Connecting Community through Books & Conversation
It's the third week in our Month of Harvest campaign, and we've got a great story to share about a creative outreach that Firefall has been funding since day one.
Three and a half years ago, we partnered with Pastor David and House of Glory Church in a creative vision to lift their city through the establishment of a reading room. We rented a small room, bought books, tables, chairs and some tea making equipment. We held a party to launch this gift to the community. Pastor David selected a key woman, full of the love of Jesus, gracious and a woman of books, to be the hostess of the room. To our great joy, this "God idea" has developed in most amazing ways.
Here's how it works, The Burmese people love to read and drink tea together, talking about what they are reading. The people are avid readers. Sadly, Pastor David's city has no lending library facility as we would know. We outgrew the small room quite early on and rented a much larger place, with room for many more books and an outside seating area for community discussions about good literature, hosted by Pastor David on Saturday afternoons. During these sessions, he takes off his pastor "hat" and puts on his "reading man" hat, facilitating lively discussions with Buddhist military officers, monks, medical doctor, politicians and anyone else who wishes to pay the one dollar membership to join the Reading Room.
We now have nearly 900 members. Sometimes the topic is a Burmese novel, sometimes it is world religions. At this time, Pastor David is well equipped to answer their questions about the person of Jesus Christ. If someone wants to know more about this Jesus, Pastor David or church members will meet them at their home or at a public tea shop to share further. We keep the Reading Room a neutral zone, there to lift the community and serve the many members from all walks of life. This concept has worked well.
The room has been the site of storytelling and speech competitions for school children. A national news team brought their cameras and interviewed Pastor David and the hostess. Goodwill is growing between community leaders and Pastor David, thanks to this unique outreach. Some are contacting him to ask more about this Jesus.
Recently, a man of influence met with David in a tea shop to learn more about Jesus. After three months of talking, he shared his desire to follow Jesus all the days of his life. Then he asked about water baptism. He destroyed the many idols his family had worshipped for decades. Recently, David had the joy of baptizing this man and his son. They are now members of House of Glory…all because of the reading room.
How can you help the reading room?
Are you a book lover or fellow reader who would like to see this outreach continue to flourish? Help us keep the Reading Room and other projects growing by donating to our October goal of raising $50,000.
We're 29% there, but we need your help to continue the work you have helped us start in nations like Myanmar. Use the button below to give and find specific prayer points below.
Prayer Requests for the Reading Room
- Continued favor with the community, growing relationships with the members, hungry hearts open to the news of Jesus Christ
- A desktop computer, printer and shelf
- Monthly funds to supply daily newspapers, weekly journals and monthly magazines to serve the members more fully