ASAP Ministries

Trials To Triumph - Divine Deliverance For The People Of Burma

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Martin Kim & Judy Aitken


Series Code: ASAP

Program Code: ASAP000008

00:42 The beautiful country of Myanmar
00:45 known to many as Burma
00:47 is home to over 100 distinct ethnic groups.
00:51 Situated in South East Asia
00:54 between the countries of Thailand and India,
00:57 Burma has a long rich history of dynasties and kingdoms.
01:03 While the large majority of the people are Buddhists,
01:06 Christianity was introduced to the country
01:09 during the colonial period
01:11 when the British governed the country
01:12 between 1886 and 1948.
01:17 Today, there are about three million Christians in Burma
01:21 about four percent of the population.
01:25 Adventism was started in the early 1900s
01:30 most known and loved are among those early missionaries
01:33 was a young man by the name of Eric B Hare.
01:39 When Eric B Hare and his wife arrived in the country of Burma
01:42 as a young newly wed couple in 1915
01:45 and began working among the Karen ethnic group
01:48 they were met with suspicion and fear.
01:51 Primarily animist and spirit worshippers
01:54 the Karen believed that the white God worshippers
01:57 that had come to live among them
01:59 were there to cast spells on them
02:01 and perhaps eat their children.
02:04 If the heirs would have built a church
02:07 and started their ministry by preaching Christian doctrine,
02:10 it is unlikely that they would had any success
02:13 in reaching people for Christ.
02:15 Fortunately for God's work in Burma the heirs instead
02:20 built the clinic and began serving the medical
02:23 and physical needs of the people.
02:25 As God's love poured through hands
02:27 that brought relief to the suffering
02:29 it also melted away fear and suspicion.
02:33 As pastor Hare or Dr. Rabbit
02:36 as he became known to the people,
02:38 became friends with the villagers.
02:40 They soon began asking him
02:43 about the God that he worshipped.
02:46 It was only then when huts were ready to receive
02:49 the seeds of the gospel
02:51 that they began to share their faith.
02:54 Over the years that followed
02:56 the heirs rejoiced as many villagers
02:58 gave their lives to God and became Christians.
03:02 Today many Adventist Christian in Burma
03:04 can trace their roots back to the work that Elder Hare
03:08 and his wife started in a small clinic
03:10 in the steamy jungles of Burma.
03:13 Today an Adventist South East Asia project
03:16 is following in the same tradition
03:18 and methods of Elder Hare and his wife.
03:22 I would like you to meet our church planter Khaing Hlone.
03:29 After I became a Christian my heart was filled
03:32 with a desire to share with others
03:35 the things that I have learned about God.
03:38 In the place where I was living
03:40 there were already many others sharing their faith
03:44 and so I asked God where I might go
03:47 to be an effective worker for Him.
03:50 When I looked back on my experience
03:53 I am amazed to see how God has led me each step of the way
03:57 to a small village in remote region of Burma.
04:02 I am now working as a Bible worker
04:04 sponsored by ASAP for the Lahu people
04:09 one of the ethnic minority groups living in Burma.
04:16 At first the village elders and their animist priest
04:21 were quite resistant to me sharing my faith about God.
04:25 They said that they were not really interested
04:27 in anything to do with Christianity.
04:29 But were inviting me into their village
04:31 because they had heard that I was a good teacher
04:34 and their children needed a school.
04:38 I accepted the position but still my heart longed
04:41 to be able share the good news with these people.
04:45 I prayed a lot asking God to show me ways
04:49 that I could gain the confidence and trusted of the people.
04:56 For the first four months
04:58 I simply taught the children regular school subjects.
05:02 They learned how to read and write.
05:04 They studied literature and how to speak Burmese.
05:09 After four months of working with the children in this way
05:13 I noticed the big change come over the people.
05:16 I had gained their confidence.
05:19 They were now very friendly and accepting of me.
05:24 I was impressed that the time had come
05:26 for me to begin to teach the children about God.
05:30 As part of their literature classes
05:32 I began to tell them stories from the Bible.
05:35 The children loved them, they also loved to sing
05:40 and so as part of our music and Burmese languages classes
05:45 we began to sing songs in Burmese about God.
05:56 The children enjoyed this so much
05:59 that they began to come to my home in the evening
06:02 for more stories and singing.
06:05 Even some of the parents have started to come to my home
06:08 in the evenings and now also on Sabbath.
06:12 We now have about 30 people
06:15 from the village coming on the regular basis.
06:21 One of the most influential people
06:23 in a Lahu village is the animist priest.
06:28 At first, the animist priest in this village
06:32 was very skeptical.
06:34 But God has touched his heart
06:36 and he has become one of my biggest supporters.
06:40 He encourages the children to come to my evening meetings
06:44 and has become very interested himself.
06:47 He does not know how to read
06:49 and so he is learning about God from our discussions
06:53 and the picture rolls that I have received from ASAP.
06:57 He says that he wants to become an Adventist Christian
07:01 along with his whole family.
07:04 But he is struggling about what to do
