28 Aug – 3 Sept 2017
A team of 6 members comprising 4 sisters and 2 brothers embarked on our journey to Yangon with mostly first timers; except for myself, who was there last year for the children’s prayer retreat. We visited 3 sister & partner churches, two children homes, several homes and slum areas. On the first night, we were in awe of the worship by the students from the ministry school which opened heavenly portals. The abiding presence of God remained strongly felt as we continue the rest of our journey.
We visited two children’s home (Pastor Caleb’s and Pastor Nandar’s) and were overwhelmed by the children’s warm reception. We were also very impressed with how well-behaved the children were! They helped out with everything in the house such as cleaning the common areas, cooking, and the older children took care of the younger ones. The team put up a puppet show about the life of Daniel and played games with them. Everyone had a tremendous time together!
Prior to visiting Pastor Nandar’s children home, we felt that it was important to bless the children and to reaffirm their importance to God. As we spoke the words of blessing, we believe that there will be a change in their mindsets, not only catching a glimpse of who they are in Christ but also as mighty warriors, remaining as a lasting impression for them.
Our hosts brought us by train to the slum area to share the gospel. After splitting into 3 groups, we separated into the various alleys. The houses in the slum area were small. Most only had a room in which the occupants ate, rested and slept. Thank God for His grace as the entire experience was mostly easy for us. All we had to do was to share the gospel or testimonies and quite a number of the residents readily accepted Christ into their lives! It seemed as if the seeds had been sown and all we had to do was to reap.
We have recorded a total of 19 salvations and will keep them in prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to lead and guide them. For the rest of the families who have yet to receive Christ, we are grateful for this opportunity to sow seeds in them, and believe it is only a matter of time before they are saved.
Ps Nandar’s Ministry
Wednesday morning, after devotion, we went to Ps Nandar’s home where she occasionally holds her ministry for HIV patients and other invited guests. The people were from the vicinity of the village. The team shared their wonderful testimonies.
Lawrence preached a sermon on having the joy of the Lord. One of the villagers shared a testimony of how the Lord healed her. She was coughing blood and had to be admitted to hospital. They prayed the whole night for her and the next day, the doctor diagnosed that there was nothing wrong with her. All glory to God! A man brought his family for the meeting and his whole family of 4 received salvation. As the team ministered to the people, the Holy Spirit descended and the presence of God was very strong. It was truly a memorable morning.
Nga Su Taung Cornerstone Church
We taught them the power of the name of Jesus Christ and His blood, with a focus on how to deal with and be delivered from negative emotions. This was followed by practical training and declarations. During ministry, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully and the majority fell under His power and were touched. God is so awesome and we witnessed God’s love, power and glory that morning!!!
MYN 01 (collectively), 2017
Before the trip, we asked the Lord what He wanted us to do inn this trip. We received words from God and planned around them. This mission trip offered a variety of different places and ministries. We had the opportunity to join the Pastors’ Fellowship to hear their testimonies and of what God is doing in each of their churches. We visited churches, children’s homes, the HIV centre and slums. We also visited the cells, joined the SOM students in street evangelism, attended the SOM Presbytery service and graduation ceremony. Our team also prayed and ministered at the Sunday services.
Overall, despite the diversity of gifts in our team, we were united in one heart. I was deeply impacted by the passionate worship and intercession of the Burmese Christians. One can sense the move and presence of God in their gatherings. In the middle of our trip, there was an earthquake in central Myanmar; we thank God for the minimal casualties. Prophetically speaking, we felt that the Lord is doing renewal of the Holy Spirit in Myanmar. I have learnt to hear God and to be led by Him as to what He wants us to do before & during the trip.
What I liked best about the trip was the worship of our Burmese sisters and brothers. I appreciated the opportunity to perform a team flag dance and I really enjoyed the messages shared by Ps San Min and Ps Tim Chong. This trip also provided me with my first visit to the slums and I was able to lead an Indian lady to Christ. During the trip, we also witnessed the move of the Holy Spirit and the Father’s love touching our brothers and sisters when praying and ministering to them.
