Courses on Lutheran Distinctions organised and sponsored by the Mekong Mission Forum (MMF) in Myanmar are having a profound impact on participants. One woman says: ‘In general, we have many Bible studies but we hardly hear about Lutheran teaching. The Lutheran perspective is so enriching for us because often we ask, “Why do we do […]
Courses on Lutheran Distinctions organised and sponsored by the Mekong Mission Forum (MMF) in Myanmar are having a profound impact on participants. One woman says: ‘In general, we have many Bible studies but we hardly hear about Lutheran teaching. The Lutheran perspective is so enriching for us because often we ask, “Why do we do it in this way?”, and you explained us why.’
Pastors and lay leaders from the four Lutheran church bodies that form the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Myanmar are invited to participate in the courses.
About 25 years ago, the Lutheran Church in Malaysia (LCM), started to support the newly established Myanmar Lutheran Church. The urgent need for theological training of pastors and lay leaders arose and Mission Director of LCM Rev Dr Philip Tan organised courses. Then as theological consultant to LCM, I became involved in teaching about Lutheran distinctions.
What does the Lutheran church share with other Christian denominations? What are the reasons for being different in specific doctrines and practices? These questions are important in a country where many religions and Christian denominations compete for people’s hearts and commitment.
Along the way, other Lutheran church bodies were invited and joined in this program. Together with partner churches from Europe, Asia and America, the LCA/NZ supports this program through the MMF. A practical side effect of the combined seminars is that pastors and lay leaders get to know each other beyond the boundaries of their own church bodies. Trust is built and steps towards closer cooperation are taken. This is just one example of how these seminars significantly impact Lutheran Christians in Myanmar.
Members of the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Myanmar are the following churches:
– Myanmar Lutheran Church: 3200 members, mainly Kumin-speaking people from Southern Chin State
– Lutheran Church of Myanmar: 2000 members from the Mizo-speaking people in the Northern Chin State
– Evangelical Lutheran Church in Myanmar: 3000 members, oldest Lutheran Church in Myanmar, founded in Yangon by Tamil-speaking immigrants from India
– Mara Evangelical Church: about 22,500 members of the Mara people, located in Maraland in Central Chin State
This story was also published in the August 2018 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray
Read more stories about our partner churches in Myanmar at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/myanmar/