"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God's curse!" (Galatians 1:6-9).
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons" (1 Timothy 4:1).
In this day and age when everyone is expected to be "accommodating" of other's beliefs no matter what they are, many believers have also become too scared to speak up for the truth, even when obvious error is being spread. Millions of Christians think that by remaining silent they are being loving and gracious, but the reality is that God commands us to speak the truth, in love, and to not allow a different gospel to be preached, which will destroy those who hear it.
There is an interesting account about the Apostle John recorded by the early church leader Polycarp. John was living in Ephesus in his old age, and was the last living person to have personally known and walked with the Lord Jesus.
Polycarp shared that John was so old and frail that he had to be carried into the church meetings on a makeshift bed, and as the great apostle was carried to the front he would call out in the loudest voice he could muster: "Little children, love another!"
Can you imagine what it would be like to be at one of those services when the last living apostle was carried past you to the front, exhorting God's people to love? What an incredible experience that would be. That's the kind of Christianity most people want today: non-judgmental, encouraging, accepting, and kind....
Polycarp, however, also shared that John was carried to the Roman public baths each day, as was the custom of the time. One day when John looked across the room as he was washing, the countenance of the "apostle of love" immediately darkened and a stern look of terror came upon his face. He commanded the men who carried him around to pick him up and to leave immediately, before the building would collapse under the righteous judgment of God!
What happened to cause such a dramatic change in John's demeanor? What could be so awful that the apostle couldn't stay another moment in that place?
Polycarp tells us that John had noticed a man named Cerinthus across the room. This man was a heretic, one of the chief opponents of the gospel in his day. He taught that Jesus was not divine and that the resurrection hadn't taken place. The apostle who exhorted believers to love another refused to be in the presence of someone who promoted doctrines of demons which polluted the teachings of his beloved Lord.
Of the many initiatives that Asia Harvest is privileged to be involved with, our Bible projects are vitally important, as without God's Word to nourish new believers and establish them in the faith, there would be no churches to support and our other projects wouldn't exist.
One of the greatest blessings we have experienced over the years is to meet Christians from various tribes and ethnic groups. Although believers often speak different languages and come from vastly different economic and cultural backgrounds, we've seen how barriers can be broken down in seconds by the common bond of love for Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit in the hearts of our brothers and sisters.
This month we would like to share testimonies and pictures from a few Christians from the Khiamniungan tribe of western Myanmar (formerly Burma), obtained just moments after they received the first Bibles in their language for many decades. Our co-worker in the area said: "One church said they had been praying for 52 years for Bibles! 97% of churches did not have even one Bible. The Christians said this was one of the greatest days in the history of the Khiamniungan people. To God be all the Glory!"
The name 'Khiamniungan' means 'source of great waters.' Thanks to your prayers and generous support the Word of God is now freely available among this precious tribe. May it lead to renewal and revival, so that the Khiamniungan people will indeed be a source of blessing as living water flows from them to the hundreds of unreached tribes living in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Sowing into Fertile Soil
"My name is Ningpao and I am 40-years-old. My parents are farmers who worshipped demons. Our family was very poor and most of the time it was difficult to find food. No one in our village had ever heard about Jesus, because the government did not allow Christians to enter our area. We all lived in fear of the evil spirits.
I was sent to school at Khamti, and while there I saw some Naga people singing about Jesus. I had never heard anything like that before. I asked my friend who Jesus is, and he invited me to worship the living God. I loved the songs and was really interested in Jesus. I asked the pastor to share more, and for three nights he patiently explained the gospel to me. In August 1996 I accepted Christ as my Savior. From that moment I always went to the church, prayed, and worshipped the Lord. By God's grace I stopped drinking alcohol and taking drugs, and I quit smoking. My life totally changed after I accepted Jesus. I was so happy and I told everyone about what Jesus had done for me.
Then I encountered a big problem. My parents and all my relatives and the other villagers told me to stop being a Christian. "If you don't turn away from this foreign god," they told me, "then you are not allowed to stay in our village anymore." I didn't know what to do, but God spoke to me with a still, small voice, "Don't be discouraged, for I am your God and I will care for you and meet your needs." The next morning my parents and the village elders gathered to hear my answer. I told them: "I will never stop being a Christian." They forced me out of the village and told me to never return.
God always provided for me. I lived with a Christian family until I was married, and now my parents and everyone in our village has trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Hallelujah!
I always wanted to read the Bible, but there was only one copy in our church. Even though I have been a pastor since 1996, I never had my own Bible. I prayed earnestly for 23 years for a Bible, and today God answered my prayers. It is like a dream! My Bible is the most precious thing I have ever owned in my life.
Thanks to those who gave so my tribe can have God's Word. You have done a wonderful thing and provided the greatest need of our people. You have sown seed into fertile soil. Much good fruit will come from your loving help."
