For the last few months Myanmar has been in turmoil – the country remains engulfed in crisis after the military seized power and is now strengthening its grip. The ongoing conflict – coupled with the pandemic – is taking its toll on believers. But there are sparks of hope – including 50 children giving their lives to Jesus at a recent event. All names in this article have been changed for security reasons.
Since the beginning of October, the Burmese army has been sending more troops to the mountainous state to ward off opposition fighters, leading to an increase in churches being ransacked, shelled and occupied. Sadly, one pastor has been killed.
But, despite the increased violence, God has been opening ‘pockets of opportunities’ for Open Doors local partners to reach believers in Myanmar.
“We are able to implement training online, and we are able to go and visit the persecuted church and internally displaced people in the midst of unrest in the country,” shares Brother Lwin.
As of last month, your support has enabled Open Doors local partners to reach 17,135 believers in Myanmar with help, including emergency relief aid and discipleship support.
It’s an incredible number that’s made more remarkable given the challenges of distribution. “We have to be careful with our relief work because, sometimes, a truck full of supplies for believers can be misconstrued as supplies being provided to rebel groups,” says Brother Lwin. “We have to be careful, but we believe the Lord is in control.”
“Praise the Lord for the food relief distribution for the believers,” shares Hayma Aye, a Christian who has been displaced from her home. “Me and my daughter have been able to sustain our lives so far. It’s been three months for us in the forest. You are our life savers. We are eating beans, soup and rice.”
Amazingly, local partners are aware of 544 people giving their lives to Jesus this year, with 166 of them deciding to be baptised. “Praise God, even if there is helplessness, we are seeing a lot of people coming to Christ at this time,” Brother Lwin says. “God is still bringing people unto Himself.”
This figure includes 50 children who gave their lives to Jesus in October during an event conducted by Open Doors local partners. “By partnering with local churches, we are reaching out to the unreached children, assure salvation in their young age, strengthen their faith, build good character, and a help develop a Christlike attitude in their lives,” says Brother Lwin. “Amidst the backdrop of intense strife and violence, God is working mightily!”
Brother Lwin requests prayer for the children and young people, as many of them have been feeling the effects of the war:
“Please also pray for the young people, as they are discouraged. Many youths have started using drugs and drug addiction is increasing. Some have lost their way, and older children – especially teenage boys – are being recruited to join the People’s Defence Forces to fight the junta. Pray that the youths will find hope and strength in Christ.”
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