On April 22, Rev. Kei Lian Mang was ordained, making him the first Burmese pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. His congregation, Chin Christian Church, became the first Burmese congregation in the denomination.
The group has been meeting at Princeton CRC in Kentwood, Mich., for three years. Several of the Chin women attend Coffee Break and a weekly ESL class.
About 11 years ago, Mang and his wife, Yi Par, came from Myanmar to pastor the church. Princeton’s pastor, David Poolman, has been meeting regularly with Mang to prepare him for his classical examination, all done through an interpreter.
Burmese Christians from around West Michigan attended the service. Rev. David Lai Sum from Battle Creek preached the sermon, first in English and then in Fulam, the language of the Chin people.
The Chin people, refugees from the mountainous region in northern Myanmar (Burma), were persecuted there because of their Christian faith.
Mang’s brother-in-law Rev. Siang Hup came from Knoxville, Tenn., for the celebration and also to meet with CRC denominational leaders. He hopes to join Classis Illiana (a regional group of churches) and bring his Knoxville congregation into the CRC. His larger vision is to plant more CRC churches among the Burmese people in Indianapolis.