Missions: Myanmar




REACHING THE NATIONS FOR CHRIST

"How shall they call upon Him in whom that have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of Peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’”  - Romans 10:14-15

                                                                                                                                                                                           


~ M Y A N M A R ~

Myanmar is an extraordinary land that boasts gilded pagodas and rich traditional Asian culture. Sadly, decades of rampant ethnic strife have led to ongoing human rights violations, widespread poverty, and one of the longest running civil wars in the world.

Although the Burmese economy is one of the least developed in the world, it exports 90% of the world's rubies, not to mention precious stones such as sapphires, pearls and jade.

Myanmar is bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. The majority of Myanmar's population lives in the Irrawaddy valley, which is situated between the Rakhine Yoma and the Shan Plateau. The country's slow economic growth has contributed to the preservation of much of its environment and ecosystems. Rice is the major agricultural product that covers about 60% of the country's total cultivated land area. Myanmar is also the world's 2nd largest producer of opium and a major source of illegal drugs.

British rule following three Anglo-Burmese Wars (1824–1885) brought social, economic, cultural and administrative changes to the once-feudal society. Since independence in 1948, the country has been in one of the longest running civil wars that remains unresolved. From 1962 to 2011, the country was under military rule, but a civilian government has since been installed.

Myanmar has a population of about 56 million, of which over 80% consider themselves Buddhists and 8.98% Christian (5% Evangelical).

MISSION OUTREACH:
  • Pastor Roger Than Maung - Myanmar (Whitestone Ministries of Myanmar)
URGENT PRAYER UPDATE: See Update Below!

Towards the end of August, a second wave of Covid19 hit Myanmar. Extensive lock down orders continue which are creating a bigger crisis than the virus itself.

We contacted Pastor Roger for an update of the situation in his country, as well as the needs of his home church. He provided us with the latest information, along with some urgent prayer requests of the many difficulties they are facing. 
  • Poverty continues to grow in the country, especially during the COVID outbreak.  
  • Myanmar’s economy has been hurt badly by the pandemic, giving rise to income and food insecurity. The sharp decline in remittances due to the pandemic is has reduced household income. Eighty percent of Myanmar’s workforce is informal. Scores of day laborers have lost their jobs. Women constitute a majority of the hospitality and garment sectors, so they have been disproportionately affected by factory closures. About 4 out of 5 households reported skipping meals, and others have incurred debt to buy food. The people have no work. Many stay home waiting for their employer to call, but because the lock downs continue, many are losing hope.
  • There are food and supply shortages.
  • Government relief is intermittent, and Christians have been disproportionately neglected.
  • The lack of proper nutrition is putting more at risk of illness and disease - Many are not getting 3 meals a day, some are not even getting 1 meal a day.
  • Gathering in the church is prohibited, and people out of work are unable to tithe. 
  • The ongoing civil war continues to take its toll.  The conflict between the Muslims (Rohingya/Bengali Tribes) and the Buddhists (Rakhines/Bamar peoples) continues to endanger lives.  Villages have been burned, people have been seriously injured and killed, and many are forced to live in displacement camps.

  • UPDATES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS:

  • The rent for their Home Church costs $1,800 per year, and they struggle to meet this payment.  Further, the government prohibits them to meet in their homes as a church, which puts them at further risk.  If you can help see the contact information below.
  • Pastor Roger is seeking the Lord to purchase a room to meet government regulations concerning church gatherings, and to provide a permanent meeting place for their church.  Rather than try to meet the monthly rent, they would like to raise enough money  to pay for a place outright.  The cost of purchasing a "room" is $12,000.  If the Lord lays it on your heart to help them raise the monies needed, please see contact information below. 
*Turn off Background Music Before You Watch! (Player located top, right column.)

Pastor Roger's ministry is located in Yangon. Their church name is Bible-believing Church - Whitestone Myanmar which began in 2002 as an Independent church.  There are more than 100 home-churches and more than 300 believers under his leadership.  Members are poor and underprivileged.  

