Bring Healing and the Good News

In Luke 10, Jesus tells his followers to bring healing and share the good news wherever they go. People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

That’s why at Love for Myanmar we minister to orphans, poor students who cannot attend public school, broken-hearted people at the leprosy hospital and village, and help those who have been persecuted for their faith get back on their feet.

But, it is not enough to meet needs on earth, if someone is going to spend eternity apart from God. That’ why it is important to share the Good News that Jesus has died for people’s sins, raised from the dead, and now offers the gift of eternal life in heaven to all those who will receive it.

Love for Myanmar has trained hundreds of Burmese believers how to share their faith, make disciples, grow as spiritual leaders, and start churches. We also provide coaching and mentoring to church leaders who want to improve their ministry skills.

Check out how our ministry obeys Jesus’ command to bring healing and share the good news at www.LoveForMyanmar.org. If you are a ministry in Myanmar, let’s partner together to see many follow Jesus in the Golden Land.

Help Us Help Them

Orphans in Myanmar have little hope. They fall easy prey to ruthless people who exploit them for forced labor or the sex trade. The Bible says in the book of James that true religion takes care of the widows and orphans. Would you want someone to help your child if they became an orphan?

Love for Myanmar currently cares for over 100 orphans in six Christian orphanages. Boys and girls find faith, hope, and love in the arms of devoted Christian workers. Their needs are great, and God is using believers like you to give them hope.

Click on this link to go to our website and find out more about Love for Myanmar:

Click Here

As God has blessed you, please give to the orphans in Myanmar. God will fill your soul with joy and comfort as you join Him in giving to these little ones He loves.

We Can Serve in Word and Deed

The following letter was recently provided by Isaac Nun Hmung regarding one of his seminary students in Myanmar.  We felt it a compelling opportunity to share, allowing the  Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of readers.  If you would like to participate with response, please contact us at Love For Myanmar by clicking here.

Dear Friends,

I am so thankful to the Lord for your support in prayers and in earthly gifts for the ministry here at MEBC.  For the last 4 years your faithful participation whether in body or spirit has been a partnership which God has used to grow the seed of our ministry for His glory.  One of the greatest blessings throughout this time has been to participate directly in mediating the needs of our precious students, first spiritually then physically.

Although this has been a great privilege it has also been a worthy cross to bear.  As many of you know God has provided for us the unique honor of reaching out to the poorest of the community of saints in Myanmar. They come from rural villages where basic comforts such as reliable electricity is a scarcity.  Due to this level of poverty our students have been plagued with many tribulations including the lack of proper health care. Through conviction from the Holy Spirit we have been compelled to share what we have with them to live out the commission of Scripture to not merely serve in word but also in deed.  Therefore, God has used our work to provide for these precious crowns physical needs which they desperately need.

Recently one of our female students has been carrying a horrible wound from childhood that has disfigured her face.  Her name is Hoi Ley and when she was 3 years old a jack fruit fell on her face and caused an injury which would eventually disfigure her face.  The injury could have been easily treated if proper medical care was available to her, but due to the remote location of her village coupled with her family’s extreme poverty no care was available for her.

With no other option her family merely hoped that the wound would heal on its own. However, this left the wound to fester and eventually disfigured her upper left side of her face.  This has caused her to live in shame and despite her burden she has shown a vital faith to serve which is the reason for her attendance of our institution.

As you can imagine when I heard her story and saw with mine own eyes her condition, I was moved and felt a need to help her in her trouble. We had taken her to a doctor here in Yangon for a consultation.  They had informed me that her condition could be treated and her face restored with plastic surgery.  The estimated cost for the surgery would be about $3000.

My dear friends, I wanted to share this opportunity with you and humbly ask if any of you might be able to help in raising these funds to provide for our dear sister.  Perhaps if there are some in your congregations or friends in your life that God has already placed a burden on for this need, would you be willing to ask and see if any might be able to help us to care for our sister? She is second year Bachelor of Theology program student. Thank you again for all your support and may our Lord bless each of you with the fullness of His Kingdom.

