Myanmar Mission Trip

Church: Singapore Life Church
Date: 7th June to 14th June 2010

We thank God for the opportunity to return to Pathein after a lapse of three years since cyclone Nargis hit the land of Myanmar. Many human lives, live-stocks and homes were destroyed devastating the livelihood those that were hit. Pathein is spared as it is in the inner portion of the irrawady delta area when the cyclone hit the southern part of Myanmar in year 2008.

The churches have been a blessing to the victims that were hit. The Karen Baptist Church that we were working with together with Myanmar YFC took in about 50 children who became orphans as they lost their parents in the cyclone. Some are housed in an orphanage and some in the seminary student hostel in Pathein. The seminary also took in about 80 students from the Nargis hit areas, many of those are unable to pay the school fees but still the seminary took them in on compassionate ground trusting that the Lord will providing for these students as they do there theological studies to be Pastors and Lay Leaders.

We thank God that through the partnership of the seminary at Pathein and Myanmar YFC about 40 youth pastors and youth lay leaders came for the four days retreat. The retreat was held at a beach resort about an hour and half from Pathein town. The theme of the retreat was Purposeful and Abundant Life in Christ. These youth pastors and youth lay leaders were selected from over 60 churches divided into 8 areas across Pathein. The four days retreat events include worship, ice breakers games, theme talk, lessons on the theme, beach games, skits, caterpillar coloured beads (art & craft), campfire at the beach and visitation to two villages. The retreat gave opportunity for the participants to fellowship with one another as they were from different areas, villages and churches. It is also an opportunity for the leadership to spot talent and potential leaders as we go through the various events during the retreat.

Youth Retreat at Pathein Beach Resort

The feedback for the retreat was positive and many responded that they have never studied the bible in such an in depth and insightful manner. It has helped them grow in term of their spiritual walk with the Lord and their desire in studying the word of God more fervently. The participants will use the materials plus the lesson learnt to share with their church members at their respective villages. The organisers expressed that we should continue to run this retreat again so that more youth pastors and leaders may be able to attend.

We thank God that permission was granted to visit two villages which initially was pending approval the week before we left for Myanmar. We thank God that as we do the possible, He will do the impossible for us as long as we re-main faithful to Him. Together with participants we visited two villages on two separate occasions. At each village, we shared the wordless bible using colored caterpillars made into bookmarks with the children. We praise God at the end of the sharing, almost all the children at both villages stood up to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

Children on one of the villages during our visitation

As it is the beginning of the rainy season in Myanmar, we gave away umbrellas to the children of both villages. The children often have to walk about half an hour to school under the rain with no shelter. The umbrella though a small gift is of great help to these children as they walk to school under the rain. We thank God for the many souls saved and in allowing us to catch a glimpse of the mighty works He is doing through us, the pastors and leaders in both villages.

Funding was given to rebuild the student hostel that was burned down through a fire mishap two years ago. We also had the opportunity to observe the seminary students going through their music and chorale lessons in one of the evening. Also we visited the hostel tuition centre where we met up with some of the children from the Nargis hit area.

We thank God for the opportunity to have a dinner fellowship with the leadership team from Karen Baptist Church. It was a good time of interaction, to build our bond in Christ deeper and for us to understand the needs of the seminary, orphanage and community projects undertaken by the association.

We thank God for the safe journey from Pathein to Bago by a small truck which took us about 8 hours to reach. We will able to renew our acquaintances with the children at Grace Home some of whom are new to us but with many that were known to us since they were young. We thank God that through the guidance of Auntie Amar and Uncle Saw Si Hai together with the staff of Grace Home, these children have grown up to be faithful disciple and servants of the Lord.

Children from Bago Grace Home

We did fun science with the children on the Saturday we arrived. Through the fun science more biblical values were imparted to the children. Conversely the children were delighted to meet those of us who are familiar to them. We did Sunday worship together and thereafter we serve a sumptuous Sunday lunch for the children at Grace Home Bago.

We make visitation to the computer centre and tuition centre that were sponsored by Singapore Life Church. The computer centre needs a printer and battery support for six computers. The tuition centre now provides tuition for about 42 students from the village in the vicinity. The fencing and windows of the tuition centre needs repairs. The walls of the tuition centre also needs a fresh coat of paint.

We also saw the completed tar road of which the funding came from Singapore Life Church that leads from the village to the YEC training centre.

From Bago we travelled to Yangon on Sunday to visit the children at Grace Home Yangon. We had a great time fellowshipping and playtime with the children. Thereafter we hosted a dinner for some staff of YFC and Grace Home.

Children from Yangoon Grace Home

Our final debrief was on Monday morning and we all are thankful to God for His providence, protection, faithfulness, loving kindness and most of all His Sovereignty in all that has happen during our one week mission trip in Myanmar. The teamwork and unity in Christ is excellent with each mission trippers giving off their best in all the activities. The only wish was that we could have more time and more thorough in our preparation. Though we have a sense of inadequacy, the Lord has been gracious in seeing us through trip and a successful fruition of the entire program. God's willing we will all re-turn to serve again as indeed the harvest is plentiful and the labourers are few.