Before the trip, we had asked for donations of clothes, bags, stationaries and toys from our cell groups and friends. Though our luggage was overweight, we were not charged for the extra 9 kg; praise the Lord! God also granted us a favourable rates when we exchanged money at the money changer in the Myanmar airport.
I had requested for 3 of my cell members to cover me and the team in intercession while we were on this trip. They were faithful in interceding; many words and visions were shared, enabling us to be more effective in our work in Myanmar.
I am humbled by the fact that though imperfect and inadequate, God chose to use our team. All glory to God – He showed up! I summed up this trip with these words from Ps Tim’s message “No reserves, no retreats and no regrets”!
Lee Lin, Myanmar
Dawei, Myanmar mission trip reflections (1-8 Dec 2015)
On the 1st of December of 2015, a team of eight inter-generational Cornerstone members set out for the land of Dawei in Myanmar. Dawei is a small tropical town in the southern part of Myanmar, and lies home to an estimated population of 139, 000 people. Our ministry focus was to minister to Cornerstone Community Church (CSCC) in Dawei, and its affiliate, namely, CSCC Mae Chaung in the Mae Chaung village. CSCC Dawei, now in its tenth year, is a church plant out of CSCC Yangon, currently headed by Pastor Than Hlay.
Our trip to Dawei was not short of an eventful one. Upon our arrival at Yangon, we were greeted with a 14-hour bus ride up to Dawei through a midnight coach, and it certainly was one kind of an experience for many of us! When we arrived in Dawei, we wasted no time in packing the gift packs for the villagers in the Mae Chaung village and purchasing oil and shampoo which was too heavy to be brought from Singapore. After lunch, we started “ministry” by conducting a prayer walk around significant places of Dawei (physical gates into the city like the bus station and airport, and other gates such as education gate and family gate represented by the university and playground respectively as well as the church). We planted saga seeds as a prophetic act of applying the blood of Jesus around this city. Each night, we ministered at various home cells and one team member will share a testimony or short exhortation on the Word of God or the Father’s Love. Home cell is a daily activity practiced in CSCC Dawei and everyday, with the exception of Sundays, we visited different home cells. They were all eye-opening, and heart-warming moments where we witnessed the hunger and zeal of the Burmese people for the Love of God.
On the 2nd day in Dawei, the team headed for Mae Chaung village. With hearts stirred and spirits soaring, the team took a ride on a little lorry singing praises to the strums of the guitar till we arrived at the foot of the village. From this point, we tracked into the village that us on a 30-minute leisurely hike through a rubber forest and waded across several surprisingly clear and refreshing streams. Our time in the Mae Chaung village was spent performing an evangelistic Christmas skit, which saw the salvations of almost 20 villagers! We also gave out gift packs with some daily necessities and munchies to families and individuals. Later in the afternoon we did house to house visits, where we continued to bless the villagers with gift packs comprising of household necessities. More than just bringing gifts, we also brought the love of Jesus to each household and witnessed another 20 salvations! A team even witnessed the deliverance of a villager!
The subsequent days were spent at youth fellowship meetings and church services in the church building. Different team members took turns to bring the Word, and it was an impactful time as we saw the encounters the people had with God. We also had a considerable amount of time to fellowship with the passionate and on-fire youths of Dawei. We visited a scenic and serene beach called Maung Magan beach and even went for a hot spring together with the youths in the church. It was a wonderful platform where kindred spirits of the Singaporeans and Burmese knitted.
On the second last day of our time in Myanmar, we flew back to Yangon for another youth meeting, where we again shared on Cornerstone’s vision for revival, and rallied for the arising of the next generation. We concluded the trip with the celebration of one of our team member’s birthday, and our host – Pastor San Min and Pastor Tabitha – baked a wonderful cake for her. It was also at this point that the Yangon team from Singapore reunited with our team from Dawei, and we inspired each other with the different stories of our experiences.
We ended our trip with grateful hearts and sentimental feelings of the trip coming to a landing. Exchanging goodbyes and snapping as many pictures as we could, we thanked our prime host, Pastor Joseph, who was an excellent pillar of support, and also served as our translator for most parts of the sharing and conversations. It certainly was a mission experience that would serve as a milestone for many of our lives!
