Gary and I were privileged to sit down with Pr. Jum (salt), the vice-secretary of the US Kachin Baptist Church this past weekend. Pr. Jum is a very energetic young pastor with great English skills, from Indiana, and he came to Vancouver to be part of the Washington Oregon Kachin Baptist Church (the Myanmar group that meets in our building) celebration of their one year anniversary on January 16.
We learned some things! There are over 13 other Kachin Baptist congregations spread over the U.S., the closest one in the Seattle area, and one in Canada. Some of the members have to travel hours (3-4 hours even) to reach their place of worship. Even one of our group’s pastors (Pr. Sai) drives up from Eugene OR on Sundays. We also met Rev. Gumsang, pastor of a 2000 member church in Myanmar, who, on a tourist visa, will be serving as interim pastor for our group (WOKBC) for the next six months.
Pr. Jum related to us that the Kachin group is very sensitive about their cultural differences and want to do their best to build relationship and faith with Trinity Lutheran. He also ex- pressed that the gift of space in our building they understand to be God’s great work—more than they could have ever asked for!
The Anniversary celebration on January 16 was certainly Asian in character, and went long. And there were guests from other Kachin Baptist churches—coming from Texas, Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, California and Seattle. And best of all, the preacher of the day was a woman!…Pastor Nang who pastors a small Kachin Baptist Church in Michigan, preaching on I Peter chapter two.
These are certainly God’s people with a heart for His mission and a desire to find their way in this new land. Thank you Trinity for continuing to give them such generous hospitality!