Church Bell Rings

In November of 2018, I led a team of 11 people from CityLife’s Knox, Casey and Manningham sites on a missions trip to Myanmar. We went to visit God’s Trio Partners’ (GTP) mission stations and training centres in Nyaungpinlay, Taketa, South Dagon, Bago, Htee Kyant, Thayet and Leti.

These communities are scattered across the nations with many of them isolated by great distances to the next town. We travelled many hours by bus to reach these seven communities; one of the most tiring legs was a 14-hour bus ride.

The keys leaders of many of these seven communities were trained in GTP’s 3-month Equippers training program that CityLife helps to fund; LifeTracks International is a key component of the training program.

The town of Thayet was a leper colony but a number of years ago, God swept miraculously across the town with healing and today, Thayet is no longer a leper colony but is recognised as a regular town. One of the core leaders in the town was herself healed of leprosy. Following her healing, she completed the LifeTracks International training course and started a church called the Tharyarkung Church. 

The church is thriving and reaching out to the surrounding communities. However, a great challenge that they faced was the need for the pastor’s husband to personally ride his motorcycle to the villagers each weekend to remind them of the church services and other outreach meetings. This is because the villagers have no watches or mobile phones so while tending to their farms and crops they are unable to keep track of time.

It has been the long-term desire of the church leadership to construct a bell tower in front of the church that could be used to notify the villages when it was time to gather for services. When the team from CityLife found out about this need, they made a decision to raise the funds necessary for the bell tower to be constructed, when they returned to Melbourne. Together the team raised approximately AUD2,700 for this project and sent it through to Tharyarkung Church. The bell tower was completed in May 2019.

Here’s the testimony from the pastor of the Tharyarkung Church.

First of all, Mingalarper (hello in Burmese), greetings to all of you in Sweet Jesus Name. Greeting and remembrance from Tharyarkung church members too. The church’s believers kept praying for the bell in the past and now they see the benefit in helping communities. Praise the Lord for His Grace and blessings.

There are lots of believers in our church who can’t read well and even can’t read calendar as well. Even most of the times they did not know the day of Sunday to worship God. Our family tried to help them get motivated and remind that tomorrow will be Sunday to worship God.  It was such a busy day on Saturday night having to go to each of their homes to give them reminders. But now when they hear the bell sound, they know tomorrow will be Sunday. We start ring the bell at 7am in Sunday morning for the Sunday school for kids, the kids are ready for it, rush and run immediately to the church. 9:30am for second bell for adult Bible study. 10:00am another bell ring, and they know that worship program going to start.

After they hear the bell ringing, all the adults completely come to the church, instead of going and remind each other at their homes. The pastor family as well as the church believers feels the pleasure and likes the pleasant sound when the bell starts ringing. And not only that, it’s the declaration for the non-believers in the village that Christians are worshipping God.

God bless you all.

Pastor Khim Mar Oo

Senior Pastor of Tharyarkung Church

It is so amazing how God can work through a small group of people to bless a whole community in another country.

Eva Yong