Myanmar is a country situated in the ASEAN region with a population of approximately 60 million people and over 150 people groups. The population consists of 89% Buddhists, 4% Christian, 4% Muslims and 3% others. The capital is Yangon with Burmese as the primary language.
This was the inaugural trip by a CityLife World Impact missions team to Myanmar from 03 Nov to 14 Nov 2018. The team composed of 11 members represented from three CityLife campuses Knox, Casey and Manningham. The theme of the trip was to convey our ‘Father’s Love’ to the communities we were visiting by showing and demonstrating God’s love, an extraordinary display of love that He has called us to himself. Our trip took us to seven communities scattered across the country. We spent many hours travelling in a bus from communities to communities; the longest ride was a 14-hours ride.
The team left Australia with excitement and much expectation to see God use us in Myanmar. We visited the GTP Training Centre in Nyaungpinlay, Taketa, South Dagon, Bago, Htee Kyant, Thayet and Leti. All of these named communities are missions stations outreach of Mang & Ciin’s ministries; and many of their key leaders have been trained in the GTP Equippers Training 3-months program. Our ministries involved weekend preaching in various churches, ministry to men, women, young adults and children. We also conduct several workshops for different groups of people to encourage them and help them grow in their faith.
We also had the opportunity to do a Prayer Walk in a hostile village where the Christians were persecuted, their houses were stoned beyond repair. These persecuted Christian families had to abandon their home and move to a temporary shelter provided by some local missionaries which is locally known as Christian refugee camp. Mid way through our prayer walk,we were alerted to several incidences of hostility towards our team and had to leave immediately.
In many of our meetings, we saw the evidence of God working in the hearts of the both believers and non-believers. Initially the invitees were just curious and were just observers but as we prayed for the people, the Holy Spirit convict and save souls, heal the sick, deliver the possessed and Holy Spirit baptism. We also witnessed the salvations of both our bus and co-bus drivers. The people had a faith that simply believed that God would heal them of their sickness. On receiving their healing, the word spread and they brought their friends in the surrounding villages who needed healing and to us for prayer. Most of these people are Buddhists, both young and old.
We prayed for a lady that had not walked for years, God met her need and she walked around without our assistance. There was a man who had a pain in his leg for many years and was healed. The next day he invited his sister a Buddhist monk who was unwell, God healed her. Is God alive for those who hunger and thirst after Him….YES! Amen.
Many of these communities are very isolated as they are located very far from the next town. There is so much poverty in these surrounding places but the hearts of the communities are very generous and hospitable. The team was blessed with breakfasts, lunches and dinners provided by these churches. They displayed to us simple acts of kindness by fanning us manually as we sat and ate because the days were hot.
Everywhere we went, there were throngs of children and they were so eager to learn, sing, dance in our classes. They overjoyed when we gave them little gifts that we had brought from Australia.
We had an opportunity to cross a river to visit an orphanage and a private kindergarten. It was heartbreaking to see the condition of the orphanage with so many kids and yet there is so little financial support for their food and activities.
The greatest impact on the team was to see these communities desiring salvations for those in their neighbouring communities, and also the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is so much hunger for prayer, and many of our meetings were stretched beyond the time allocated.
We came back with a heart full of gratitude to God for the many amazing things God has done and will continue to do in this faraway land. ‘Thank you!’ especially to our Prayer Partners who had interceded for us whilst we were on the field, covering us daily in prayer. We had many difficult encounters but also had quick breakthroughs thanks to the prayers of our families, friends and Prayer Partners.
We were able to do what God had purposed for us in our hearts for Myanmar; to bring Christ to many, to make a difference in the lives of individuals.
– John & Wai Peng and Eva