This brief summary of the history of the PRC in Myanmar provided by Rev. Titus was first published in the April 2017 issue of the Beacon Lights, a PR young people's magazine. and is reproduced here with their permission as well as with the approval of the Hope PRC Council, which oversees the work in Myanmar.
A Short History of Protestant Reformed Churches of Myanmar (Burma)
Once, godly philosopher and theologian Augustine said, "Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." That is how the story begins, without our covenant God's drawing us with His covenant love, there will be no PRCM in this unfortunate country. It is a wonder of grace that, how we became reformed believers from no-missionary allowed country. So, I need to tell about my self, because that is the beginning of how PRCM started.
My name is Rev. Titus San Ceu Luai. I was born in 1967, from a nominal Christian home, in Baptist Church. My father was a military officer with excellent ability for the army, trained the best and highest military school of the land, so he did not care very much about religion, but my grandpa was a pastor in Independent Church of Burma, my mother also a Christian namely but a little more concern with religion than my father. My parent had four children, I am number two. In that way I was brought up in a highly military officer's home, guns were every day in my life, but no Jesus.
And in his providence, the Lord send three evangelists, from one of evangelicalism groups, to our home, when I was about 18 years old, and I was converted for His mercy and grace. In that was I became one of evangelical persuasion Christian from Baptist. That was about 1984.
And round about 1986, one of my uncles from mother's side came and visit our house, he was founding pastor of Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. And he was surprised that our family now believe really to the Lord, he said when he was young he visited our house but my father did not like to talk about Christianity at our house, but now everything changed. So, he said he will teach us Five Points of Calvinism and we all agree to listen. He taught us night after night for almost a week, and especially I was really changed into Presbyterianism after that. And my uncle told me that he going to open soon a theological school and if I interested I can attend.
So, I attend that Presbyterian school in 1987. And my uncle's church was Chin speaking church and my father's house after some time had a fellowship group meet regularly, and need a pastor and my uncle's church cannot give a Burmese speaking pastor, so when I was at school first year, the Assembly of Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Myanmar called me as probation-pastor for that little Burmese speaking congregation, I speak both Burmese and Chin language, because my father and mother are Chin tribe and the place I was born and grown up is Burmese speaking place, in fact, in our country too many languages are speaking till today, and majority can understand Burmese language, it is like common-language for the whole country. And finished at 1992, after that the Presbyterian gave me ordination, since my probation period was over and I got married. As Presbyterian system's way, first pro-pastor four plus married then ordination, quite different from we Reformed church.
And from 1992 as soon as I finished school, the Assembly call me to become a lecturer at the school since shortage of able teacher. And I study a lot for teaching as well as for pastoral work and realized that Reformed mean not only Five Points of Calvinism but much more and no one here to teach me, and liberal at my school only had very few books. At that time the country was ruled by Socialist government so Christian books are banned and very rarer to get. In that way the thirst in my heart to know more of Reformed truth goes on.
And in 1994 the school asked me to go for further study to Singapore at Far Eastern Bible College, M.div program. And I sent and found out that that college taught 50 - 50 to be saved, that means man 50 % God 50 % working for salvation, I was dismay and confused, away from country, away from my wife and daughter, felt very sorry. But the Lord had other purpose for me to be there.
That was, I found a magazine from college library called "Standard Bearer," and articles I read I agree 100 %. So, I wrote to the address, but no reply for quite some time. During that time one of my fellow students who was a member of Evangelical Reformed Churches of Singapore, invited me to attend "Reformation Lecture," that held at his church. I followed him, and after lectures finished, there tea time at the basement of the church, I found one white man with a brooch "seminarian." I asked that young man where he came from, he reply me he came from America, and I ask him whether he knew "Standard Bearer," he said he came from that school, I was so happy, his name is Allen Brummel, now Rev. Brummel. He brought me to Rev. Kortering pastor-on-loan from PRCA, who is going to be my mentor and friend till today.
