Six volunteers from the Northern Australia Conference and three volunteers from Germany recently arrived in north-east Myanmar with a goal: to install a new ceiling at Mountain View Adventist Seminary in Taungoo, in the Bago Region. The large chapel at the school, which held around 400 students, had lost its ceiling due to termites. Upon arrival, however, one of the volunteers noticed that the roofing iron had many holes in it, and so decided to replace the roof as well.
“It was amazing to see the transformation,” said team leader Pastor Wolfgang Jenke, who, together with his wife Lyn, organised this Fly and Build project — the fourth in four years.
While part of the team was busy replacing the roof, others started repairing the ceiling frame and replacing sections of wiring for lights and fans. By Thursday of the first week, the roof was completely finished. Then all the team focused on the ceiling, helped by many of the older students. Every day the progress was noticeable, and as soon as a section of ceiling was covered, the students painted it before the electricians fitted lights and ceiling fans. When the ceiling was completed, it also was decided to give the walls also a new coat of paint. Everything was completed on time.
At the same time, Pastor Alvin Hla, the president of the Central Myanmar Mission, went with Pastor Jenke during the daytime to visit many Buddhist and Baptist families living in villages around the area. In the evenings, Pastor Jenke and Pastor Hla conducted an evangelistic campaign in a church several kilometres away. Currently, the Church in Myanmar is using its Adventist school system as the greatest tool for evangelism, as public evangelism is still confined to Adventist-owned buildings.
“There is a great interest in the Adventist message among these people,” said Pastor Hla, “and one day soon, they will expect a large harvest of souls.”
On the last Sabbath of the trip, a dedication service was held for the completed chapel, followed by the baptisms of 25 people.
“This was the best holiday I have ever had in my entire life,” said Uwe, one of the German volunteers.
After the team left Taungoo, Pastor Jenke and his wife travelled to Tedim, an isolated city in Chin State in Upper Myanmar, to lead an evangelistic seminar. Over 150 people attended each night, and the campaign culminated in a mass baptism of 49 people.
“It was a challenging, but very worthwhile evangelistic campaign,” Pr Wolfgang said. “We thank God for the great privilege in letting us minister to His children in Myanmar.”