Love in Christ,
Isaac Nun Hmung

Gary1 Gary2 Gary3

A Dream of School

By Carolyn Watkins

HPU 3

 

For the first time in the seven-year history of the Austin Karen Baptist Church, a young man from our congregation is attending a four-year university!  After a successful high school football experience at Austin High School, Ehlar Htoo, Pastor Moe Eh’s fourth oldest son, moved into the athletic dorm at HPU on Wednesday, August 10.  Gary and I were blessed to have the opportunity to accompany this outstanding young man to HPU to meet with the admissions department and financial aid department on July 29 and again on move-in day.

As the incredible story unfolded, the entire spring semester of high school, Ehlar was sharing his dream to attend Howard Payne in the fall and to play football there.  Prayers were shared for him as he took the SAT and other admissions tests. When we checked online and saw the financial requirements for admission, we could not see any way that his dream could happen.

But, as we know, God can make a way when there seems to be no way!  We lift our praises to Him for opening doors to the financial aid that Ehlar needed to make this dream come true! We know that without divine intervention this could have never happened.  Ehlar is so excited to be able to play football at the college level and to get a Christian education at such a outstanding university.  He is a worthy, hard-working, Christ-honoring young man that lives in service of our Lord.  We are excited about the wonderful work the Lord is going to do in and through Ehlar’s life at HPU and beyond!

HPU 6 HPU 5 HPU 4

Why It Matters

Back in 2008 I was working for another nonprofit serving in another hemisphere but based Georgetown, Texas, right in the heart of Texas.  While employed at this nonprofit I had the great fortune of engaging with Reed Iwami, a man of exceptional talent with a passion I would soon discover.  In the midst of our work together I overheard him share something about Myanmar and was a bit intrigued.  So, I asked.  That was the very beginning of what has been an astonishing journey for me personally and a long, deep friendship with several people in my hometown of Georgetown who shared the same vision.  And perhaps more than anything, this newly formed opportunity began to seer in my heart a care for a people group in a part of the world I had never traveled or even known before.  Love for Myanmar was, for me, beginning to bloom.

If you’ve spent any time on the Love For Myanmar website you’ve seen images and read about efforts to really make a difference in the lives of people who have faced such difficult circumstances.  From political to economic to social to even religious, people in this corner of the world have suffered in many ways we have never experienced in the western hemisphere.  Many happy faces disguise the troubles they experience from government oppression that has run deep for many decades.  Access to clean water, quality health programs, and even healthy food is substantially limited.  And for those that are new believers in Jesus Christ, the cost of worship, study and even prayer can be a very heavy burden in a country that is overwhelmingly Buddhist. But why should all this matter to me?

It matters because I know about it.  Before I first uttered the name of the country, Myanmar, I had such a limited perspective of the people of this country.  It was that place formerly called Burma where a British empire once ruled and people supposedly existed in harmony.  After delving into the difficult realities that face these people, it is so much harder to just ignore.  The people of Myanmar are people just like myself, trying to live a happy, sustainable life with freedomIMG_3233s to learn, to live, to love and to grow.  Why should I care? Because these wonderful people are my brothers and sisters in Christ and my faith declares that I should care.  Matthew 25:40 – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So why does it matter?  It matters because it matters to God.  And as a believer in the God’s mighty grace, His amazing peace and His infinite love for me, then it matters to me too. And now you know about it too.  Won’t you join me in supporting Love For Myanmar as they serve our brothers and sisters?

Brian Crowe

A Journey Into Myanmar by Madison Simmons

Sweat ran in rivulets down my back as we walked through the dusty streets of a place whose name I did not catch.

“This is a buddhist village. These are buddhist people,” my new friend and host for the next few days, Elijah, told me.

