The eternal economy of God is to produce the organic Body of Christ to be an organism of God for His increase and expression. Therefore, sinners need to be made sons of God to constitute the Body of Christ, which is expressed as the local churches. The local churches however are not the goal of God’s economy, but a procedure to reach God’s goal which is the Body. Thus, there is an urgent need for blending among the churches. The purpose of blending is to usher us into the reality of the Body of Christ. From the 15th to 24th of July 2019, a group of 38 saints including 30 trainees visited the churches in Myanmar, to be blended and to be brought into the fellowship of the universal Body of Christ. Through the visitation, our view and consciousness toward the Body was broadened and deepened. The trip began from Yangon city, all the way to Matupi in the west, back from Matupi to Mindat and Pakokku, and returning to Malaysia from Yangon.
The most remarkable session of this trip was the time blending with the saints in Matupi region. Matupi is a township 17-hours drive away from Yangon city. Such a remote place becomes a nursery ground where young people are gained and nurtured. We met a great number of them that are simple and pure towards Christ. They seek the truth, having a strong desire to serve the Lord and the church. Some of these young people went to the Full Time Training in Yangon upon the completion of their education and became useful in the Lord’s hand. After the training, some returned to their localities to serve and produce more young people. Many others migrated and some even moved overseas for the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Around two hundred saints from various churches in Matupi region gathered to blend with us. Even though it was a working day, they were willing to put aside their work and attended the blending. Their longing to have fellowship with the members of the Body and to blend with the saints touched our heart. The burden of the blending conference was on the vision of the Body of Christ and the consciousness of the Body of Christ. God longs for the Body of Christ, and nothing in the universe can satisfy Him more than Body of Christ. The life within us is the Body life and this life requires us to fellowship with the members and to care for one another. This life needs to grow so that the Body of Christ can be built up. Although we had entered into these messages before, the speaking this time was as new and fresh as before. Furthermore, it was no longer a mere doctrine to us, but we tasted more reality now.
The speaking brothers had a very strong burden for the reality of the Body of Christ. They laid before us faithfully the condition of the saints and the urgent need of the saints in Matupi region to see the vision of the Body and the consciousness toward the Body. Everything that we do should be beneficial to the Body and we should never do anything that will harm the Body. The saints received the burden and responded very positively and actively through prophesying, sharing and fellowshipping. It was so encouraging to see that the Lord is moving in Matupi and operating in the saints for the building up of the Body of Christ.
In the mornings of those few days of conference, the serving ones will first come together and fellowship. Many questions were asked concerning the ground of the church, the practical affairs and administration of the church. The brothers cut straight the word of God, faithfully presenting what the ministry has spoken concerning the issues raised. It was indeed true that all are in the books and the solutions to all the problems faced have already been answered by the ministry. Through these fellowships, the serving brothers were strengthened and encouraged. They were more open to the fellowship of the Body. Fellowship tempers us, adjusts us, harmonizes us and blends us together. In the Body, there is no regional work but only a universal work for the universal Body. Every action and decision that is said and done will not only affect the churches in that region but will affect the entire Body. Therefore, in whatever we do and we say, we need to learn to stop to fellowship. Through fellowship, the brothers let go of their own interest and realized the need to do the unique work of the Body.
We had gatherings with the young people in Matupi region every evening. We enjoyed singing the FTTMY 26th batch’s prayer hymn in both English and Burmese. In those gatherings, we were encouraged by the positively aggressive attitude of the young people. They were very open towards the fellowship of the Body, seeking to know more concerning the truth in the Lord’s recovery and seizing every opportunity to ask questions. They treasured and appreciated these fellowships. Through such gatherings, we see that the solution to every problem is in the Body. We realized that fellowship can truly preserve us and the protection is in the Body.
Nga Laing and Pha Neng
After the blending meeting, we went to two villages in Matupi Region to visit the local saints. The golden lampstand in Nga Laing, a village located 8 miles away from Matupi town, was raised up in year 2000. The church life began with 10 families. Now, there are 30 families with over 109 saints meeting regularly. We met and blended with 77 local saints. We visited another village, Pha Neng, where the church life started in year 2000. Right now, there are 18 families with over 96 saints. Although these two villages are located in the rural areas, the saints were standing firm for the Lord’s testimony. While fellowshipping with the local saints, we were encouraged to see that the hearts of the saints were not merely for their locality. They were willing to send their young people to attend the Full-time Training in Yangon that the young generation can be perfected. Currently, 12 young people who were just graduated from the FTT were from these two villages and a few more are still in the training.
The church life in Mindat began with four saints. Recently, there are 15 saints meeting together. At least three saints had gone through the Full-time Training in Yangon. We visited Mindat and had mutual encouragement by being with the saints. Despite few in number, the saints in Mindat stand strong in the Body and see the importance of the blending in the Body. In the mutual fellowship, the saints expressed the burden on the practical way to be built up in the Body through praying and interceding for one another in love, particularly for the growth in life. Through the testimonies by the serving ones and the trainees, we were being reminded to see, to know, to honour and to care for the Body of Christ because the life which we received is a Body life, a corporate life. In our prayer, we asked the Lord to bring all the saints into the fellowship of the Body and to stand firm in the Lord for His testimony.
The church in Pakokku consists of 25 saints, with the majority of them being campus students while the minority are the working saints. We met with the saints in the late afternoon when most of the campus students finished their classes. During the meeting, the trainees shared on their experiences of the Lord’s leading them to join the training and their enjoyment in the training. In the fellowship, the brothers encouraged the students to be vital, functioning members of the Body of Christ by living the church life, preaching the gospel and serving together with the local saints. Furthermore, the students were helped to see that they need to dive into the word of God to be equipped. It is through the word that they can know His will and cooperate with the Lord. They were being encouraged to consecrate themselves to attend the training upon completing their studies to be perfected for the sake of the Lord’s move on the earth.
