Many of you will remember reading in past reports about an 80 year old Lahu pastor named Chalit (we called him Mr. S at the time). One of our volunteers (pictured at right with brother Chalit) traveled to a Lahu Bible distribution in 2016 and met brother Chalit and heard his story. One of the founding fathers of the Lahu Baptist convention, brother Chalit had traveled 150 miles from the Chinese-Burmese border to get his churches first Bibles. The church had waited many decades to receive their first Bibles.
The lack of Bibles was causing many problems in the Lahu churches, so beginning in the year 2000, Lahu pastors and Christians started praying that the Lahu people would have their own Bible in the next century. God began to answer their prayers in 2015. By 2016, brother Chalit came the 150 miles to get his churches first Bibles.
When I (Tim) went to the next Lahu Bible distribution in November of 2017, I received bittersweet news: brother Chalit had gone to be with the Lord just three days before the meeting. It was clear by the look on many of the pastor's faces when this news was shared that brother Chalit had a tremendous impact on many in the room. He had been faithful to shepherd his flock.
I was struck by the fact that he was finally able to get his sheep their first Bibles after all those years of waiting and praying, then died only one year after receiving his churches first Bibles. What if we had been delayed by a year? I have heard many stories and testimonies of believers dying before they saw their prayers answered for their own Bible. News of brother Chalit's death made that reality clearer for me and has animated me since then to work as hard and as fast as I can to get Bibles to the tens of millions of believers who are waiting. Our work is not just getting God's Word to waiting Christians however; we are being used by God to directly answer these precious believer's prayers. Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4 describe the prayers of God's people as being incense which goes up before Him. That prayer for Bibles by the Lahu and many, many other people groups reaches God's throne as a sweet aroma. God then responds in his timing and wisdom. We get to be a part of Yahweh answering those prayers! What a privilege to be a part of this.
We and our friends and partners keep pressing on to make sure sure that no Christian dies before their prayers for a Bible can be answered. We work so that shepherds like brother Chalit see their sheep equipped with the Word of God before they go to their heavenly reward.