Joy and hope

Shan-Tai prayer month, day 29

While there are many challenges facing the Shan of Burma, there is also hope as some Shan Christians are called and equipped to reach their own people for Christ. In some cases these are Shan who initially fled Burma into Thailand and subsequently came to faith in Christ then have responded to His call to follow Him in taking the Gospel back into Burma.

What is remarkable and greatly encouraging to me is that despite their circumstances, culture and challenges being very different to my own, the experience of freedom in Christ as a new believer is the same as I experienced in coming from darkness into the light of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God and rebirth by the Holy Spirit. Salvation comes from God, not our culture or circumstance, true joy is in the Lord so can occur anywhere God is present, the kingdom of God is advancing in the midst of a darkened world.

Pray for:

  • The Lord to raise up more Shan who will be trained and sent to plant multiplying house churches in Shan State  (Acts 13:2).
  • Existing groups to meet faithfully and multiply their witness boldly without the need for an outside pastor  (2 Timothy 4:5).

Further information:

I came across some interesting information yesterday about the Corruptions Perceptions Index for 2010 from Transparency International. As a New Zealander I was greatly relieved to see that our nation is one of the least corrupt, and then was grieved to discover that Burma ranks as the second most corrupt, with only Somalia below it in rank. This emphasizes to me that people like me who live in very privileged circumstances, simply by virtue of God’s sovereign choice to have me born here, have an obligation to use the blessings we have been given to help those who have been born into much more difficult circumstances. One way all of us can help is to offer our prayers to God for our brothers and sisters in Burma, and for those who are not yet in the Kingdom to be given the opportunity to enter it.