Jeremiah 29:11 is commonly misquoted out of its context: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Put in its own context, God said, "I am sending you into exile" (what a sad news!); "Don't worry, it's for your welfare... for I will prosper you in the land (v. 11), but in the meantime it is going to be tough."
The idea of 'Thriving in exile'
How can we be thriving in exile? We have come here in this foreign land by choice, not as exiles. However, the same principles and God's plan for his people in exile also apply to us in order to thrive in this city.
1. Be Present and involved (29:5).
It's God's will that we embrace and accept life in the land/city, to be busy with our daily works, with meaningful projects, to engage in the activities around. Indeed, we don't belong to this world but we need to be faithfully and actively present to succeed in this city.
2. Be Productive (29:6).
We are encouraged to plan marriage, for life goes on for God's people. So we are called not only to maintain but to increase and multiply here.
3. Be Integrated (29:7)
It's God's plan to prosper us, to give us hope and a future. So, even as we are to share the welfare and destiny of the city and pray for the city. We are here for the good of the nation, for the welfare of the society out there, so we shouldn't meet as a separated group cut away from the nation, not become a social club for our own good only but embrace and include one another for God's purpose of the welfare of the land.
4. Be Blessed (29:11-14).
We are also called to bless the nation here for their welfare is our welfare too. We're not to be self-cared or separate ourselves from the city.
This international congregation was started by Dr. Ang Lee Kwang in 2000 as YEFC. Yangon those days was very different from the city you now know it. It was the last place most people would want to visit. In mid 2000s under Pastor Song Tjoa this fellowship began to develop our common identity as New Life International Fellowship. It is the grace and goodness of God for our existence today in 2020. HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY of NLIF!
Come join our English service at this International Church in Yangon.
We are an evangelical congregation emphasizing Bible centered and Spirit-empowered living. We hope to be a blessing to you.