Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Sunday School Children leading on March 22, 2009

On March 22, our Sunday school children led the worship service and those who could not make it missed a memorable performance by these young people. We witnessed the fruit of the effort of the teachers led by Ta Blu Moo, Paw Eh and Po Si Moo in Philadelphia and Trenton. The children offered to God their talents by giving short talks, reading and reciting scripture texts, singing songs, saying the offertory prayer, and collecting tithes and offering. It was very gratifying and heartening to see these children undertaking tasks assigned to them without any inhibition, thus setting a good example for the elders.

The first speaker was Naw Kahmiya Htoo of Trenton. She based her talk on Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” She urged the young people to be like Jesus who was obedient, helpful to his parents, and loving God’s Word.

The second speaker was Daniel Saw. He read from the book of Proverbs 4:7-18. He gave a testimony about not heeding his parents’ words, nearly met with an accident but saved by the hand of God. He related that one day on his way to school just as he was stepping on to the road, a car came by. He felt a touch on his shoulder that made him stepped back. He realized that it happened because he did not pay attention to his parents’ warning when crossing roads. But he believed God saved him that day, and urged his friends to be obedient to their parents and elders.

Eh Hsu Klay, the last speaker, talked about young Samuel quoting 1 Samuel 3:10 where Samuel answered,” Speak for your servant hears.” He did as he was told by Eli, and he listened to God. Like the boy Samuel we have to listen to our elders and do what they tell us.

That afternoon we were glad to have Kathy, Cindy, Allie and Francesca, volunteer Sunday school teachers from Church of the Saviour in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Another volunteer, Pam couldn’t make it that day. They are leaving for Chengmai on April 22nd to conduct a training program for about 200 Sunday school teachers from Karen villages in that region, and came to observe and learn about the Karen people before their departure. Their trip is coordinated by TKBC (Thailand Karen Baptist Convention). Our prayers go with them.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PBBC Youth on Sunday March 15.

The Sunday of March 15th it was the turn of PBBC Youth to lead the worship service. We were very inspired by the participation of our young people who offered their time and talents God has endowed them with setting a good example for the much younger generation. The chairperson was Saw Aye Sein, chairperson of the Youth Committee, and an encouraging message for the young and the old was given by Naw Heh Nay Moo, a charismatic youth leader, who put heart and soul as well as gestures into her message reminding us about the power of God that He puts within each and every one of us to be used for his glory.

She gave examples of two young men in the Old Testament. Both of them had God’s power in them ever since they were in their mothers’ womb because God had plans for them to save His people, the Israelites. One failed to maintain God’s power in him by giving in to the enticements of his heathen wife, thus causing his destruction. “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been born a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven then my strength will leave me and I shall be like any other man.” (Judges 16:17)

The other constantly held on to the power if God within him through out his life. He was loyal to his master who bought him, and above all his God. He was always on his guard like a soldier on sentry duty. When lured by the wife of his master, he held on to God’s power and overcame the temptation. Genesis 39: 8-9 states,” Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in the house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” She urged the young people to run away from temptation like Joseph. Since our enemy, the Devil, is everywhere and powerful, and speaks in a soft sweet voice, we can easily give in to his wiles. But if we let the Holy Spirit dwell within us and work in us, we can certainly overcome any temptation. Therefore, let us keep the power of God in us and defeat our enemy.

PBBC was happy to welcome an unexpected guest, Saya Peter Zin, from Boston who was on a visit to friends in Philadelphia. He gave words of encouragement.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Special Events at PBBC on Sunday, March 8th

The Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church had a worship service to commemorate Global Day of Prayer for Burma on Sunday, March 8. Saya San No Thuan led a special prayer for the people inside the country as well as those in the border areas, and for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners.

