By Doug and Linda Pettit
The women of a large Li-su church in the Myanmar city of Myitkyina meet twice a month in various homes. The church is led by Pastor Ah Dee Che, who was our host while we were in Myitkyina. He is also the director of Loving Fountain Orphanage Center, one of the ministries of Asian Children’s Mission.
And the women love to meet together through the month. They are in no hurry. They pray LONG prayers, sing hymns in beautiful harmony and then one lady gives a message. Snack time is last.
We have noticed at each of the three home sessions we have attended the owner gets up and talks first. We can only guess at the content, but probably it is some type of greeting and very long.
We will never forget the length of their prayers, some up to 20 minutes !!!! And not just one person praying, but several !!!
This service was in the most beautiful home we have been in. It has tile floors and partially tiled walls. It is beautifully decorated, with expensive furniture. It is owned by a young couple who drive quite a distance to attend this church.
The young husband works as an independent broker in the amber rock business. He buys blocks of amber rocks from the amber diggers and processes them at home in his workshop.
One rock he showed us he bought for about $4000 and he can cut out about 3 bracelets out of it which will sell from $6,000-15,000 depending on grade. It takes approximately 2 hours to cut, polish one of these bracelets.
He has a very good business, but was very poor before getting into this business. First working as an employee of an amber business owner, he watched and learned, and then went out on his own.
He appears to be very generous. At the end of the women’s meeting he brought out a few gifts. The best was given to Linda, a beautiful large amber stone which can be mounted for a stunning necklace. Was she surprised !! Ah Dee Che said this type of gift is rarely given.
Also, he handed me and a couple of the leaders a sealed envelope. When we got back to room and opened, it was 10,000 kyats (pronouced chats) equivalent to about $10.00. With food so cheap we can use this money to buy meals for two days !!!!
He is leaving tomorrow for China to sell some beautiful circular amber bracelets. These can be valued up to $5,000. He asked for prayer as the trip can be dangerous and road goes through the area where the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) and Burmese Army often clash.
Also for more on amber mining see our story about the House Dedication Amber Mining in an earlier blog.