Today we attend the Nongkhan Church in Luang Prabang. I love walking to church. This pedestrian bridge over the river was a little rickety but it made the spiritual journey even more special.
The service is not in English. There are about 100 people. They are very friendly and welcomed us to worship.
The words were on the screen in Sanskrit, but occasionally a few English words would come up on the screen.
We sang beautiful Lao songs. There were three song leaders: two women and one man. They were accompanied by a guitar.
Clapping is a way to participate and lift up praise to God even when the only words that I recognized were Amen and Hallelujah and Jesu.
They opened their palms and sang the familiar tune of the Doxology in Lao.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Ms. Amphone was our worship leader. Prayers were led by Mr. Jonah and Mose. We recited the Apostles Creed.
Most impressive was the congregation’s commitment to memorize scripture. Last week, the verse to memorize was Luke 1:37.
For nothing will be impossible with God.
All who memorized it stood and said the verse in unison. Then everyone stood and said the verse together.
The memory verse for next week is Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
I think that this is an awesome practice. All the congregation accountable to each other for the memorization of scripture.
Psalm 119:105 also appeared on the screen. Perhaps this was a review.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
There are a lot of paths in Laos.
The Christmas season is upon us and they are preparing a large Christmas Celebration. We will be back in Luang Prabang so we are excited about participating.
While the offering was taken up, they played a familiar tune called I Surrender All. (I knew one pastor who disliked singing this song because he contended that all who sing it are liars. Only Christ surrendered everything. We are incapable.)
Scripture: Luke 10:11-20
A young mother named Meo sat behind me and told me the Bible reference so that I could follow along on my Bible App in English.
Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near. I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.
Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgement than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!
The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
Ounhuan is the Lao preacher. He comes today from a neighboring village. I was not able to understand his words but his message was heartfelt. Basically, I understood that any blessings we receive on earth pale in comparison to the blessing of being in heaven.
At the end of the sermon, the congregation exploded into applause. That was a first. I wasn’t sure if they were glad that we were finished or if they were appreciating his comments.
Even though we don’t know the words in Lao, when the pastor holds up the bread and the wine, we know that he is recounting The Last Supper from the Bible. We were given bread and grape juice at our seats and all ate and drank together.
After the service was over, we stacked up all the plastic chairs so that we could sit on the floor and eat lunch??? The noodle soup was very good but oh so spicey.
During this time, there were a few people who were being prayed for by the leaders of the church.
I first corresponded with Deb Freeman while looking for a church since we would be in Luang Prabang over a Sunday. We have been corresponding for months so we were thrilled to finally meet face to face. She joined us at the church.
Deb said that people will often have a dream after they have been told the gospel. It reinforces what they have heard and they then become believers.
Over 15 years ago, Deb saw a picture of a little girl from Laos in a cage. She felt that God was calling her to come to Laos…so she did. And she is here to stay. Initially, she was here to help set the children free, but now she feels the children are the people of Laos.
Here is an online article written about her 10 years ago.
Much has happened since then and she senses that God is opening doors for her to start a Christian church in Luang Prabang. She has her sights on an abandoned movie theatre called Siensavan which means Sound of Heaven. Isn’t that just like God?!
The facility is enormous and has all types of potential as there are bathrooms, kitchens, balconies, large rooms and even a library.
The auditorium space holds 500 people.
We prayed over this building and for Deb to overcome many obstacles to make this vision from God to produce miracles. Please join us in praying for her and Laos.
For nothing will be impossible with God.