Written by Chermaine Lek, MYN 04
Here is Samantha’s reflection on her Couriers trip to Myanmar on Dec 1-8, 2015.
It was not until Pastor Yang preached a message on Missions during one of the Sunday services that a fire for the nations got freshly rekindled in my heart. It acted as a timely reminder of my dream in going to the mission fields to film documentaries. It was like an “ekballo” call and my heart was stirred to go forth and make an impact in any ways I could. So off to Myanmar, I went.
The nature of the trip was to minister to churches in Yangon, visit orphanages and the villages. One thing that impacted me most was the visit to the orphanages. One could not stay satisfied in one’s love for God after coming into contact with their simple and child-like heart towards the Father. It definitely challenged me and birthed a new desire in my heart to come back to the heart of a child, in pure simplicity. There was something they carried with them that portrayed their assurance as a son and daughter of the one true King and it was truly heartening to see how the Father was restoring orphans back to Himself with His love.
I was very humbled when the children in the orphanage came to pray for us, some with tears streaming down their faces. It was a very memorable time for me when their unfiltered authentic prayers were uttered. Although I could not understand what they were saying, I genuinely felt such love flow through them to me. It was a very special moment indeed.
I remember my team and I coming together before the trip to prepare our hearts and to sow in prayer. The one thing we wanted to do was to give nothing short of our hearts to bless, serve and love the people there. However, on the flip side of the coin, we were on the receiving end. We definitely received more than what we could give and one of which was the simple and childlike-ness the children taught us. It was definitely a fruitful experience to witness what God is doing in the hearts of all people in the nations. “This is the best time to be alive” and I can’t agree more to that!
By Samantha Sng
The team to Yangon visited our ministries and had a chance to see the great work there. We decided we should share all our personal takeaways from the trip. Below are the thoughts from the team to Yangon, 24 – 31 Aug!
True to the Cornerstone Couriers 2015 theme of “Open Doors,” I thank God for a series of events and open doors that paved the way to join this mission trip. Grateful for a team of varied talents that gelled together as one in serving God.
I heard about the supernatural work God has done in Pastor Nandar’s Orphanage years ago and what a privilege it was to visit! There, I met God in a powerful way – and it wasn’t in the sanctity of a peaceful, comfortable church but out in a hot, rural farm. The children’s praise & worship was so moving, they sang with all their hearts, it wasn’t a soundproof room (only a shed) but yet the voices of the little ones were so loud! These children were powerful prayer warriors! Even a three year old girl could pray and the sick get healed. God was in that place! Some HIV positive people have been healed also. But nothing prepared me for the finale: when all the kids rushed out to us, laid hands and prayed fervently in the Spirit – every team member was touched to tears. There were puddles of tears on the floor after it ended. So much love. From orphans that nobody wanted – some were even rejected by other orphanages. God chooses the lowly of this world to confound the wise.
After each mission trip, my perspective in life is re-calibrated and I learn to be more thankful, complain less, and use my blessings for that which has eternal value.
Myanmar, you stole my heart! I was so blessed & drawn by your praise & worship. Although I do not know a single word you sang, your heart n attitude of worship with such gusto makes me want to shout it out loud with you.
Seeing a whole family of ministers co-labouring together for the Kingdom was extremely heartening. From father, son, wives & in-laws, all spearheading God’s work in different countries & arena, God must be so pleased. May many more generations arise & follow their parents footsteps to pastor Myanmar.
When man sees with our natural eyes, we see imperfection n incompleteness. When God opened my eyes, I saw wholeness & completeness in a crippled man… my heart was made full.
When your unwanted kids at the orphanage rushed to pray for us, I saw unconditional love … so simple, so pure.
Thank you Myanmar, will see you again!
Regarding the event: street evangelism, on the 24th of August –
The Word says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. The only initial thought I had before going to this trip was “I’m just going to be a blessing.”
There are many thoughts I could write of this second trip to Myanmar. The sights, sound and the observations I had made. Yet there is one incident which made a lasting impression in my heart.
We were distributing the gospel tracks to pre-believers in the wet market along the streets of Yangon. The market is situated along the railway tracks. The weather was humid yet our spirits were filled with such joy; the simple joy of sharing Jesus on the streets.
