Mission Myanmar Newsletter April 2020
Khaw and I thank you for praying and supporting us in the time of pandemic. We understand that you are also suffering and we promise to keep you in our prayers. This Wuhan virus indicates that the world would not be the same as before. But, our hope is in the Lord who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
We closed the church worship services here as of Sunday, April 5, due to coronavirus. It was hard to say to the believers not to come to the church and many were sad and some cried. All churches in Myanmar are closed now and many have lost their jobs. So many here depend on daily wages to eat and it is unthinkable for them as to how they will survive. But God is in control, and we must trust in him.
Our government is providing each family a one time support of rice, cooking oil, salt, lentils, and peppers. It is equivalent to about $25, and the electrical bill will be reduced by about one-third. Now we have 127 patients positive and five of them died (April 21, 2020). One patient is not far from our community.
Five years ago my wife Khaw’s sister Sarah was hit and killed by a motorcycle. She left behind her husband, Banmauk Church Pastor Khinjong Sein, as well as 5 children (grown). Khinjong Sein grieved for years, but finally chose to marry again and his wedding was set for April 3, 2020. The pandemic had already started in Myanmar and we were all supposed to stay at home. I truly felt that I needed to be there for him, as it was to be a small wedding, so I decided to go. It is two long days’ drive and the road is very rough. Thankfully, there was less than normal traffic, but there were many mandatory fever check center stops. My son Jonathon shared the driving with me and we went up there two days ahead so that we could rest and prepare for the wedding. The bride and her family came from Putao and arrived on April 1, like me and Jonathon. We were all exhausted from the long trip, but the authorities came and told us to cancel the wedding or to perform the wedding that night quickly and quietly and leave Banmauk that same night. We begged them to let us stay one night because we were very tired of the long trip. The preacher who was supposed to conduct the wedding wasn’t due to arrive until April 3, so I had to conduct the wedding with no plans and no rest. The authorities finally did agree to allow us to spend one night before having to make the long drive home. I wanted to stay longer there because I wanted to visit the seven churches we support, but the authorities said, “Leave now or quarantine here 14 days.” The bride’s family also left the next day.
In Banmauk the coronavirus news was serious because a nurse who took care of a virus-positive patient in Mandalay hospital was quarantined for 14 days in Mandalay, and she did not want to stay and ran from hospital and went to Banmauk, her hometown. She was chased by the authorities and Banmauk was locked down from that time and it is a small town and everyone was scared. We did not know that news until we arrived there.
After we got back to Yangon, I got a fever of 100. God protected us on both ways of the trip. If someone got fever on the highway, we would all be quarantined for 14 days. I think I got the fever because of the long trip and not enough rest and the summer heat. After three days, my fever was gone and I was back to normal health.
During the lockdown, I am teaching the book of Acts to our family and 3 others who live very close to us in separate building. My daughter Zamiwayne and I are teaching English to the orphans every day. I also try to visit some families of our church in a safe manner and check on their needs.
Myanmar Water Festival was the week of April 12-16, and April 17 is Myanmar New Year’s Day. We have a culture that the children need to show adults respect with gifts and by bowing down before parents, teachers, and bosses. It literally means that they are to worship them as their gods. New converts are struggling to refuse when their children want to worship them. They think it is rude if refused. During these days, we normally have Bible teaching seminars as a safe and godly alternative to customary practices. This year we could not have it due to coronavirus so we used the saved money to purchase rice and cooking oil to share with the church families.
- James is in Putao working at a phone repair center and he is doing well.
- Jonathan was supposed to take TOEFL test third time on Feb 8, but it was canceled due to coronavirus. Please pray for him that he can study in States preparing for the ministry.
- Zamiwayne is in high school final and supposed to take IGCSE in May, but it is canceled too.
- Samuel is in eighth grade and his school is closed too.
- God is good and we are in a good shape so far in the time of pandemic.
- Khinjong Sein’s wedding went well, and we traveled safely.
- The preachers and evangelists we support are zealous for His ministry and winning many souls to Christ.
- Suzanne and Jeff Kosik’s trip (January) to us was very successful.
- Khaw’s parents are about 90 years old and her mother has a face skin problem. Khaw went up to her parents for five weeks and her mother’s face skin problem is being healed.
- Our Wireless Church baptized three new believers in February and the preacher Taik Luke we support also baptized three new believers.
- We need to fix the leaks in our 3 story children’s home in Yangon and would like to add a vaulted roof. This would not only fix the leaking, but it would provide more space for drying clothes and other uses. Our rainy season is 6 months of the year, so drying space is limited. The total cost will be about $13,000. Please pray for this so that the need will be met. We understand it is not a good time to raise support, but we need to do it. To donate click here.
- Yangon orphanage needs a motorcycle ($400). To donate click here.
- Myanmar New Year’s Day was April 17. Please pray that believers can get a clear understanding of Bible teaching.
- During this pandemic, many people can hear the gospel and turn their hearts to God.
- Rakhine Ethnic armed group and Myanmar government troops are fighting in the west of Myanmar. This civil war is getting worse. Many people from both sides die and the number of refugees is increasing daily. We have Bible School in Rakhine State and refugees are coming to that Bible School to stay and now we have 400 refugees in a small Bible school compound there. The cost to feed 1 refuge is $1/day, so $400/day is needed. Most of those refugees are Buddhists and it is a good chance to share the gospel to them though they suffer civil war. Our Mission Myanmar sent $250 to that refugee camp two weeks ago.
Note: Please watch this important documentary on the dangerous and important work being done to rescue and empower those in Burma and other countries: Free Burma Rangers
Thank you again for your faithful prayer and support. May the Lord protect you in this pandemic time. May His blessing and mercy and grace and peace surround you. May many come to know that God alone is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and put their faith and hope in Him during this time of global suffering.
In His ministry, Judah and Khaw.
Mission Myanmar exists to mobilize God’s people to plant churches and raise up leaders among the unreached in Myanmar. Mission Myanmar supported churches and leaders bring hope and help communities by addressing the needs of the desperately poor, including disaster victims, and vulnerable children. To learn more visit www.missionmyanmar.org