Friday, June 12, 2009

Rev. Dr. Robert G. Johnson Tuanbia Tawi

Miphun hawi hna,

Siangbawi te chungkhar nih kuat mi English in, zapi rel khawh ding in keimah nih Lai holh in ka leh mi a tang ah a um. Attach file in kan kuat chih hna.

Bawipa rian ah,

C. Duh Kam

Obituary for Robert G. Johnson

Rev. Robert G. Johnson, 94
Missionary, Architect, Bible Translator and Author

Rev. Robert G. (Bob) Johnson, 94, a Baptist missionary to the Chin people in the western mountains of Burma (now Myanmar), died of complications from pneumonia on June 9,2009 at the Health Center of Plymouth Village, Redlands, California.

Rev. Johnson was born in Chicago, Illinois, graduated in 1938 from Wheaton College in Illinois. He was married to the former Elizabeth Luella Kortum of Decatur, Illinois in 1941. The couple were commissioned as missionaries of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and designated for service in Burma. War intervened, and Rev. Johnson served as a Navy chaplain in the south Pacific during World War II. Rev. and Mrs. Johnson began their missionary service in 1946, passing through Assam, India to enter war-torn Burma. The Johnsons served in the Chin Hills for twenty years, raising three children there while running Bible schools, touring remote areas accessible only on foot or by pony, running a dispensary, and doing translation of the Bible, Sunday School materials, and hymns. Rev. Johnson designed and oversaw construction of many wooden-framed and rammed-earth Bible school buildings in both Falam and Haka (now Hakha) in the Chin Hills. Toward the end of this missionary service, understanding that the mission field in Burma was closing to foreigners under the new socialist military government, Rev. Johnson designed and oversaw the construction of a large stone church in Haka built almost entirely by hand, with the only powered machinery being a stone saw powered by a single-cylinder kerosene engine and a war-surplus truck to haul stone and other supplies.

Rev. Johnson, a graduate of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, received the Doctor of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in recognition of his missionary work in Burma.

The Johnsons relocated to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, near the mission headquarters in Valley Forge in 1966. Rev. Johnson served on the Board of International Missions, overseeing mission work in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Zaire, with continuing work on Bible translation into the Hakha Chin language, until his retirement in 1980. From then until 1988, Rev. Johnson immersed himself in research for writing and self publication of a massive two-volume History of the American Baptist Chin Mission, a serious and authoritative record of the introduction of Christianity into the Chin Hills of Burma by missionaries of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society between 1899 and 1966.

Rev. and Mrs. Johnson moved to Moreno Valley, California in 1988 and then on to the Plymouth Village retirement community in 2001. In 2007, Rev. Johnson released a book entitled On the Back Road to Mandalay, on his and Mrs. Johnson’s twenty years of life and work in the mountains of western Burma.

Rev. Johnson is survived by his wife of nearly 68 years, Elizabeth (Betty Lue), three children (Richard Johnson of Churchton, Maryland, Kristin Knutson of Riverside, California, and Martha Martens of Dallas, Texas), seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. There will be visitation at Emerson/Bartlett Memorial Chapel at 703 Brookside Ave., Redlands, Ca. (909 793-2311) from 6-8PM on June 14, 2009. A memorial service will be held at Plymouth Village at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2009.

Following a memorial service at First Baptist Church, Redlands at 10 AM on June 15, interment will be in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California at 2 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory, designated for the Chin Christian College to:
Friends of Burma
548 Home Ave.
Ft. Wayne, Indiana 46807


Rev. Dr. Robert G. Johnson Tuanbia Tawi

Rev. Robert G. Johnson, 94
Siangbawi, Innsakthiam, Bible Lettu le Catthialthiam

Burma (Myanmar) nitlak lei tlang cung ah khuasa Chin miphun sinah rianttuanmi Baptist siangbawi Rev. Dr. Robert G. (Bob) Johnson, 94 cu kik fakdeuh tlaihnak in June 9, 2009 ni ah Health Center of Plymouth Village, Redlands, California ah a thi.

