“I am with you always” - Matthew 28:20

I am pondering over the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:20 as I, Elder Patrick Lim and Mr Bob Kiew (SBPC) get ready to go on a mission trip to Myanmar. What does Jesus mean when he says, “I am with you always” when he gave us the Great Commission?The well-known conservative Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says it means that Jesus will be with those who go to make disciples and win converts “all the days”. They say, “all the days” mean till the very end when “making converts, baptizing, and building them up by Christian instruction” would no longer be necessary. That I believe, like all God’s promises, is faithful and sure. However, I am also apprehensive about the difficulties and challenges in Myanmar – a country and people emerging slowing from decades of closed, inward-looking military rule. It is strongly Buddhist and Buddhism permeates all its culture and society. Can we ever make any meaningful impact? However, as the pictures here show, there are disciples to make and converts to win. The picture on the left shows the “cottage” church that our evangelists, Mr. Ai Kham Ko ministers in. It is in a remote village several hours by car from the capital Yangon. Facilities are starkly basic and resources are poor. Yet, Kham Ko is not deterred. In fact, just this last week he reported that two new converts were given by God to him. Halleluiah! Slow but sure progress. The other evangelist that we support Rev. Lal Rem Thang (we know him better by his nick name, “Heli”) and his brother minister in a church in the city. The church also serves as a bible school, currently with a dozen students, some of which are in the class picture on the right. The task for any evangelist or missionary is an enormous one, not only in Myanmar, but all across the mission fields we are active in in Asia. We shouldn’t let the seemingly insurmountable task itself deter us. Neither should the number and frequency of converts be a deterrent. I call to mind, a sermon once preached by the “prince of preachers” Charles Spurgeon, in part, he said, Let not the missionary be afraid, even if for thousands of years to come there should be little apparent success to the preaching of the Gospel. If the Lord should tarry another 6,000 years, yes, six thousand years—and He may—we are still to go on working, still to go on labouring, looking for His coming and expecting it, but not relaxing our efforts because He pleases to delay it, for the Lord has sworn that all flesh shall know His Glory and you may depend upon it—there is no spot of earth that shall be left to be Satan’s dominion! Encouraging words! With your prayers and support, the church will press on. Pastor Robert