“We are here to teach the children of Jesus. The children want to know Jesus” he said.

In the ninety minutes I had known Elijah (the time it took to slog less than twenty miles through the ill-famed gridlock traffic of Yangon) I had learned that he is a man of vehement passion. Our conversation had consisted of him asking me about myself punctuated by long monologues that would make the most ardent televangelist proud with their Bible-quoting and irrefutable energy. After reeling off one of these speeches he would fall silent and with a quiet smile tell me,,

“That is how I preach to the people.”

Elijah on guitarHe has brought me to this neighborhood on the outskirts of Yangon where he and a few other devoted Christians have begun a Bible school for village children. The school is held in the home of the only Christian family in the area. Elijah comes periodically to help by preaching and leading in songs.

As we approach the house the sound of loud shrill voices fills my ears. The Myanmar people love to sing. We walk in, and a group of about fifteen children stand, sing-yelling songs with words I do not know, but whose tune I can hum along to. Many of the songs they sing are Myanmar translations of popular American praise and worship tunes. Elijah explained that many more children used to attend but their Buddhist parents became uneasy and forbid them from coming to the school. Other parents did not mind, as at school the children are guaranteed a meal and a more consistent education than the rarely-enforced public school system provides.

As I sat on a low bench, watching the children, I took in my surroundings, finding myself in an environment unlike any other I had seen. The walls were thatched, there was no furniture, the children wore bright, tattered mismatched clothing, and I could hear the braying of goats from the dusty street.  The only school supplies seemed to be a series of faded English-Burmese posters on one wall. By American standards, this was severe poverty.

And yet what did they lack? Joy such as I have never witnessed in American schools pervaded the open rooms of that modest, warm home. The children sang with their mouths wide open and heads flung back. When prompted by Elijah or the teacher to quote a Bible verse they chanted back the answer in unison. Southern Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist, and the opportunity to practice Christianity is a rare and cherished one. After the lesson ended and bowls of milky tapioca-laden bowls of soup were passed around, Elijah and I rose to leave. The formerly shy children rushed to the door, all smiles, waving goodbye.

Elijah Trip

In God’s Timing

A report from Love For Myanmar’s, Elisha Sanga. Elisha is LFM’s Neighborhood Learning Center Coordinator. He and his wife, Christina started the school about ten years ago following their graduation from seminary. This is a place in the slums of Yangon where Buddhist children, with the permission of their parents, are provided a free education while also being taught Christian values and beliefs.

Dear friends,

We praise God for His faithful provision through Love For Myanmar that we may be able to continue the work that set before us in this new year.

Our investment and all our affort is that the whole society might be influenced through the Neighborhood School Children. Visible church is not yet seen but we believe God will surely build there oneday. So, for this reason the children are trained up with Christian education.

In 2015, Satan worked very hard to destroyed the work of God, Me Me Aung whom we baptized base on her confession of faith in Christ and whom we train for the teacher was brought away to Naypidaw the new capital city of Myanmar by her family. But December last month, she has a holiday and come back and shared with us her testimony that  she has regular prayer and Bible reading and her parents could not force to worship idol anymore. We prayed for her and encouraged her to stand strong with the word of God. Next year we plan to let her go to Bible School. Beside, at the time, the main person was taken away, some of the children were not sent anymore to the school by their parents for teaching the Word of God, but till the end of the year 10 children could regular and their parents are still standing strongly with us for they know forsure that their children are well trained in so many ways.

Please continue to pray with us. By His grace at present, we have no problen but the house owner want to sell the school house building and move their whole family to Naypidaw. The present teachers’ family would like to be fulltime missionary there. God is able.  For instant if the school is no more available, we can move to the church area and since the church building is our own, it will be more easier to apply permission for private primary school. But the problem again is if we can not buy a car, it will not be easy to bring them to the church always. So, we have to pray alot that God might lead us in His way and will.

Our prayer is that all who involve in this ministry might be more used by God and all to be accountiblity in His sight.