Rev. Dr. Johnson cu Illinois state Chicago khua ah a chuak. Illinois chung um Wheaton Collge in 1938 kum ah degree a lak. Illinois state Decatur khuami Pi Elizabeth Luella Kortum he 1941 kum ah an i tthium. An nuva in Burma ram ah siangbawi rian ttuan ding in American Baptist Foreign Mission Society nih an thim hna. Vawlei ralpi nih siangbawi rianttuan a donh hna caah, Rev. Johnson cu Vawlei Ralpi II chung cu Thlang Pacific ah tilawng ralkap hna lakah pastor (chaplain) rian a ttuan.

Siangbawi nu le pa Rev. & Mrs. Johnson cu 1946 kum in siangbawi rian an thok. India ram chung Assam kha tanpah in vawlei ralpi nih a hrawh ngaimi Burma ram chungah an lut. An nupa in Chin Hills ah kum 20 chung rian an ttuan. Hrinsor fa pathum cawmken pah in Bible sianginn an tuah. Rang cit le kekal in khuate kip an tlawng. Damnak sii peknak hmun an tuah. Bible an let. Sunday School cawn ding le hla cauk kha an ttial. Burma ram socialist cozah thar nih ramdang siangbawi rianttuannak an phih lai i siangbawi rianttuan can a dawng cang lai ti an theih in, hnawhsare in Hakha lung biakinn sak hram a thok. A kut in le thirnung (seh) fate in monghmi lung ahnak hluah, lungthiarnak truck chia nawn mi le zeidang thil hna hmang in biakinn cu a sakpi hna.

Rev. Johnson cu Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in a awng mi a si. Burma ram ah siangbawi rian a ttuannak kha upat theihpi in Northern Baptist Theological Seminary nih Doctor of Divinity degree kha an pek.

Rev. Johnson te nuva cu 1966 kum ah Valley Forge Baptist Mission Headquarters naihniam King of Prussia, Pennsylvania ah i tthial in khua an sa. American Baptist Churches i International Missions ah rianttuan in Hong Kong, Thailand le Zaire ram hna mission rianttuannak kha a tlaitu a si. Upat lei ah a rian in aa dinh kum 1980 tiang hi Hakha holh in Bible lehnak kha a ttuan chih. Hi kum in 1988 chung hi 1899 in 1966 kum tiang American Baptist Foreign Mission Society nih thlah mi Baptist siangbawi hna nih Chin Hills ah thawngttha chimnak rian an ttuannak tuanbia neknawi vialte kha khawmhsuat in “American Baptist Mission nih Lairam ah rian an ttuannak tuanbia” tiin cauk pahnih kha a ttial.

Rev. & Mrs. Johnson cu 1988 ah Moreno Valley, California ah an i tthial. Cu cun Plymouth Village retirement community timi tar upa umnak ah 2001 ah an i tthial tthan. Rev. Johnson nih Burma ram nitlaklei tlang cung ah an nupa in kum 20 chung rian an ttuannak kong kha “On the Back Road to Mandalay” cauk pakhat a chuah tthan.

Rev. Dr. Johnson nih a tantaakmi hna cu kum 68 chung lengluang a dawtmi thaisung Elizabeth (Betty Lue), an fa le pathum (Churchton, Maryland khuasa Richard Johnson, Riverside, California khuasa Kristin Knutson le Dallas, Texas khuasa Martha Martens), tufa pasarih le techin panga an si.

A donghnakbik siangbawipa muihmuh lennak cu June 14, 2009 zanlei 6:00 – 8:00 pm ah Emerson/Bartlett Memorial Chapel, 703 Brookside Ave., Redlands, CA (Ph: 909-793-2311) ah tuah a si lai. Amah philhlo upat peknak cu Plymouth Villge ah June 14, 2009 chun 2:15 pm ah tuah a si lai. Ruakthlah pumhnak hi First Baptist Church, Redlands ah zing 10:00 AM ah tuah khawh in Riverside National Cementery, Riverside, California ah 2:00 pm ah a ruak vui a si lai.

Pangpar canai ah, Chin Christian College caah bulhnak cu atanglei ah kuat cio ding a si lai:
Friends of Burma
548 Home Ave.
Ft. Wayne, Indiana 46807

Theihternak: Rev. Dr. C. Duh Kam, Executive Minister of Chin Baptist Fellowship of America le Pastor of Chin Baptist Mission Church, nih June 12, 2009 ah Laimi biaruahnak pawl ah a thlahmi, kan tar chinmi a si.

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