Rev. Kortering asked me what I want to know about Reformed truth. I reply him, I want to know everything of Reformed, I want to see the world as a Reformed man, every-corner of life and doctrine. He said, "Oh, if that is the case we need to spend together sometime," I said that will be fine. From that day on every week I was in Rev. Kortering's house, listening whatever he said, and read books that he gave me to read, and attend all classes that he taught to ERCS. And the thirst that in my heart quenched. I became thoroughly Reformed man in PR tradition.
So, my church back home and my college in Singapore did not like me to become like that, so lastly they kicked me out from college as well as from denomination for what they called "too Reformed." That was 1997. My wife suffered the most, because we have no home only the Presbyterian School's apartment we stayed, and I was in Singapore, she with two little children were kick-out from the apartment no place to stay, but deacons from ERCS helped and she got managed to rent a small place to stay and waiting me to return. I returned home, and my former congregation also broke away from Presbyterian denomination and followed me, in that way we started Protestant Reformed Churches of Myanmar.
So, I was a Baptist, then evangelical, then Presbyterian, lastly Protestant Reformed. That was my pilgrim journey, still going forward. All these for His mercy and for His glory. My special thanks are to PRCA brothers who helped me all the time, especially Hope PRCA.
From 1997, our covenant Lord sustains His covenant people, so though our numbers very few, we stand for the truth, as our PR churches in the world do. We maintain, covenant view of family, no remarry after divorce, marriage is life-long, we strongly believe double-predestination, we strongly oppose common grace, grace is always particular, no grace whatsoever for reprobate. We also maintain, Heidelberg Catechism preaching, we are the only one church do that in our country, we sing only Psalms, for that we have to translate English Psalms songs into Burmese, quite difficult, so, we have only about 23 songs, but we are happy to sing them, no other songs in worship.
We had from 1997, quite a numbers of contacts in various parts of our country who are interested in our PR views, till today we continue to work with them. And Hope PRCA always helps us to do that, and they faithfully oversight our activities as well as come and visit and conduct seminars, so that those who wants to know PR views of Reformed truth can learn more in-depth.
And from 1997, since no Reformed creed is available in Burmese language, I have to translate them, so I did, and finished all our three forms of unity, Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, Cannons of Dordt. And Church Order of Dordt, various forms of Reformed liturgy. Which are so difficult, many nights very few hours to sleep.
And PR books that produced by RFPA are so faithful to the truth, I like them to be read by my people, but they cannot understand English, so I have to translate them into Burmese, so I did, and finished a few books, Doctrine According to Godliness, Portraits of Faithful Saints, Contending for the Faith. And now I am translating For Thy Truth Sake. Plus, various articles of Standard Bearers, which I put them in my weekly paper, called, "Sunday Digest." And I finished PR Catechism materials for various ages of children and youth.
And our Burmese Bible was written by Baptist-Arminian missionary, so a lot of areas need to improve, so I translate KJV into Burmese and now finished all NT books, plus some OT books, all 150 Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, now I start the book of Deuteronomy.
Please pray for us to spread our PR truths through out the country, our country is Baptist dominant country in Christendom, and majority are not Christian. So, we have a lot to do for His kingdom. And pray for those translation works to finish for His glory. And please pray for publishing those books that finish translation. And one more thing to request for prayer is that to establish Reformed day-school for our covenant children. Last time till 2010, our government does not allow to have private school all school is run by government, and from 2010 it was allowed to have private school but not yet Christian school, and private school that teaches their own prescribed subjects, only all private schools are now allow to teach government prescribed subjects, all humanistic and nationalistic views. But from 2015, things a bit changed with newly elected government led by Nobel-prize winner, Lady Aung San Su Kyi. So, in His providence through your prayers we might have our own covenant-school.
In His service,
- PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - December 10, 2017
- PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - December 3, 2017
- Reformed News Asia - November 2017
- PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - November 26, 2017 *(Updated)
- PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - November 19, 2017