As I looked over the waters at Moulmein, I was aware that the Judsons had navigated those same waterways 200 years ago. The fishing nets and boats (minus the motors) would have probably had a hint of familiarity to them. Their hearts would have overflowed with much joy if they could have met the current pastor of the Baptist church which they began two centuries ago. As I walked through the current church building and gazed at Adoniram’s photo and earlier translations of the Burmese Bible and Burmese/English Dictionary, I was much aware that because the Judsons had the courage and faith to follow their calling, the Baptist church had continued to grow and thrive in the community and throughout Myanmar.
A few days later, my heart was deeply moved when I stepped out of our van into the crowds of Baptists who eagerly wanted to have their pictures taken with the foreigners who had arrived for the bicentennial celebration. Our small group of ten North American Baptists represented the Judsons in their eyes. We smiled and hugged our extended Baptist family members who graciously received us in a VIP manner. In the midst of all the excitement, I was aware that we were all there because of the Judsons. I often wonder how all those experiences will change and direct me because I made time to spend ten days in Myanmar.
As I stood to sing the Christmas carols in Maung Maung’s church on the second Sunday of Advent, I recognized the familiar tunes. The different languages of the congregants blended together into a beautiful harmony with the music of the piano, flute and violin. It was a glimpse of heaven that morning. I was so honored to be included in the warmth of this Baptist community so far from home.
Rev. Angela Lowe, BCC
Coordinator of Chaplain Services
Lawrence Memorial Hospital
My joy is to see followers of Christ actively engaged in using their gifts, and blazing trails in effectively reaching the world with the transforming power of the gospel. As a servant leader of Christ’s church, I want to do for others what my leaders and mentors did for me: facilitate that transformational connection between life on the ground and scripture/theology.
I see the Christian faith as a journey, a way of life. Many people can affirm that “church” is the people, not the building, but were that to become a reality in how we actually function, the church would be transformed. I’m fond of using the designation “follower of Christ.” As I read the gospels, the essence of the call of Jesus is action: going, sending, doing.