Myanmar has been brought to our attention in recent months. A country ravaged by fighting, marred by political unrest and scarred by the persecution of minorities. It is also a country in which the hope of the Gospel is largely unknown among many people groups.  

Ordinary Jesus followers, Jill and Simon*, have seen the need for God’s hope and presence in this country and are not deterred. With your support through the Christmas Appeal, God is doing extraordinary things for the sake of His Kingdom in Myanmar and across the globe.   

Searching for something higher

“Over 100 years ago, our forefathers in Myanmar received the good news. Now there are churches in some parts of Myanmar. But there are still many unreached people groups who have never heard about Jesus,” explains Simon, who has spent the last few years providing direction for the church planting initiatives in his home country of Myanmar.

Currently, OM has 14 partners in Myanmar who have participated in several training events over the past two years and are living in remote communities made up of mainly practising Buddhists. “People in Myanmar are very religious in their following of Buddhism. It is a common thing for people to search for something higher than them,” Simon says. “We praise God that we’re seeing new believers from Buddhist backgrounds, accepting Jesus!”

One partner baptised five people near the end of 2020. He had shared the Gospel in his community and neighbourhood, and when people expressed more interest, followed up with them, visiting their homes and sharing more stories about Jesus. 

This hope of sharing Jesus to those who don’t know Him or have misunderstood His message is what motivates Simon to equip more people in Myanmar with the skills and vision to share Christ’s love where it is not yet known. Simon continues to equip new partners with a vision to reach those in Myanmar who have never heard the Gospel and to obey God’s leading about where new teams could be placed. 

Recently Jill, another worker in Myanmar, delivered relief supplies to a group of people who had fled their homes due to the fighting. She had the opportunity to sit down with them and tell them about her faith in Jesus.

“I didn’t realise I was a favourite of God,” one young Buddhist man expressed, with a mix of joy and disbelief. I didn’t know I was created, but I really didn’t know I was a favourite.” The man's worldview was completely altered when he realised he could personally talk to God. God’s love, lived and shown in practical ways, is making changes in the Buddhist world of Myanmar. 

Living among them

This man was one of a group of IDPs (Internally Displaced People) that Jill, a worker in Myanmar, went to visit to deliver relief supplies and a message of hope. Their village had been taken over by fighting, so the group had spent time hiding in the jungle before making their way to the capital. 

Having dealt with a lot of trauma, the kids did not play much and were unwilling - or unable - to talk about their experiences. The whole group, about 40 families, slept on one big, long bench next to each other. Jill’s team went with donated winter clothes and toys for the children.  

At the end of the visit, Jill’s group shared Bible stories. The story of creation is something that touches the lives of Buddhists in a powerful way,” she explained, and touched the lives of the people in this displaced group.  

Occasional visits like this can have a significant impact in planting seeds and bringing hope, but it is long-term discipleship and relationship investment that Jill and her team focus on. "Effective discipleship means having a presence with someone, walking with them, having a relationship with them,” Jill explains. It is best if you can live in the community when possible.”  

This is what Jill’s team are passionate about, equipping local believers who God has called to live and work in different and often difficult areas throughout Myanmar. These folks are often the only believers in their area.  

Thank you for your generosity to the Christmas Appeal. Your gifts are enabling extraordinary things to happen in pursuit of God’s Kingdom in countries such as Myanmar where many people have no opportunity to hear of God’s love  

 *names changed 

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The need for the Gospel is great. Billions of people live in places around the world where there is no Gospel witness and no opportunity to hear of God’s hope for the world in Jesus.  

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