In Christ,
Elisha

What Truly Matters?

Gary @ Leprosy HospitalBy Gary Watkins, Co-Founder of Love For Myanmar

Sunday, November 8 will be bookmarked- one way or another- as an important page in the continuing story of Myanmar’s journey towards democracy.
Since 2010, the nominally civilian government has led the country with a veneer of legitimacy as it is widely believed the election was rigged. Many observers and voters worry that this election could follow a similar path.
Regardless of Myanmar’s election results, Love for Myanmar (LFM) intends to continue its ministries within the country as it as done for ten years. We don’t see politicians. We don’t see military personnel. We don’t see Buddhists. We see people–honorable, humble, and hurting.
We intend to continue listening to their perspectives, focusing on their needs, and addressing their hurts. We believe filling people with love, joy, and peace will make them more loving, joyful, and peaceful towards others.
What truly matters to LFM? Whether this election is credible is not a burning question for us. Whether the military’s political role is further cemented in the governing process through this election’s results is not a lingering issue to us.
No matter how far off course this election may take its country, LFM intends to be present, intends to persevere. We hold firmly to the belief that those actions undertaken for the Lord in the power of His spirit are the only steps that truly matter.

(The following is excerpted from Myanmar Now, an independent news service located in Yangon and supported by the Thomas Reuters Foundation.)

Myanmar’s general elections take place on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, and will be the first nationwide polls in 25 years to be openly contested by all political parties after decades of military rule.

President Thein Sein’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is linked to the army, will compete with Aung San Suu Kyi’s widely popular National League for Democracy for the majority vote.

Dozens of parties from ethnic minority states will compete for a share of the votes in their areas, while a large number of smaller parties will also run for seats in the Bamar-majority regions.

Key facts:

  • Myanmar has a population of around 51.5 million people, according to the 2014 census. Those over the age of 18 who are eligible to vote account for about 33.5 million.
  • The former military government ratified the constitution in 2008; it held general elections in 2010 that were considered rigged in favor of the USDP. The 2012 by-elections were openly contested and the NLD won 43 of the 44 seats it contested.
  • Voters will be able to cast their ballot on Nov. 8 from 6 am to 4pm.
  • Ninety one parties will contest the elections, with a total of 6,039 candidates, almost double the figure of 3,069 candidates in the 2010 elections.
  • The electorate will vote in 325 representatives to the Lower House (seven constituencies under control of ethnic armed groups will not hold elections due to security concerns), 168 representatives to the Upper House, and 673 representatives to state and regional parliaments for a five-year term. A remaining quarter of seats in both houses of parliament, and on state and regional level, are reserved for un-elected military officers, in accordance with the constitution.
  • The election results will be determined through the first-past-the-post system, in which the candidate receiving the majority of the votes takes the seat to represent the whole constituency.
  • Post-elections, in a bicameral parliamentary session, newly elected lawmakers vote for a president. They can vote from three candidates; one nominated by the Lower House, one by the Upper House and one by the military. The losing candidates become vice-presidents.
  • A party needs to secure more than 50 percent of parliament seats in both houses – or more than two-thirds of the contested constituencies – to gain a sufficient majority to be able to vote in a new president.
  • Myanmar’s president then forms the new government and appoints the states and regions’ powerful chief ministers.
  • The current legislature’s term expires on 30 Jan. 2016 when it hands over powers to new lawmakers. In early February, the parliament convenes to vote for a new president. On March 29, the current government’s term expires and a new government takes over.

The Impact

The plane touched down in this humid, bustling part of the world.  It was a trip I had prepared for logistically.  I had traveled around the world in mission response, serving in India, South Africa, all over Central America and numerous other locations but as we disembarked I encountered a different sort of vibe, one that would shape my experience and altar how I had prepared.

