CCCC Friends in Myanmar
By former Conference Minister, Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Gammon
In February of last year, when I attended the triennial meeting of the World Evangelical Congregational Fellowship (WECF) in Orlando, Florida I was blessed to meet Pastor Go. He is leader of the Myanmar Evangelical Mission, a fellowship of ministers and churches in fellowship with the CCCC through WECF in the predominantly Buddhist land of Myanmar, formerly called Burma. These brothers and sisters are effectively making disciples of Jesus Christ in their land by Church planting, disaster relief, literature ministries, and children’s homes.
There are many homeless children in Myanmar. Pastor Go and the church in the city established the Shalom Children’s Home in 2008 to address this need, with a vision to love and care for children, discipling them in the faith of our Lord. With limited resources and no permanent home, they have lived in a succession of crowded, rented homes, and time and again they have been evicted. In January, I heard from Pastor Go via email that they had received yet another eviction notice and they must be out of their rented home by March 31. Though my heart ached for them, I did not know what to do except to pray.
When I asked Pastor Go if there was any way to avoid such evictions in the future, he said ultimately the only way would be to one day own a permanent home. He also said evictions from rented homes are only precluded if a lease is prepaid. I then inquired about the projected cost for a year-long lease of a home suitable for their needs in that city, and I learned it would be about the equivalent of U.S. $6,000.
Sometimes the Lord lays a burden on our hearts just so we will pray. Other times he lays a burden on our hearts because He wants us to pray and step out in faith. The Lord made very clear to me that this time He was calling me to step out in faith to assist our dear brothers and sisters in Myanmar with the needs of their children’s home. The Lord confirmed this to me when within two days He provided the funds necessary for the Children’s Home to sign a one-year lease. Those funds were subsequently wired and a lease was signed through March 2018.
Next the Lord directed me to go to Myanmar so I could see the home, receive direction from the Lord, and then return to share the story. I traveled to Myanmar in June where I observed that God is moving in a wonderful way among the churches of the Myanmar Evangelical Mission. I participated in the glorious dedication celebration of a new church plant comprised of believers converted from Buddhism, and my visit with the Shalom Children’s Home was unforgettable. The home was filled with love and the children are well discipled, as evidenced in their love for the Lord and each other, joyful worship, heartfelt praying, and their testimonies to one another of the faithfulness of God. These children are already true worshippers and they will surely become evangelists and leaders of the Church of Myanmar.
To most effectively accomplish their God-given mission of making disciples who will make disciples, our brothers and sisters in Myanmar need some help, and they are praying in faith for God to provide. They lack sufficient resources to adequately care for the 32 children the Lord has entrusted to them. They lack sufficient room for the number of children they feel called to care for (50), so they are turning children away. And because they do not yet have their own property or any conceivable means of obtaining property, they face the prospect of more hassle from future evictions with very few good options. Our brothers and sisters in Myanmar need sponsors to provide monthly resources to care for the children. They also need some who can generously contribute to a housing fund toward a permanent home. The cost for purchasing a lot and building a building will be a small fraction of what it would be in the United States.
As the Lord loves to partner His people for fruitful ministry, I am very blessed to report that He has clearly led us a ministry partner who will help us care for our friends in Myanmar. My sister Marilee is a leader in a wonderful ministry called His Hands Support Ministries, which comes alongside children’s ministries around the world. Having no other ministry in Myanmar, their board agreed to add this Children’s home, so she and her ministry partner Jamie, traveled with me to take information and create a means for people to sponsor individual children. For more information about sponsoring a child in Myanmar see www.hishandsformyanmar.org. Donations through this organization are tax deductible and no administrative fees are charged so every penny goes where designated. Donations to the permanent housing fund can also be made through this website. Because of the potential of persecution for Christians in Myanmar, no personal information or location is mentioned on the site, but information on individual children is mailed to individual sponsors. Upon request, I will be glad to provide information about the need and costs of a permanent home firstname.lastname@example.org/651-341-9456.
Please join me in praying for our dear brothers and sisters in Myanmar. Pray that their prayers will be answered. Pray for the leaders of the Churches and of the children’s home, and pray for the children. Pray that the Lord will provide for their needs, and that He may show us what our part should be.