I am thankful to have a chance to share my testimony today. First of all, I would like offer thanks to this country and the Americans for helping us and letting us stay here. On behalf of my family and the Chin Community in Richmond, I would like to let you know how grateful we are to be here at Tabernacle. My name is Cung Thawng and I have two sons. I was in Malaysia for about 13 years and I was jailed three times during those years; one time with my wife, Hlei Iang. We were sent back to Thailand but since we were not able to go back to Myanmar, we returned to Malaysia again. Because of the love of God and with the help of UNHCR, my family and I arrived here in Richmond on February 11, 2009.
I would like to share our first night experience at the Tree House Apartments when we arrived here. It was a little depressing because of the coldness during that time. The snow came heavily one week prior to our arrival in Richmond. We did not know our air conditioning was on. Therefore, we had to cuddle up in a blankets. Some of us sat on the couch while others were in the bedroom. Thinking back those times, it was a fun experience. A few weeks later, I met Eric and Tee Moo at an ESL Class at Colonial Apartments. We learned about there about Tabernacle and came to worship our God with you. We were warmly welcomed by the church and its members. We found happiness and love here. As time has passed, we have come to to see that even though all of us have different backgrounds, we have a strong cord that binds us all together here at Tabernacle. This is a church we now call our home. As a child relies on his parents; we look up to you. As you welcomed us as new members on July 26th, 2009, I felt as if was I was coming to my parents’ home! Our burden and worry were forgotten!
I can still see in my imagination the first time we met. You worked very hard to welcome and communicate with us even though we did not speak each other’s language, and yet, I could understand you through your facial expressions. It seemed as you were talking to us in our mother tongue. Your love and help guided us to to a path to who we are today. I am very grateful to each and every one of you, especially the Judson Sunday School Class teachers. I would also like to invite you to our Chin worship service on every Saturday. Laura Severns has joined us for many years and now, she can even read and sing in Chin. I would like to thank her as well.
Tabernacle and it’s members are our backbone, strength and wellness…… like the well of Bethsaida. I find peace, joy and strength among all of you. I am proud and grateful to call Tabernacle, “home”. Perhaps, yours as well. I truly believe that Tabernacle Baptist Church is a blessing from God for all of us. I know that you all honor and love Christ as you are loved; I believe that we all go forward one step at a time supporting each other. Take care of one another, as we are all one in Christ! I believe and see that as we go forward in the future, many of us will have to sit in the balcony during worship, as there will be more members! This is a blessed home!
I am grateful and thankful to have you in our lives, for everything you have done for us. Thank you.
– Cung Thawng
My Prayer for Tabernacle
- I pray for our pastors, deacons, and all of our educators, as they guide us to welcome believers and non-believers alike.
- I pray that Tabernacle will continue to welcome everyone without segregation so that anyone can look upon us and be drawn to the heart of who Christ is calling us to be.
- I pray for the financial resources that will be necessary for the renovation of our buildings so that we can complete the project without burden.