At a Glance:
- Adventures in Missions is partnering with Church Planting organizations in Myanmar for the first time in January 2018.
- Myanmar’s church is on the rise, despite oppression.
- Myanmar is now open to outside influence for the first time in decades.
Myanmar is an awe-inspiring land of 48 million people. From the jungles and mountains of the Kachin State, to the legendary temples of Bagan, there is no shortage of adventure, beautiful vistas, and delicious food. But more importantly, there are hearts that are softened to the Gospel, churches ready for planting, believers ready to be discipled, and Kingdom waiting to be built.
Nathan Hauser, World Race Alumnus and Regional Logistics Representative for Asia, shares his perspective of traveling through Myanmar.
I remember the torrid heat, and the sun beating down on every exposed part of my skin. I remember passing the bridge where children were left for a better life in Thailand. I remember the brown river, no more than 200 feet wide separating two countries. I remember the military guards, and the drivers of small boats, and the cash payment to let us pass. I remember crossing the border illegally to a country that had just begun letting people in.
I remember Myanmar. I remember going to church.
It was a small house down a normal street: iron gates, bicycles, and the occasional passing car. A litter of stray dogs scampered about and the sun continued to bake the earth into a dust. Our service started in less than an hour.
We bought snacks and waited. About five minutes before we were supposed to begin, at least 50 children came flooding in, and the excitement brought more children and some curious adults. The room was packed. We sang, we danced, we worshiped, and we shared the Gospel. But as quickly as everyone came, they left. This is how the church operates in Myanmar. They must be quick and they must be careful. Myanmar is not the most open of countries.
His experience is one of hundreds happening every week across Myanmar.
The Christian church is oppressed, but it is thriving. Despite the best efforts of the government, the Gospel will not remain quiet.
After Japanese occupation during World War II, Myanmar (then Burma) was controlled by a Military Junta known worldwide for its extensive human rights violations. It wasn’t until 2011 that Myanmar was freed from the shackles of a dictatorial military regime.
Since the borders officially opened, the war torn country has been flooded by growth and expansion, and the tourist market develops each year. Tourism brings opportunity.
There are still scars from this dark time, but there is a hope and hunger in the people, desperate for truth.
Until recently, all media had to be approved by the Ministry of Information. Information was scarce, and truth was difficult to find. That ban is now lifted and the people’s hearts have an insatiable need for the truest Truth. That is, perhaps, why the Gospel has taken such deep roots in the hearts of the Myanmar people.
Adventures in Missions desires to spread the Gospel, and to see that Gospel shared with hearts that can be nurtured and well tended. We want skeptics of Jesus to see the life change in their own people, and we want new believers to be discipled. We want to see the Kingdom expand, and we believe this is done through churches.
Unlike the American church, the Myanmarese can’t walk into a cathedral, or have their pick from 25 denominations. In Myanmar, there is only THE church: a body of believers who have encountered Holy Spirit, been radically changed, and are walking out a Christlike life each day.
In Myanmar, there’s something liberating and life giving about experiencing the Gospel through an unsaturated lens, and World Racers are experiencing this everyday. There is something beautiful about encountering God 14,000 miles from home, and realizing He’s the same God.
That’s why, for the first time, Adventures in Missions and the World Race will be going to Myanmar on one of our January 2018 routes, and we couldn’t be more excited.
The World Race is excited to be part of this movement, of taking the Gospel to the nations, and in this case, a very unreached nation. Adventures in Missions has partnered with Christian ministries operating daily in the communities of Myanmar. They are doing life with the people, and living the Gospel.
Churches are being planted. Lives are being changed. Hearts and minds are being discipled.
Taylor Duggan, Regional Representative for Myanmar says, “Myanmar is one of the most beautiful and untouched places in Asia. The Lord is doing some pretty amazing things there. Everytime I speak with one of our partners, a new believer is leaving buddhism and being discipled.”
Photo by Kim Harris // Mandalay, Myanmar
Myanmar is finally open to the sharing of the Gospel, and the World Race is ready to cross the border.
The deadline to apply for the 2018 World Race Route traveling to Myanmar is September 15. Click here for more info and to get started.