The new year for Shan Project has brought a lot of changes, and fulfilling of vision that has been invested in for many years. Finally after years of thought, prayer, discussions, and planning, the start of the Shan School of Biblical Studies has arrived!!!
Our team has all come together. Two members of the team arrived, with their son and are transitioning and setting up life, and all it entails including culture and language learning. They bring with them a lot of SBS experience Or third new team member is settling in for the year. She is serving with ESL teaching and various other things within the community, she is a huge help !!! The completion of the team to 9 adults and 3 children rounds out a very multicultural group, joining together from many continents around the world and ministering in Asia. Along with the participants, we form a heavenly dynamic with the expression of God manifest in cultures from around the world. And surely we draw a lot of conversation from our local neighbours.
ministry service positions, they leave a means of income, and they leave family members who have relied on them. Great sacrifice has been made by them all to come and give their lives this year to getting to know the God of the Bible.
We realized very quickly the love that the participants have for one another, and ultimately for the Lord. They exhibit a hunger to know the Word, to serve, to worship the Lord, and to love one another.
The first week of study, we thought it would be great for our participants to understand how the whole Bible fits together, so that when they get into each individual book of the Bible, they have a frame of reference for where it fits into history. Our translator was so excited at the content of the teaching that she has since asked for materials to share it with friends so that her friends can go and pass it on to people they minister to. Some of our participants were also so influenced by understanding how all the pieces of the Bible fit into the whole, that they have started teaching it themselves on the weekend to eager listeners.
Typically the learning environment in this part of the world does not foster critical thinking or independent thinking, but encourages memorization and reliance on professionals for knowledge and understanding. However, one of the keys to Inductive Bible Study is the fact that each student of the Word of God can gain good understanding of the Word as they study for themselves, letting the text of the Bible and the Holy Spirit teach them and form their understanding, so we spent a week introducing the concept of critical thinking.
Inductive Bible Study
Our translator shared that although she has been a believer since she was very young, and she is now in her 60’s, she has never heard anything like the Bible Overview class. During that week, God completely revived her faith and gave her the strength and vision to continue working in her churches. She is going to teach 10 other women in the Bible Overview teaching, who will then go out into all their villages and churches and pass it on. Already, God is multiplying the life-changing work of his Word.
Through Philemon, one lady felt convicted that she had refused to help another minister in a problem that was his. She is now going to seek him out and try to help.
Another young woman confessed with tears how she is like Onesimus and she needs to seek out the people she has wronged and tell them what she has done wrong, so there can be reconciliation. She will start with her husband, and then her family, her church and her community.
One girl shared how when the SBS is over, she wants to go to a remote area with 3,000 Shan people who have no gospel witness among them.
The gospel is being shared with their unbelieving family members.
We really appreciate your prayers and support of Shan Project and for coming alongside us in this venture. We are excited to see the fruit of many labours and sacrifices finally start to take shape. We need continual wisdom to know how to adapt to the needs of our participants, as well as insight from the Holy Spirit.
Things have been constantly changing and we face many challenges as we look at toward a possibly bigger group next year. Please pray for our health as it has been a real issue; as well as for the part-time group and defining there schedule , and for participants form this year to feel a sense of call to be trainers with us next year and to feel called to plant this in their home context, and for energy for all that is involved.