Transformation of a Village

  05.31.2010    SE Asia | Myanmar | Native Missions
Native Missions - Asia
Ayeyarwady division village

Ayeyarwady Division is the beautiful deltaic region of southern Myanmar. With a population of roughly 6.5 million, it is one of Myanmar’s most populous regions. The beauty of the land can do little to hide the poverty that is so prevalent throughout the region.

Literacy rates, income levels, and the availability of electricity are all significantly below the national average. The region is a graveyard of destroyed buildings and public projects. Malnutrition, tuberculosis, cholera, malaria and various water-borne diseases have wrought havoc among the populace. High unemployment and corruption is found everywhere.

There are thousands of small villages scattered among Ayeyarwady Division. One such community is the remote village of Kong (real name withheld for security reasons). Virtually all of its residents live in poverty making less than $1 USD per day. Having little hope of escaping their circumstances, discouragement settles over the hearts of most and clouds any hope they might have for a bright future. However, because of the faithful decision of one missionary, everything was about to change for the people of Kong. Her name is Hope (real name withheld for security reasons).

Hope heard the call of the Lord to move from Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, so she could serve the people of Kong as a native missionary. Although she had a burning desire to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unreached, she knew the task before would be difficult. She would be sowing the Word of God among hearts that have been hardened by years of being trampled upon by discouragement, oppression, and neglect.

The villagers were suspicious of her at first. They wondered why someone would be willing to move from Yangon to their remote village. Compounding their distrust of Hope was the perception that her new religious teachings was a “foreigner’s false religion" posing a threat to their culture and traditions. Hope knew that unless she could earn the trust of the village elders, she would encounter great opposition and her work would be greatly hindered. To begin to earn the trust of her new neighbors, Hope set out to address the social ills of the community.

Her first goal was to address the health care problems of the villagers. In this part of the world, a person can get gravely ill from a simple cut because they do not have access to basic medical supplies such as bandages, ointments, or antibiotics. Hope called for a medical outreach team be sent to the village.

a missioanary's home
A believer's home
villagers gather for a worship service
Villagers gather for a worship service

Once the word got out that missionaries had arrived with some basic medical supplies, a great crowd quickly gathered. Parents brought their sick children to get their hands on medication that would fight the fevers. The elderly came with cuts and bruises that never seemed to heal in the hot, humid, and dusty environment. One by one, each villager had the opportunity to get some of their medical needs taken care of.

That night, Hope and the missionaries prayed asking for God to work wonders among the people so the Gospel of Christ may take hold of their hearts. God heard their prayers and over the next few days many men, women, and children were healed. As each child was healed, the villagers would hear shouts of joy throughout their small community. For the first time in a long time, the clouds of despair were being blown away, making way for hope.

Over the next few months, as Hope continued to serve the people of Kong, her status grew. She became a trusted and valued member of the community. As Hope prayed and fasted, God softened the hearts of those that earlier opposed. One by one, the veil of darkness that covered their hearts was giving way to the light of truth. The spiritual truth that was once hidden from their understanding was now being revealed in all its glory.

They began to see at that there was One true God. A God that wants a personal relationship with each of them, who wants to bless them, and would sacrifice all He had to unbind their hearts from the chains of sin that they had bound themselves with.

As each day passed, the people’s trust and love for Jesus began to multiply. God had opened the floodgates of blessings upon the village of Kong and many gave their lives over to Jesus Christ, making Jesus their Lord and Savior. Two years later, over 140 people in the village of Kong and another 90 in the surrounding area have repented and became disciples of Jesus Christ. Praise be the One and only God and His Lamb, Jesus Christ!

« Previous Article | Next Article »