Myanmar is rich with color, texture, smells, and sounds of people moving forward.  It is a country with a  burdened past and an even brighter future. As I arrived I was immediately taken by the kindness of everyone I encountered.  I had heard about the juntas and as a tourist, was aware that I would certainly stick out but there was no reservation in anyone, no judgement of me as a foreigner.  They readily embraced this stranger and extended warmth and hospitality.

Throughout my visit I wasIMG_3233 blessed to meld into the fabric of life and observe locals as they went about their business.  I will say that the people of Myanmar are focused, driven, very kind, and happy to show you the beauty of their country.  For me, one of the highlights of my trip was in sharing in worship.  Believers are passionate about singing His praises.  They bring Him their best and avail themselves to hear more.  It is an apparent hunger for The Word.  In sharing with them in worship I learned much about my own faith journey, about my own hunger and quest to walk with The Lord in every aspect of my life.

Myanmar is unlike the many places I have traveled throughout the world.  It is a country of hope, of opportunity, of a bright future prepared by a Savior who offers peace and grace. My role in going was to learn about this beautiful place, meet its people, and learn of ways I can share in their future through prayers, time and giving resources focused on the mission response of Love For Myanmar and their passion to make a difference.  I am in awe of the journey that has brought us to this place and avail myself to be a part of the future.

Will you join me?  Learn more through LoveForMyanmar.org or visit their Facebook page.

The Game

The Game, written by LFM mission team member Lucas Crockett.

The sky is bright yet overcast. A large hill or a small mountain rises just above the palm trees and other tropical trees in the background. Just below the trees rest several houses, spread out amongst the trees.  All of the dwellings have thatched roofing except for one with aluminum roofing.  In front of the houses lies a lush green clearing with short grass and a few bare muddy patches.  The focus on the picture is on a group of men running from different directions toward a central location.  Consisting of dark tan skinned natives and white foreigners, the group of about eight men have their backs turned to the camera.  Another eight men are spread out behind the central group facing the camera.  The muddy bare feet are clearly visible on all except two natives sporting soccer cleats.  All are wearing shorts, some athletic, some cargo.  One native has donned a long sleeved shirt while everybody else is wearing a variety of different colored short sleeved shirts.   Feet flying out from underneath him, one foreigner slips on the slick mud.

Soccer-BallWhat is not seen is the soccer ball toward which everyone, foreigners and natives alike, is running.  The location is Thaton, Myanmar.  The foreigners belong to a Christian organization called Love for Myanmar whose vision is to bring an English Second Language program to poor villages.

Because this was the first meeting between Love for Myanmar and these particular natives, the Buddhist natives were timid and wary.  On first approach, the natives were very reserved and watched and listened more than they participated.  Gradually, however, with some urging, the women and children opened up to us and allowed us to be not just foreigners but friends.  Being far more wary, the men were slower in opening up to us.  Traditionally, the men lead the villages and, as leaders, wish to avoid mistakes.    Because we were a foreign organization, the leaders feared that we may break down their traditions or beliefs.  They were unsure as to whether or not they should trust us.

Our organization’s purpose is to provide free ESL classes to any who would attend.  Myanmar had begun to dramatically become more westernized.  With western countries moving in and creating jobs, knowing the English language would drastically improve one’s chances of getting a job.  These jobs would completely change their economic circumstances, which is a simple lifestyle barely above subsistence.  Not realizing this, the men were skeptical of our program and organization.  The soccer game broke all previous barriers.  By the end of the game, all of the men were smiling and enjoying themselves.  Talking to each other in spite of a language barrier, we understood each other perfectly through gestures and facial expressions.

Since this game, I have organized and played other soccer games with friends, but none were more enjoyable or memorable as this one game with people whom I had barely known for a few hours.  Whenever I see this picture I remember the great time we had running, slipping, and playing together.  Some may think that playing sports is silly or is a waste of valuable time, but that soccer game is what broke the barrier between us.  Through all our differences, we formed a bond through one common interest: soccer.