“NEITHER SLEEPLESS NIGHTS NOR BATHS IN MUDDY WATERS, NOR ATTACKS BY ANGRY MOSQUITO-CLOUDS NOR RAGING MOUNTAIN FLOODS WILL DETER US! WE WILL REACH EVERY HOME FOR CHRIST IN MYANMAR!”
I am thrilled to report to you about the EHC work in Myanmar. We are seeing much fruit in our work for the Lord. In one recent three-month period, our workers reached a total of 254,825 households with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! That is some 2,800 homes every day. Many workers and volunteers made this possible.
This is an astonishing number, and none of my Christian ancestors could have imagined it. Adoniram Judson, an American Baptist missionary, was one of the first protestant missionaries to come to Burma. (Myanmar was known as Burma before its name was changed by the military government in 1989.) Judson was 25 years old when he arrived in Burma in July of 1813. My great, great, great, great, great grandfather was Adoniram Judson’s second-ever convert. Judson’s first convert was saved only after Judson laboured in Burma nearly seven years with no converts. In all, it took Judson 12 years to win 18 converts, less than two converts each year.
Today the challenges are still great, but the harvest is greatly increasing. We are seeing answers to prayer in many ways. In one instance, the new government in our country gave permission for Christians to hold an open-air crusade in a large stadium. Permission was also given for a large Christmas festival to be held in a football stadium. In the old days we could not even apply for such permission. God is truly answering the prayers of many on our behalf, and we expect even more freedoms to come in the future.
Even now, we are enjoying more freedom to distribute gospel messages in Myanmar. Only Muslims and drunkards give us trouble. We do have some financial challenges, however, including growing fees for transportation, which make travel to distant places increasingly difficult. Postal costs will soon be higher as well, making it more costly to follow-up with new believers. But we trust the system will improve with this cost increase. Currently, it can take a letter three weeks to reach its destination just in our main city. We pray this will change!
Meanwhile, the Lord is working mightily through Every Home for Christ’s workers in Myanmar. Each day, stories of healing and deliverance come into our offices. Some people receive the Gospel with great joy. Others engage our workers with questions about Jesus. Several opportunities have come to pray for the sick or those under attack by evil spirits. In one recent door-to-door visit in Shan State, a man had been diagnosed with liver cancer and given only two months to live. After our worker prayed for him, he was completely healed from his illness!
In Tanintharyi Division, an EHC worker prayed for a woman who was demon possessed. God healed the woman instantly. The following day, two other women came to hear the preaching and they, too, were delivered of evil spirits. This made many others in the area desire to accept Jesus and be baptized.
In Mandalay City, there are many Buddhist pagodas and monasteries. Almost all the people here are Buddhists. When our workers recently distributed gospel messages near that area, some monks banished us. However, others requested the literature! They sat and read with interested hearts. We could tell they were receiving the message of salvation in Jesus for the very first time. It was a wonderful sight.
It isn’t just adults we are reaching with the Gospel. In Shan State, Chan, an EHC worker, had a chance to preach the Gospel to 100 children in a boarding house. Praise God—48 of these precious children received Jesus into their hearts.
In Pyigyiyanlone Quarter, a policeman came and examined our literature during a recent distribution. We explained that the messages were allowed by the government and showed him our registration number giving permission for distribution. Then we told him about Jesus Christ and the salvation mentioned in the booklet. This man was so happy that he fed us, allowed us to continue distribution, and supplied us with a guide to help us for the entire month! We are sure he will soon become a believer himself. Please pray for his soul.
One of the difficulties we face in distributing the Gospel home to home in Myanmar is the weather. Recently we suffered through heavy rainfall, with some villages completely flooded upon our arrival. Some days, water from the mountains comes down violently into the villages, causing our workers to run for their lives with their motorcycles. Then they must wait a day or two before finishing the work in the flooded villages.
But we do not give up! Even when we have many sleepless nights, or we must take baths in muddy water, we continue on. At night time we are faced with pests like clouds of angry mosquitoes, but we never stop because God gives us strength and healthy bodies to serve Him day by day. For this, we praise the Lord.
In some very remote villages we have reached, the inhabitants had never seen a single outsider. They didn’t know what to think when they saw us coming. Despite this, we reached 21,000 households with the Good News in these remote villages in just one month! There is no greater joy than to know these people have now heard the Gospel for the first time. This would make my great, great, great, great, great grandfather so happy!
It is these victories that help us continue the work of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ home to home with such joy, no matter how remote the villages may be or how many mosquito bites we may encounter. We thank you for your prayers and support as we trust this year will bring even more believers into the kingdom of God throughout the land of Myanmar!