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  • July 1, 2013
  • By Kurtis
  • Comments Off on An Expedition Update and Outline of Several Objectives
  • in Newsletter, Preparations

An Expedition Update and Outline of Several Objectives

“These towers … form one of the finest sights in the world … when they are lighted up by the sun they shine most brilliantly and are visible for a vast distance.”—Marco Polo, Christian Explorer

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An Update from the Team Leader

Our departure date is quickly approaching. One week from today, on Monday, July 8, the rest of my team will join me in Los Angeles, California to board a flight which will take us to the distant land of Burma. As we are completing the final logistics and purchase of equipment for the expedition, I want to take a moment and thank you for partnering with us in this grand endeavor!

Many of you have shared with me that you are continually praying for this expedition and for that I am extremely grateful. Without the blessing of the Lord on this project we would certainly fail. But with the united body of Christ praying for the success of our mission, I trust that the Lord will work through us and for His glory as we proclaim the testimony of His truth in Burma.

Please continue to pray for the effectiveness of our gospel witness in the country as we proclaim the gospel to lost souls, minister to the Christian churches, examine Adoniram Judson's legacy of exploration and evangelism, present Buddhism from a biblical perspective, and research the dominion-taking and stewardship activities of the region. We earnestly need your prayers.

I also want to share with you several of the objectives we will accomplish in Burma, by God's grace and provision.

Our course be onward still,

Kurtis Amundson,
HJS Team Leader


Several Expedition Objectives

Our travels will take us through many varying locations. We will visit the former capital city of Yangon, traverse the bustling market atmosphere of Mandalay, explore the desert ruins of Bagan, take a rigorous trek up the tallest volcano in the flood plain, and visit the secluded villages of the Karen. These are some of the locales we will be visiting and our objectives are outlined below.

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Shwedagon Pagoda

Also known in English as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, this gilded pagoda and stupa, located in Yangon, Burma, reaches 325 ft tall. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill, thus dominating the skyline of the former capital city. While in Yangon, our team will examine the comprehensive cultural effect that the idolatrous worldview of Buddhism has on the Burmese people — from the structure of their families, to their modes of worship, the role of civil government, and their own personal practice.

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The Flourishing Gospel

Since the first established churches by Adoniram Judson in the 1800s, Christianity has become deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chin, Karen, Lisu, Kachin, and Lahu peoples and has grown strong through many adversities. Today 3% of Burma’s population are Protestant Christians. With an estimated 1,450,000 Christian population, the cultural impact of a godly society continues to grow. In our examination of the Burmese culture, our team will meet with Christian leaders in the local churches to discuss the state of the church, its role in promoting the transformation of culture, and praising God for the wonderful advance of His kingdom in a hostile land.

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Ancient Imperial Capital City — Ava (Inwa)

Located in the south of the Mandalay Region, the city of Ava was the capital city of Burma when Adoniram Judson arrived in 1813. As part of our study on the legacy of Judson, we will travel to this now desolate city to visit the place where Judson spent a remarkable part of his life. We will visit the palace where he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ before the king, the prison where he was imprisoned for nine months during the war with England, and also the monasteries where he spent time conversing with the Buddhist leaders on the truths of the Scriptures. We'll walk the same streets, enter the same buildings, and see the same sights as Adoniram Judson did 200 years ago, capturing a record of these historic and culture-changing events.

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Bagan — Capital of the Kingdom of Pagan

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Burma. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day. It was the incredible sight of these numerous structures which caused the Christian explorer Marco Polo to remark, “These towers … form one of the finest sights in the world … when they are lighted up by the sun they shine most brilliantly and are visible for a vast distance.” In Bagan, we will showcase the legacy of Christian exploration and recount God's devastating judgement against this idolatrous kingdom which brought about its ruin.

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Mount Popa — 4,981 ft. Volcano

Another exciting objective for our team will be traveling to Mount Popa, a 4,981 foot volcano known to have last erupted around 442 BC. Mount Popa is classified as a stratovolcano which has built up over time by layers upon layers of erupting lava. Unlike the majority of stratovolcanoes, Mount Popa has a caldera nearly one mile wide and half mile deep which was formed by the collapse of land following an eruption. As we trek through the forest towards the volcano's summit we will study the wide variety of wildlife which inhabit the mountain, including monkeys, butterflies the size of handkerchiefs, as well as other unique and extraordinary creatures. Upon summiting the volcano we will have an opportunity to look far and wide at the work of God's hands and the majesty of His name in all the earth. As we descend, our team will visit the Nat monastery built atop the volcanic plug called Taung Kalat, where we will again examine the cultic out-workings of Buddhist philosophy and present a Christian perpective.

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Inle Lake and the Karen

Among the marshes in eastern Burma we will travel to Inle lake, which sits like a puddle on an enormous carpet of greenery. On this lake we will see a surprising example of dominion and stewardship — stilt-house villages and floating gardens. We will record their ingenious farming methods and the way they have sought take advantage of the available resources the lake offers.

From Inle we will travel south to the Karen people where Adoniram spent the last part of his life's work. We will meet with the Christians among the Karen, examining the effect Christianity has brought to their culture and the influence they have had in the politics of the country. We will also seek opportunities to preach the gospel alongside the local pastors and to minister to the churches there.

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Thank you for your prayers and support as we desire to follow the Lord’s leading in proclaiming glory of God and the testimony of the gospel to people who need to hear of the saving message of Christ.

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