This Sunday, March 8th was filled with surprises at Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church (PBBC). First of all Saya San No Thuan had a very big surprise when the Church honored him as he is moving to Maryland during March this year. It was not a farewell ceremony but a special event to thank him for his endeavor to build up PBBC. Secondly, an unexpected inspirational message was given by Saw Nay Blu,a lay member of the Church. Thirdly, a special song for Saya San No Thuan was sung by the youth of Trenton who sang in Burmese. The Karen accent made it sound beautiful and sweeter to the ear.

The service was led by the men’s group and the message by Saw Nay Blu was about the disciples caught in the fierce storm in the Sea of Galilee, and how Jesus calmed the sea. He focused on the fact that Jesus not only saved his disciples on their boat but also other fishermen and their boats by calming the entire sea. This indicates the fact that Jesus came down to earth not only for the Christians and the Israelites but also to save the entire world. These other fishermen would not have known that this was the act of Jesus since they also would have prayed to their own gods and supernatural beings for help and believed that their prayers were answered by these gods. The bottom line is that not all people know Jesus and His salvation, so as Christians, it is our responsibility to carry the message to the whole world as Jesus commissioned us in Matt. 28:19-20.

Immediately following the service, Saya San No Thuan spoke a little about how he was grateful to the Church for supporting him throughout the entire period he ministered here and promised he would be back every now and then to participate and help the Church to grow more. Saya San No Thuan in closing gave the Church three important L’s as a present to keep and to implement:

Love – Love the Church as your own family and give all the best to it.
Listen – Listen to each other; there may be problems they have, opinions they may want to voice in order to work together as a family.
Lead – Try to take leading roles in ways that one can. Not to be a follower only but also be a leader.

These words will be posted everywhere possible for all to remember and put into practice. After that Saya San No sang “You Lift Me Up”, a song dedicated to all in appreciation and gratitude for the support he received.

In her speech honoring Saya San No Thuan, the Church secretary Emerald Cribb said that he would still be considered our Adjunct Pastor and be called upon for advice, suggestions, and help. The big surprise for Saya San No Thuan came when members of the Church presented him with a Sail Boat Statuette with the words of Isaiah 40:39 inscribed on the sail. He was also presented with garlands and gifts by the Women Group, Youth Group, Sunday School children, members from Trenton as well as by individuals while the men’s group sang a song.

The evening continued with lighting of candles on a birthday cake for Naw Mindy Saw and Saw Daniel Cribb for their birthdays on the 7th and 8th respectively. After the ‘Birthday song’, Saya San No said a prayer for them as well as for those who celebrate their birthday in March. A lovely fellowship dinner of “Mohinga” prepared by the women group led by Naw Mu Lwai Htoo was served following the service.

It was a memorable evening attended by more than 60 members from Greater Philadelphia and its suburbs, Trenton and Baltimore. A group photo was taken after the service.

God is so great. Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

PBBC On March 1st.

The First Day of March and the Activities of PBBC

The weekly Women Service of PBBC was held today at the residence of Saw Beston Min and Naw Paw Eh at 1:00 p.m. Thramu Heh Nay Moo gave a message about God taking care of us no matter what the situation is.

After the prayer meeting, all who attended proceeded to St. John Baptist Church for the 3 p.m. worship service. Today’s worship program was to be led by our brothers and sisters from Trenton but due to unforeseen circumstances they regretfully informed us about their inability to undertake it. Therefore, the Women Group took on the task at the last moment.

Thramu San San Tin led the meditation urging us as believers to be on the alert for false prophets lest we mistook them for the real ones and follow them. We also have to beware of the signs of times. If not, we would lose the chance to be with Christ when He comes for us at His second coming.

It was also encouraging to hear Naw Mu Lwai Htoo giving testimony about God’s abundant blessings in her life in front of the congregation for the first time since she is a lady of very few words. Back in Burma, she had never participated in any worship programs. Congratulations to her for having the courage to set good example for us.

We are grateful to all participants in the worship program. May the Lord bless each and every one of them.We are also grateful to our brothers and sisters of the Lutheran Ministry for donating loaves of bread and other foodstuffs that are distributed after the service