Pastor and Family
Robin and Me
Leaders in Training
Robin and His Family (Naomi and the Children)
The newest adventure in Asia has been good so far. Mostly life has been getting settled and catching up with people these first three weeks, but I wanted to share a little with you about life on the field and a couple of stories illustrating God’s work so far. I’m grateful to you for your constant prayers and partnership in every way in the work of the Gospel here.
KINGDOM STORY 1 – Khian’s Story
Khian is 12 years old. She lives in an extremely difficult family situation. With seven brothers and sisters and a broken family, she has endured a lot. Often, Khian does not have food in the house and most days she goes to school all day without eating. (It’s the responsibility of the parents to provide lunch. The school does not provide it.)
Royal Oak, one of the sending churches for me in this missionary journey took up an offering called “2-cents-per-meal.” All of that offering was designated for needs related to food. I was wondering where God would have me use those funds. Soon after I arrived in the Philippines, my friend Theiven approached me about Khian and told me about how she often goes to school all day with no food.
Though desperate needs are everywhere here, how amazing the power and love of Jesus to coordinate the giving of an offering for food in the U.S.A., knowing that on the other side of the planet in the Philippines, a young girl was sitting in school hungry every day and that Theiven would specifically present us with an opportunity to help! With those funds, we are able to provide Khian with lunch at school every day.
Khian recently received Jesus into her life as well. She is hanging around Theiven’s wife, Kat, and hanging around her church a lot. Please pray that Khian continues to grow in her faith, for her family and that she grows in “wisdom, stature and favor with God and with man.” (Luke 2)
KINGDOM STORY 2 – Abby’s Story
About 11% of the Filipino people move overseas to work in order to make a living and to help support their families back home. They are called Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). They go to many countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, U.A.E., Japan, Malaysia and many more. They are heroes to their country.
Those who are believers and are willing, are also carriers of the Gospel into regions strategic to reaching the unreached. They are heroes in the Kingdom of God as well.
Abby (name changed) is a Filipina young lady who flew to a country in the Middle East for work. She was not yet a Christian, but a friend of hers had given her a book called Encounter: The Quest for the Real Thing, a book our ministry self-published a couple of years ago.
While there, she decided to read the book and to visit a local church in the city where she had moved in the Middle East. She read the first chapter. Then, she visited the church, and the pastor preached the same thing that she had read in chapter 1 of the book.
The next week, she read chapter 2. Then, she went to church and the pastor preached the same thing that she had read in chapter 2. This was such a moving experience and such an encounter with Jesus for her that she thanked God for revealing Himself in such a way to her. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and is now actively attending church and following Jesus.
How extraordinary the power and love of God to greet Abby in a far-away country with an encounter with Jesus. It is also illustrative of the strategic missionary call of the Filipino people to the nations.
Abby’s story illustrates why we moved our ministry to Asia with the Core Values of the Gospel and of Multiplication and with a Vision to reach those far from God with the Gospel, to make disciples who make disciples, to equip leaders who equip leaders and to plant churches that plant churches for the glory of God among the nations.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
This is my car. I’m so grateful for God’s gift of this vehicle here. Driving is quite different in the Philippines, and though I did a good bit of it in my previous stints living in Jamaica and the Philippines, a few years living back in the states took me out of practice! It has taken a little time to get back into the swing of…how shall we call it? “A faster pace!”
In the past two weeks, my friend Theiven had a laptop stolen. An attempt was made to break into my car (unsuccessfully). I’ve had some car trouble. We had a 5.7 mag. earthquake the other night (thankfully no damage). I threw my back out the next night picking up Theiven’s daughter. And I was asked by someone as I walked by them “if I would like a ‘girl,’” witnessing again the huge and evil problem of trafficking and prostitution here in Asia. So the first three weeks have been eventful to say the least.
I thought about not sharing those things. They are not the fun things to share, and I don’t want you to worry. But then, I felt like I needed to share them. I share so you will know how huge your prayers are in this thing. I’m grateful for your prayers and so thankful for the Lord’s grace in all of life. Every day is a gift.
I also share those things because that is why I’m here. There is brokenness everywhere, but the Gospel of the Kingdom declares that the King came to set things right again, to “make all things new,” and we get to be part of His Kingdom come! You are part of the Kingdom come where you live, but you are in Asia as well through your prayers and partnership! Please pray for boldness, for strategic connections and relationships to develop as I get settled in Tagaytay City and for wisdom and discernment as I make many big decisions in these coming months.
There is this beautiful pattern in Paul’s writings, where he describes and defends the Gospel. Then he describes the change in identity and purpose in the lives of those who believe the Gospel. Finally, he teaches how to live in light of, in response to and as a result of the Gospel.
It is such a temptation to flip that around and focus so much on how we live that we lose sight of the fact that how we live is meant to be always in view of the Gospel and as a result of the new creations we have become because of who Jesus is and what He has done. We are not called to recall the Gospel now and then. We are called to Gospel-centered lives and families and churches. The Gospel truly changes everything!
How much more natural it is to live a God-glorifying life when always before us is this extravagant Gospel and always within us is this understanding that because of the Gospel, we are a new people, empowered by Christ’s Spirit, chosen and called by the King for a Kingdom purpose. “The society of the transformed hearts,” as Alan Hirsch puts it. How powerful and beautiful is the Good News that we carry!
Thank you for praying for us here, for standing with us and for partnering in the work of the Gospel in Asia. Love you all so much!
– David Gilliam