Friday, July 17, 2009

Judson Day at PBBC

On Judson Sunday, July 12, 2009, the nearest Sunday to the day Rev. and Mrs. Judson landed in Burma, PBBC had a special service to commemorate the day. The messa
ge that day was given by Rev. Rothang Chhangte, who has recently been appointed liaison for refugees from Burma, at the National Ministries, American Baptist Churches, USA. This was her first visit to a Church from Burma after her appointment. She took the text from Ephesians 3:15-19, the prayer by the Apostle Paul for the Ephesians. This was the favorite passage of Rev. Judson in his mission in Burma where there had been many trials and tribulations he had to face. This prayer gave him strength to never give up. Likewise she urged the church members, especially the refugees, to remember this prayer and gain strength, trusting God to provide for them in their needs.

Emerald Cribb shared some highlights of Rev. Judson’s life, his mission and accomplishments in Burma. Rev.
Adoniram Judson and his wife Ann, landed in Burma from India on July 13, 1813. After persevering for six years, on June 27, 1819, his first Burmese convert, U Naw was baptized. Since the majority of the Bamar people are Buddhist, the Gospel spread very slowly. However, among the Karens, Kachins, Chins and other ethnic people who are adherents of traditional beliefs the G
ospel was joyously accepted. On May 16, 1828, Ko Tha Byu became the first Karen convert who was zealous in evangelizing his own people. The Judsons left a living legacy to the people of Burma. They brought us the “light”, and because of this we no longer live in darkness. Dr. Judson gave us the first and best translation of the Bible that took him 21 years to translate. He also completed the first English-Burmese Dictionary which was published in 1849 and is still use by many in Burma.
The Baptists in America owe their formation into a denomination to the Judsons. Their mission work also awakened mission consciousness of a fledgling nation. In May 1814, the Baptists organized “The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for
Foreign Missions” in Philadelphia. The Judsons and Luther Rice were the first missionaries appointed by this Convention to Burma.
Now the ‘fruit’ of Rev. Judson’s labor have arrived not only in Philadelphia but have also spread all over North America. This is our common history but it is much better known by the Burmese Baptists than by the American Baptists evidently because the Myanmar Baptist Convention designates the Sunday nearest to the day of the Judsons’ arrival in Burma (July 13) as Judson Sunday when all Baptist Churches in Burma and those in the US hold special services to remember and honor the memory of Rev. Adoniram Judson for his selfless dedicated mission work in Burma. The Baptists of Burma wherever they may resettle will always treasure the priceless legacy of God’s love and redeeming grace left by the Judsons.

After the service, Rev. Rothang talked with the new Americans from Trenton and Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia to learn about their problems and see how she could render help.