Full-time Training in Yangon (FTTY)
Yangon plays an important role as the center of the Lord’s work throughout the whole country. This is the place where Full-time Training in Yangon (FTTY) is located. We were able to meet with the trainees, coinciding with the first day of their pre-training. There were 108 trainees in their 28th intake, and we were full of gratitude to see the many young people who are willing to be trained for the Lord’s move. At their young age, they are willing to consecrate themselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord. In the fellowship, the serving brothers encouraged the trainees to pursue the subjective experience of God, to be educated for the sake of the economy of God and to be trained to have a good character. Training indeed provides an excellent environment to make a person right in order to be useful to the Lord. Through the training, the Lord establishes us so that He can gain more ground in us. These trained ones can be sent for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the Body of Christ. Seeing these dear young trainees in the training centre stirred us up to pray that the Lord will preserve them not only for the sake of this country, but for His entire Body.
Myanmar Gospel Book Room (MGBR)
Myanmar Gospel Book Room (MGBR) was established in 1995 by a few co-workers who are burdened to translate the riches of the ministry published by the Living Stream Ministry (LSM) to the Burmese language. There are altogether 14 serving ones in the translation work, currently labouring to translate the Holy Word for Morning Revival, the ministry books and the Collected Work of Witness Lee. The brother fellowshipped with us concerning the history of the Bible translation. When the Burmese Bible was first translated in 1834, many Burmese treasured this version. However, the brothers received the burden and took the opportunity to complete translating the Recovery Version of the Burmese Bible. Praise the Lord, the Recovery Version New Testament Bible in Burmese was completed and published in 2009, and the Burmese Holy Bible Recovery Version was completed in 2018. Now the brothers are working on the electronic version of the Bible that will be released this coming September. Through the Bible, many people came to the church life, and many local churches were raised for His testimonies.
Before our departure back to Malaysia, we were given the chance to visit the book room. While fellowshipping with these dear ones, we realized that we have taken things for granted. We have access to the riches of this ministry because it is presented in the languages that we can understand. However, there are parts of the Body that are suffering as the supply could not reach them due to the language barrier. While we are enjoying the supply from the ministry, do we care for those who cannot enter into the same enjoyment in the Body? The work of publication and translation are exceedingly important, without which, the riches of the house of Joseph is locked up, and the Body suffers great loss. On the one hand, it was so encouraging to see that the Lord has blessed this country with His interpreted word for the spread of His Body and the advancement of the gospel. On the other hand, we have no way to exclude ourselves from the struggle faced by these faithful labouring ones to make this ministry available to this country. As members of the Body, we pray that the Lord will supply them with His bountiful grace and meet their need in every aspect.
The church in Yangon
The church in Yangon consists of seven meeting halls. As a local church located at the center of the work, the church in Yangon plays an important role to coordinate with the workers for the perfecting of the young generation and the spreading of the divine truth in the whole country. We had a wonderful and sweet fellowship with the saints in Yangon. In the fellowship, the saints were encouraged to take up the burden in taking care of the small churches by their going and giving. At the same time, the brother fellowshipped concerning the burden of the literature work for the spreading of the church life and the burden of the full-time training. Praise the Lord for the church in Yangon. The more mutual fellowship we have, the more the saints are being brought into the same feeling with the brothers and with the ministry. Only when the church coordinates with the work and with the ministry can the Lord move in an unhindered way.
The Lord started His work of recovery in Myanmar in 1984. As we review the Lord’s move in this country for the past 35 years, He has indeed blessed this country, with good number of saints and churches and a solid structure of work—the full-time training center, the literature serving team, and His co-workers laboring in this country. The coordination of all these aspects in the Lord’s move is undeniably indispensable. Moreover, we have a deep sense that the Lord is working in a hidden and intrinsic way to produce His overcomers for the accomplishment of His will. No human utterance can ever describe the Lord’s move in this country in such an awesome way. We thank the Lord and worship Him for all the labouring ones. As we considered our trip made to Myanmar, we asked the Lord for His mercy to reveal to us His heart desire, and what He is doing today in His recovery, in an intrinsic and organic way.
Dear beloved saints, the Lord desires the Body. The urgent need in the Lord’s recovery today is that all the saints and all the churches can be brought into the reality of the Body of Christ. Without this vision, every service that we render to the churches and to the saints would be completely in vain. In May of 1994, brother Lee said,“In approximately 1980 I began to see the truth of God’s economy. To open up the entire Bible from the first page to the last is needed, but what is the central matter in the Holy Bible? This central matter is the economy of God. The economy of God is for the Body of Christ. After seeing this, I checked with myself, “Where is the Body of Christ? You have opened the Bible book by book to the saints, and there are more than sixteen hundred local churches raised up on this earth, but where is the Body? You have the churches, but where can you see the Body?” Because of this, I became burdened. I said, “Lord, I must confess to You and admit that although I saw the Body of Christ and I preached and taught the Body of Christ for years, even I myself am not very much in the reality of the Body of Christ.” I was confessing my dullness and shortcomings to the Lord concerning this matter. Thus, the present burden has come to me. You should not pay so much attention to the spreading of the recovery, to the increase of the churches, and to the good meetings of the churches. You must realize that there is a great lack, a shortage, that is, the reality of the Body of Christ. It is for this reason that there is a need for the blending.” (Practical Points Concerning Blending, ch. 2). We prayed that through this trip, the Lord can uplift us to have the same soul with the Lord’s faithful servants gone before us, to render Him our highest cooperation, that He can accomplish His purpose in Myanmar, in Malaysia and in the whole inhabited earth.