by David Clemente
“I want to talk to you and ask you many questions,” one of the lady pastors speaks to me through an interpreter. The other pastors, mostly men, nod their heads in agreement. “But I do not speak English.” I motion with my hand coming from my heart moving towards her and say, “That is okay. Our hearts meet together even without our words.” The group is smiling and affirming my motions and explanation.
I am on a mountain, more than 2000 meters above sea level. This is the city of Hakha, the capital of the Chin State in Myanmar. We are taking a break from one of my lectures on missions, a three-day seminar training for 21 pastors from the Chin community. It is freezing cold this morning. At ten o clock, it is still around 40 degrees (F). So we all huddle close to an open fire for warmth and some relief from the cold. There are no heaters here, no hot water, no insulated houses or rooms for us to run to. We opt for the open yard beside the church to form a ring around this open fire. It is the best place to receive some comfort and rejuvenate our cold hands. Also, it is a perfect place and time to share some thoughts and ask each other questions of importance or even mundane things.
“Missions can happen in your local churches, even among poor Asian churches that do not have many financial resources.” I keep saying this to everyone in the sessions. Many of them agree and openly repeat the concept to each other. At the end of the day, we have a short period of feedback and sharing time. “Even though we are poor, we can do this mission thing,” some of them encourage each other. I see their superintendent smile and nod in agreement. I pray this vision of Asian FM workers crossing cultures and reaching to other Asians will start here in the mountains of the Chin State. God is moving among the Chin people, and so we move with Him.