November 9, 2018
From Davidson Lay Beh —
Greetings from United Kingdom! Though the Feast is over since the 1st of October, I continue staying in Sakhangyi till the last week of October. As we have been living in the village, the place where there is no internet access so I could not send the report earlier. As we had 70 days visa we could stay longer with our brethren there which becomes more encouragement for each other so this is the privilege time God has given us to be together.
We flew back to the UK on the 31st of October and we arrived back in the early morning on the 1st of November. As I felt not so well just before we left for the UK now by God’s grace I am better but not yet hundred percent.Please remember our family in your prayer and for my wife and I especially as we plan to go back and live in Myanmar in the next two years in order to do God’s work and help our brethren there. Here is the attachment of the report of the Feast of Tabernacles in Sakhangyi this year.
Feast of Tabernacles 2018
United Church of God, Sakhangyi, Myanmar
Sakhangyi village is located seven nautical miles from Myaung Mya, one of the towns in Delta area, lower Myanmar, 102 miles southern part of Yangon, formerly Rangoon, the capital of Myanmar. The area has tropical weather which is hot while there is no rain but sometimes the temperature is fine.
The villagers use long-tail boats to travel to Myaung Mya as currently the car road is under construction. The journey from Sakhangyito Myaung Mya takes an hour by the long-tail boat. It is believed that in two years, the car road will reach Sakhangyi where water way will be no more required. From then we will be able to travel from Yangon to Sakhangyi directly by vehicle. This is good news for our brethren overseas who are wishing to attend this country side Feast site in the future. There will also be more new comfortable hotel in Myaung Mya by that time. Sakhangyi is about ten minutes walk from the jetty, where the boats stop. It is surrounded by the paddy fields from four corners and green paddy fields can be viewed during the Feast season which looks so nice.
There are 13 baptised members, two prospective members and 20 children which consists of 35 people in this congregation. In the normal time some children are away from Sakhangyi for their job to earn their life or to support their family. Moreover two families live away from Sakhangyi so they are not able to assemble with the other members for the weekly Sabbaths. But they come back for the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles each year. There are about 14 people who regularly attend the weekly Sabbath services. I tried to send translated sermons or church articles to both sakhangyi and the spreading family in regular basis for the Sabbath days services. To have a close relationship with the spreading family, we agree and decided that Saw Law Eh, the deacon will be visiting them two to three times a year for weekly Sabbath services.
We hope to receive minister visit in the future as we are one of the congregations in the United Church of God. But honestly, for the time being there is no one in the congregation who is able to deal with the minister for the church issues as they cannot speak English. For this we have to take this into consideration of how to prepare the people to take part in this issue. However, as God gave me a certain talent, and as a middle man, I have done the best for the congregation by helping Saw Law Eh, the deacon to prepare and translate the sermons of the church minister into our own native language so they are working a lot for the members. As necessary, I decided to go back again for 2020 Feast,then to stay there for a year. Members are hoping that I will be coming back to live with them if possible even permanently. We are praying to God, as His will, He will fulfill our hope. I myself also decided to move back to Myanmar and live there, doing the work of God as He has given me beautiful talent to glorify Him. I dedicated to do my part in God’s work for the rest of my life.
Preparation for the Feast this year
My wife, myself and our younger daughter Elizabeth travel back to Myanmar a month earlier this year before the Feast as I had a lot to do before the Feast. I need to renovate my house, the house which we have lived for more than forty years. As we have to host our brethren come back from the remote area, we need a place so for that I tried to renovate my house .We also had to rebuild the tabernacle, the temporary hall for the services throughout the Feast. Last year we have used the temporary hall which we built in the land I have purchased near the play ground at Sakhangyi riverside. We no longer use that hall this year as it is very noisy area when people come and play that disturb our hearing during the services. By God’s grace all things had gone smoothly and finally we were ready to celebrate the Feast.
The congregation will continue to use this venue for next year Feast. As we have met and discuss, without our family they will do their best to celebrate the Feast again in the coming year of 2019. But we shall meet again in 2020 Feast. As Apostle James wants us to say, “If the Lord wills, and if we live,” in the end of 2020, we plan to build avenue for the congregation to use for the services.
Temporary building is ready to use for the Feast
Activity throughout the Feast
We had two services for the First Holy Day and the Eighth Day, the Last Great Day. Apart from that we had one service each day for the rest of the days. In between we also had Bible study on the weekly Sabbath Day. As we do not have the minister this year, I have prepared the best things I can. I have collected the suitable sermons which are related to the Feast from our church website, translated them to our native language then we used it. Morning service start at 10:30 AM and afternoon service start at 2:30 PM. We had at least one special music for all services and sometimes even two. I also tried to teach youths to sing in English language for the special music. Throughout the Feast, my wife tirelessly dedicated to play the piano for all hymns and sometimes for special music. She was very happy to glorify God with her talent God has given her. As sermons are translated into Karen language so also the hymns are translated to Karen language by myself so that the members can sing easily. We sometimes also watch Beyond today telecast and in case I made translation to our native language. This year we had a family who are not yet church members attending the Feast every day. Sometimes the temperature was obviously hot due to tropical weather so we have used hand fan to make ourselves a bit comfortable. This year members were improve in knowledge by learning the sermon delivered by Mr Jerald Aust title, “Why do we rejoice at the Feast of Tabernacles”. They learned that this is special time they meet each other, the signification of coming to the Feast, fellowshipping, talking to each other, sharing the past experience of each other also how to plan for another Feast. members were really edified by the sermons. We learned also the article title “The millennium Rule, the 1000 years reign” which is published by the church.
On the 27th night we had concert and talent show. We planned to make a small talent show at first but our friends from outside our church in the village have shown their enthusiastic to come and help us as they have more musical instruments and also player. As I have already mentioned last year that people in the village are familiar with the word “Feast of Tabernacles” so almost every year they knew what we doing, why we are celebrating the feast. As they wish to come to enjoy with us we also welcome them and we believe that as long as they come they will probably learn something related to the Feast later. They performed playing band, (wind instruments) and also playing guitar and singing. That night there were around 30 to 40 people (outsiders) coming to entertain the audience. We hosted them with a light evening meal. There were around 100 people in the talent night.
On the 30th of September our group travel to Myaung Mya to visit the place called ” Twisted bamboo hill”, a new under construction resort located about 8 miles west of Myaung, full of hills and far mountain ranges can be viewed from there. The purpose of this trip is to relax and to view and learn the environment around there. From Sakhangyi to Myaung Mya we traveled by long-tail boat which took an hour and then from Myaung Mya to that place it took about 25 minutes. We brought our lunch pack together and have eaten there. We wandering and looked around the area for an hour then we relax and have eaten for an hour. We left Sakhangyi 7:00 AM and arrive there by 9:00 AM. After looked around and have lunch, by 11:00 AM we come back and arrived back in Sakhangyi by 1:00 Pm.
This year as we have purchased church property mentioning at the top, so we used more money for that and we no longer need to use the money for them again for the coming years. We only have to keep our 2nd tithe for the food that we can for the coming years. We are grateful to the Church for supporting us 1000 USD which we can use to purchase especially Church properties.
PS. We received 170,000 MMK ( 114 USD ) free will offering for the two Holy Days during the Feast.