Healing the Mountain People

The Luke Society, an international medical missions organization, has been improving the health of the mountain people in Chin state in Myanmar for the last 16 years.

“Because the health workers are working hard every day except Saturday and Sunday, the health condition of the rural people is much improved,” writes Rev. Chan Thlen, general secretary of the Christian Reformed Church of Myanmar, in a report he recently shared with Calvin Theological Seminary.

Hopefully, says Chan, the Luke Society will be expanding its work in the country to care for other groups who are in need of health care.

The summary of health improvement is part of a report put together by Thlen, a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary, as an overview of the 2012 general assembly of the CRC in Myanmar.

Delegates to the CRC’s Synod 2011 approved entering into full ecclesiastical fellowship with the Christian Reformed Church of Myanmar.

Churches in ecclesiastical fellowship are those Reformed churches with whom the denomination is most closely connected. These churches often exchange fraternal delegates with the CRC, and their pastors may preach from CRC pulpits and vice versa.

“Over the past 28 years [the Christian Reformed Church of Myanmar] has been working hard to bring transformation to the rural communities in the southern part of Chin,” he wrote, adding that his denomination appreciates the support of the CRC.

Topics addressed by the assembly, wrote Chan, included the ongoing need for pastors, the progress in construction of a new ministry center for the church, and agricultural developments such as farmers learning a new way to plant rice.
He also wrote about a project translating Christian literature into Matu, one of the country’s main languages.

Chan has been active in this project, translating books and the Bible into Matu.

“Many Matu communities speak only Matu and not Burmese nor English,” he said. “The Matu Christian Literature Committee is trying to help the children of Matu to teach them how to read and write. . . . Matu readers have been prepared by me, and some young people are willing to teach the children.”

About the Author

Chris Meehan is news and media relations manager for CRC Communications, and a member of Coit Community Church.

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