Pastor Roger also works with the 
Multi Churches Fellowship (Myanmar Christian Missionary Fellowship) which was founded on March 23, 1990. Myanmar CMF is nondenominational. 

How Can We Help?

PRAY!  Your prayers are urgently needed. Many times we feel desperate in the face of difficulties, desperate for relief, and for God's intervention.   Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in these difficult times.  We know that God will make a way when there is no other way.  

As we pray for the Lord to provide for their physical needs, it is also important to remember that when Jesus was praying for others, He prayed for their faith (Luke 22:32), He prayed against temptation in their lives (Luke 22:40), He prayed for their unity (John 17:11), and He prayed for their sanctification (John 17:17). Paul prayed for the salvation of the lost (Romans 10:1); he prayed that the brothers would stay on the right path (2 Corinthians 13:7); he prayed that believers would be strengthened by the Spirit, rooted and grounded in love, able to comprehend God’s love, and filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14–19). These are all prayers for spiritual blessings; they are all “in Jesus’ name” and according to the Father’s will—prayers that are guaranteed to find a “yes” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).

We are to pray for fellow Christians (Ephesians 6:18). We are to pray for ministers of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19–20), and we are to pray for the persecuted church (Hebrews 13:3). 

YOU CAN HELP FINANCIALLY!  Prayerfully consider making a financial contribution - any amount great or small would be greatly appreciated.   

Giving to missions/outreaches plays a vital role in world evangelism. In order to devote themselves full-time to ministry, missionaries and indigenous workers need financial support from those whose calling is to send, not go. Jesus was supported financially by those who believed in Him (
Luke 8:2–3), and Paul was not shy about rebuking the churches who were not giving adequately to support God’s work among them (1 Corinthians 9:11–1416:17Galatians 6:6).

If God has placed it in your heart to help the ministry in Myanmar with financial support, please contact Pastor Bob Lawrenz at whitestonecf@gmail.com. 

If you are able to help in this way, thank you!

More About Persecution In Myanmar:

Pressure on Christians has continued to increase and converts face strong pressure from their family and community. Rebel groups are active in Wa State, and many churches have been forcibly closed. Buddhist extremists maintain that to be Burmese—the majority ethnic group in Myanmar—is to be Buddhist, so there is intense pressure on all religious minorities, including Christians. The army also maintains tight control over the government in Myanmar, restricting and minimizing the rights of Christians.

Communities that aim to remain “Buddhist only” make life for Christian families impossible by not allowing them to use community water resources. Some church groups experience opposition, too, especially in rural areas, or if they are known for proselytizing. Christians often meet in homes or business places; otherwise, they risk losing their land and churches that could be forcibly taken. Children of Christians can also face discrimination from teachers and bullying by other children. The government tries to act against radical Buddhist monks, but sends mixed signals. In the past year, it became even clearer that radical monks enjoy the support of the army.

More About How Christians Are Suffering:

In predominantly Christian states like Chin State, Kachin State, Karen State or in Northern Shan, even well-established historical churches are being attacked. Fighting increased in 2018, adding thousands more to the IDP camps (Internally Displaced People) that are already ill-equipped to provide for the huge numbers of people. Due to intense fighting in Kachin and Shan State, more than 100,000 Christians have been forced to flee their homes and are living in camps where they have been denied access to food and healthcare because they are not Buddhists.  (There are 
3 IDP Camps in Paletwa township and one in Yangon with more than 4,000 refugees. Most are Christians, and some have been converted through Pastor Roger's ministry.)

In daily life, converts are persecuted by their Buddhist, Muslim or tribal families and communities. Christians in rural areas additionally suffer from the brutal and almost forgotten long-term war the Burmese army is fighting against insurgency groups, especially in the north, in the 
the West in Rakhine State and Paletwa township in Southern Chin State.  (Paletwa township is a native township of Pastor Roger's and where most of his Church members and ministries are still badly suffering under civil wars between government (Bamar) Army and Arakan (Rakhine) Army since 2015.)






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