There was this incident where a sister’s leg was caught in the mud and it broke her footwear. Without hesitation, she was offered a pair of slippers by a brother beside her, resulting in him walking barefooted throughout the duration.
The brother knew that he would have to walk barefooted in the entire journey yet he chose to offer his slippers to the sister.
I was touched by this selfless gesture; one that regards the need of others more than the impending comfort of oneself.
Many have taught on the generous giving for others, yet this brother had taught me on giving more than the numerous sermons I heard preached from the pulpit.. Giving and love is never to be taught but to be caught.. Never information but revelation.
“…in as much as you did to the very least of the brethren, you did it unto Me.”
One of my most memorable parts of the trip was when we were in one of the orphanages. Despite the limited facilities they have, the presence of God was very strong in that place. During the worship, you could see that the children were all so passionately worshiping God with their hands raised up and eyes closed; they were not distracted. All you could see in them is the love of God and the passion for God. Almost to the end of the session in the orphanage, the pastor of the orphanage got her children to pray for us. Every child as young as 7 years old was rushing towards us and laying their hands on us to pray for us. Despite the language barriers, you can feel their passion and enthusiasm of prayers. When the children had finished their prayer, none of us had no have tears in our eyes. During the trip, the pastor also shared with us stories of people getting healed when the children prayed for them.
In Genesis 21, when Hagar and Ishamel did not have any water and food, it was the boy who prayed and God heard his prayer. Therefore, do not despise the prayer of a child; instead train them to pray from young. This is one of my greatest take away from the trip.
-Goh Shi Hui
This was my first mission trip to orphanages, and it was an eye opening experience seeing children worship with everything within their being, passionately to the Lord Jesus. It was hot and humid under an open shed with only zinc roofing, but the Presence of the Lord was strong and the anointing of Holy Spirit was manifested. All of us were moved to tears by the children, who although were poor and had no material comfort; yet so rich in the spiritual sense. One incident impacted me tremendously.
Dinner was served in the dark under the moonlight. Later an adult had a portable lamp placed on table, but since it was a long table seating, some parts were dim. Suddenly a 7-year old boy ran and held a lamp high next to Ps Cameron in order for us to eat in comfort. Such sacrificial love and care touched my heart to the core. Eventually Ps Cameron persuaded him to place the lamp on table. This is God’s love revealed through this child.
I’ve really been blessed more than being a blessing. And I’ve been deeply impacted by the SOM graduates there. Even through the short span of 8 days I felt that God had blessed me with many precious friendships and encounters with each and every one of them.
It was really nice to talk to each one of them because despite the fact English wasn’t their first language they would walk up to you with this warm smile and genuinely create conversations with the limited English they have. The initiative they took was just touching to the heart.
To witness how God is moving throughout their lives was also amazing, especially during the presbytery where the Pastors laid hands on each and every one of them. I was so touched to hear what God has in store for their future. I really believe that something it’s going to happen in this nation, and it will start with these passionate warriors.
Thank you SOM students for the past week for this wonderful experience. i will never forget the friendships made and I really hope to see you all soon! We may be 2 in language but we will always be 1 in spirit 🙂
True to its theme, it was really an open door. Open doors to an eye opening experience. Open doors to other nations too. This is my first mission trip but definitely will not be my last. And if you are still pondering if you should embark on one I would encourage you to just go because to experience God’s wonders in the nations, it’s just something you won’t want to miss 😉
It was my privilege to spend 8 wonderful days in the city of Yangon together with such a diverse team! Each individual had a part to play; from the activities for the children, to friendships formed with the youth and others with the ability to connect with the adult cell group. The diversity proved to be extremely helpful and the group felt like a microcosm of the Body of Christ, and how each and every one of us has a role in the Body.
One of the standout experiences I had during the trip watching how inclusive and loving the children in Pastor Caleb’s orphanage were. Watching the older children take care of the younger ones, seeing the joy that they had throwing a frisbee around the front yard, and how they all functioned together during dinner time brought warmth to my hearth. It was lovely to see how the children mutually cared for and respected one another. This experience served as a reminder that at the end of the day, expressions of love to one another doesn’t have to be overtly complicated, it can just be simple and genuine.