"My name is Kondou and I am 52-years-old. My parents were killed when I was two by underground rebels from India. As I grew up I often thought of committing suicide, because I was very lonely. I stayed in my village until I was 12. Then I was adopted by a family and I started school. I never went to church, but I always tried to make money and had no peace in my life.
In 2003 I crashed my car and was severely injured. I had to remain in bed for three years and could do nothing. In 2006, on June 30th, an evangelist came to my house and prayed for me. God answered his prayer and as soon as he finished praying, all my life and strength returned and I was totally healed! I immediately surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.
After I accepted Christ, my adoptive parents kicked me out of their home and all work was taken away from me. I was like a beggar with no job, no food, and no one in my life. But after three months a pastor called and gave me a job cleaning the church. I was so happy, because now I could stay in the church and I had enough time to pray and worship God.
When I asked the pastor where I could buy a Bible in my language, he replied sadly: "There are no Khiamniungan Bibles. Even if you have enough money, there are none for sale anywhere." I was so surprised by his words. From that time on I have been praying to God that we would have our own Bibles.
I prayed 13 years for a Bible. Now, this very day, God has placed a precious copy of His holy Word in my hand. Wow! What a wonderful blessing!
I wish to say a million times, "Thank you," because the greatest need of our tribe is to have God's Word. We have about 60,000 people in our Khiamniungan tribe, but without the Bible we would never develop in life or have revival. We would live in darkness, die in our sins, and face God's eternal punishment in hell.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude for what you have done by providing us with thousands of free Bibles in our language. They are being eagerly read by every family and lives are being set free and transformed by the Holy Spirit. Now that we have the key to success, I know our people will thrive. Thank you for your great support. God bless you."
"My name is Patsou and I am a Khiamniungan evangelist. I am 50 years old and I have five daughters and four sons. I grew up in a small village and my parents did not believe in any religion. Our family always struggled because my dad was an alcoholic. There used to be a Christian church in our village, but in 1997 the Burmese Army burned it to the ground. Even though it was never rebuilt, the Christians still worshipped God.
In 2000 I accepted Christ and experienced wonderful peace in my life, because I had Jesus inside me now. I shared with my parents and after three months they were also saved. Praise the Lord! Now all of my relatives have also accepted Christ, and our lives are much better. I thank God for that.
There were no Bibles in our village, not even in the church. So I would go to a church in the nearest town to copy some pages of Scripture. Then I would bring these pages back to my village and share them in our church. We were always sad and discouraged because we did not have a Bible. Our village pastor and the Christians have been praying for a Bible since long before I was a believer. They have been asking the Heavenly Father for Bibles since 1970.
I am so grateful for the wonderful love you have shown our Khiamniungan people. We can now stand proudly, because of God. Thank you for your great gift to us. The Lord has used you to answer 49 years of prayer that we could have God's Word."
"My name is Maung and I am 47-years-old. I have two sisters and seven brothers. My father led demon worship in our village and he always sacrificed to the spirits whenever there were problems.
Just before Christmas 1985 an evangelist visited our village and shared the gospel. The Holy Spirit deeply touched me and I understood where true peace comes from. I accepted Jesus into my life and was baptized. I shared all this with my father and he also surrendered to Christ. When he stopped worshipping the demons the people in our village were angry and forced our family to leave.
We faced many difficulties, but we always had peace in our family, because God's peace is greater than our problems. I did not have a Bible when I started serving God in 1985, but I was praying earnestly for one. In 1991 I went to India where I was able to obtain 12 copies, but when I carried them back into Myanmar the border guards confiscated all of them. I was very sad.
I had to borrow the only Bible at the church to prepare my sermons, but I was not allowed to take it home because that Bible belonged to the church. Finally, after 24 years of praying for Bibles God has answered our prayers! It is an incredible miracle and the Lord has surpassed anything we ever hoped for. Now we have thousands of copies of our Khiamniungan Bible, and they were even given to us as free gifts from loving brothers and sisters around the world. Thank you!
In my village there are 250 Christian families, but there was only one Bible. Now we received 300 Bibles! May the Lord bless you more and more. Your work is great!"
The Christians highlighted in this newsletter are representative of countless thousands of others who receive life-changing Bibles through Asia Harvest's two Bible projects. The China Bible Fund continues to strengthen and equip the house church believers in China. Each full Chinese Bible is printed and delivered for just $1.80, while the Asian Bible Fund continues to provide the Scriptures in numerous languages of Asia for an average of $2.70 per Bible.
If you would like to help provide God's Word to hungry believers like these, we invite you to fill out the yellow response form in this newsletter and send it back along with your gift. Alternatively, one-time or monthly donations to the project can be made via our website: www.asiaharvest.org