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Update from Burma

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December 12, 2013

Update from Burma

Tens of thousands of Baptists gather in Burma/Myanmar for the 200th Anniversary celebration of Baptists in Burma.

by Evelyn Hanneman

The 200th Judson anniversary celebration is over. They report that 30,000 people registered for the event and another 14,000 people just showed up. Various churches and seminaries as well as individual homes provided food and offered lodging so all could attend. Breakfast was served by 5:30am so people could catch the early buses to the celebration site. The cooks stirred vegetables in huge woks over open fires almost 24 hours a day to keep the supply of food coming.

Percy Walley, BPFNA Friendship Tour member, said, "Even more than the services at the festival center, I was impressed with the service provided by the Pwo Kayin Theological Seminary (where our friend Ko Ko Lay is president) in feeding 20,000 people a day and housing several thousand."

The non-Christians were impressed that there was no fighting, drinking, or problems despite the number of people and the crowding, unlike the Buddhist festivals. The taxi drivers had a major increase in business, and the shops and hotels in the area experience an increase as well.

The exuberance of the singing was inspiring. The joy of being together was evident in the faces and the hand clasps and the picture taking.

Molly Marshall, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, wondered if anyone had ever seen so many Baptists together.

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