-Yuen Zi Gui
Our team of three set off to Yangon, Myanmar on the morning of 19th July. Upon arrival that evening, Joanne shared a word in season in the youth service on leadership and Darnell and myself shared our testimonies on God’s faithfulness and goodness in our lives. We had a good time fellowshipping with the youths, and after service, we packed bags of blessings for the families that we were going to visit in the Delta region.
Early morning the next day, we set off to Delta region with Pastor Joseph San Min and nine other SOM Myanmar students. Delta region is located in the south-west of Myanmar and it required us to travel, first by truck to the bus terminal, then approximately three hours bus ride to the ferry area, before another three hours boat ride to reach Amar village. We arrived in Amar village in the evening, and we had a hearty meal before a night of worshipping and fellowshipping at one of the homes.
Two years ago, Pastor Sonai moved to Amar village and started his work of ministry in sharing the Good News and reaching out to the villagers. Albeit not an easy task as he faced challenges from the local authorities and others, he did not give up but held on to the Word of God and put his faith into action. He laid his life down in obedience to the Lord and because of that, we were able to visit the different homes of believers and non-believers, encouraging them with testimonies of God’s faithfulness and goodness, preaching the gospel and sharing a word in season.
In the village, there were no running water or electricity. Water needed to be hand-pumped manually and electricity were available via a generator and lasted till about 9PM in the night. It was the rainy season then, so there were frequent showers hence making the paths muddy and sometimes slippery to walk on. Our day usually started with worshipping and praying at one of the deacons’ homes (where the SOM Myanmar boys were staying at) before travelling to another village either by foot, truck or boat.
In every home that we go to, we would receive such warm hospitality from the locals. The team (all 13 of us) would start with singing praises to the Lord and worshipping Him before sharing the Word and our testimonies, and praying for them. I lost count of the number of homes we visited but in each home, there is a story to tell. Their stories, intertwined with ours, were the story that God was writing at that time. And every night, we would fellowship in one of the church leaders’ home and spend time soaking in worship.
It was such an experience for all of us – trekking in the mud and water that goes knee-deep, being on boat rides that met with choppy waves (then the students will start to sing “Still” and you can feel faith arising in the midst of the rain), living in the village and eating in the village homes, being part of a community that you’ve grown fond of and sharing your life with them. There were times when we felt weak but as we turn to the Lord, He would strengthen us and make us strong in Him.
When we had to leave the village on Friday night, it was with mixed feelings. The local villagers walked to the port with the team and it felt like the whole village was sending us off. We travelled overnight by boat, and then by bus for a few more hours before taking the truck back to Cornerstone Myanmar church compound. We rested in the day before heading to Grace Children Home in the evening.
Pastor Caleb and Sister Sarah started Grace Children Home about seven years ago and the home grew from 14 children to 60 children. We worshipped with the children, had dinner with them and taught them the song “Deep Cries Out” with actions. It was a time of fun, joy and laughter and the room were full of smiles and love. Five years ago, I went to Yangon for my first mission trip and I visited Grace Children Home. They only had 14 children back then, but the love of Christ in their hearts were overwhelming. Five years later, as I returned back to the place (on a different compound now), I was really happy to see the five children healthy and strong, and growing in the Lord. Thank God for His faithfulness, His goodness and His unwavering love for us. His steady love will keep us going through hardships and make us strong in Him.
They say this is a three-star mission trip, one marked with difficulties that is not for the faint-hearted. But this trip is not just for the strong or the able, it is for the willing ones. They must not be afraid of what the journey will bring and where it will take them. They must choose to go, to learn, to serve and to love. They must be willing to let their hearts be broken, transformed and over again. When I think about Amar village; I see the faces of the locals, I see the moments in worship, in prayer, in walking through the mud, in washing our feet, in sharing our lives together despite of language barriers. I see Love and I see Christ. Love requires a sacrifice, but most often than not, the sacrifice is always worth it.
This whole trip was quite an experience but I would gladly go through it all over again because nothing can compare to being near to His heart.
By Lilian Tan, MYN 01