07:06 with his responsibilities as the village priest.
07:11 Please pray that God will make the way clear for him.
07:16 One of the things that I believe has helped me
07:19 gain the confidence of the people
07:21 is the work that I have been able to do for the sick.
07:25 Normally what happens here when someone gets sick
07:28 is that they first go to the animist priest
07:30 for healing.
07:32 If that is not work they travel to the nearest city
07:36 and go to the hospital.
07:38 If that does not work they accept their fate
07:42 and return to the village.
07:44 It is for some of these people
07:47 who have returned from the hospital
07:49 that I have been able to help with prayer
07:52 and simple natural treatments.
07:56 I would not have known how to do these
07:58 if I had not been for the training program
08:01 that ASAP gave us and the natural methods
08:04 that we learned from Dr. Mary Ann Mcneilus.
08:08 With these simple treatments and prayer
08:12 many people have become well.
08:15 As a result they now believe in Jesus
08:18 and the power of prayer.
08:22 I have been trying to show them by my own example
08:26 and by teaching them
08:27 the health principles of the Bible.
08:30 How to live a happier, healthier life
08:33 but it is difficult for them.
08:36 They really like to drink alcohol and smoke.
08:41 Pork is a very big part of their daily diet
08:44 and they say that as much as they would like to be healthy
08:47 it is very hard to give up these things.
08:51 Please pray for me as I continue to work
08:54 with these Lahu people and share with them
08:58 about the love of God.
09:01 We thank the Lord for our faithful ASAP
09:03 national missionaries
09:05 who are using "Christ's method to reach the people.
09:08 We are told Christ's method alone
09:11 will give true success in reaching the people.
09:13 The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good.
09:17 He showed His sympathy for them,
09:19 ministered to their needs, and won their confidence.
09:23 Then He bade them, 'Follow Me.'
09:31 " In 1948 Burma gained its independence from Britain
09:36 and for a short time practices the democratic
09:38 form of government they had learned from the British.
09:42 However, in 1962 the government was taken over by the military
09:48 and the country has virtually been
09:50 under military rule since that time.
09:54 While the people of Burma have been
09:56 free to practice their Christianity and even evangelize
10:00 in some regions with local government approval.
10:04 Some of the ethnic groups have had ongoing
10:07 clashes with the Burmese military.
10:11 One of the groups that have been brutally oppressed
10:14 is the Karen, the same ethnic group that
10:17 Eric B Hare worked with for so many years.
10:21 As a result many Karen
10:24 have fled across the border into Thailand
10:26 where they take refuge in camps set up by the Thai government.
10:32 Some have lived in these camps for decades.
10:38 In 1966 a young man who had recently graduated
10:43 from the Adventist Seminary in Burma
10:45 heard about the refugees along the Thai border
10:48 and felt impressed to go and work for them.
10:52 At first it was very difficult.
10:54 It is not easy to work in a place
10:56 where there are no Christians.
10:59 It was only after two or three years
11:01 of visiting the people in their homes
11:04 that Pastor Phamor was able to get
11:06 some of the people to become interested in Christianity.
11:10 Once again like Elder Hare, Pastor Phamor
11:13 discovered that he was only after he became friends
11:17 with the people and began to meet their needs
11:20 that their hearts will respond to the gospel message.
11:24 The method he found worked best was to open schools.
11:31 In those days there were no schools.
11:34 I felt impressed that if we could start schools
11:37 we would not only meet the real need for the people
11:40 we could also have the opportunity
11:42 to share the gospel with the children that came.
11:46 With God's help we started two schools,
11:49 one in Thailand and one across the border
11:52 in no-man's-land.
11:55 I call it no-man's-land
11:56 because the land is under martial law.
11:59 If the Burmese government soldiers
12:01 find you in this area
12:03 they shoot first and ask questions later.
12:06 It doesn't matter who you are they will kill you.
12:10 Another reason why I call it no-man's-land
12:13 is because no one seems to care what happens
12:16 to the people who are living here.
12:20 As Pastor Phamor stepped out in faith
12:23 and built the bamboos schools in the jungles of no-man's-land
12:27 God began to provide the funds to help pay the teachers
12:31 and Bible workers a small stipend for their work.
12:35 As they prayed and trusted God for help
12:38 people heard about the work that they were doing
12:41 and started sending in small donations each month to help.
12:46 Over the years the work has grown as God has blessed.
12:52 The schools were a big success.
12:56 From those first two schools that we started
12:58 we now have 38 schools.
13:02 Some are in the refugee camps
13:05 but many more are located in no-man's-land.
13:09 The soldiers come scatter the people
13:11 and burn down the schools
13:13 but we just build again in another location.
13:17 Our enrolment has grown from 25 to about 5,000 students.
13:24 Because of these schools God's work has really grown.
13:28 Many of the students have become
13:30 dedicated teachers and lay pastors.
13:34 Even though I teach commerce and English
13:37 I still have many opportunities
13:39 to talk to my students about God.
13:41 When I see this young people accepting Jesus
13:45 and making decisions to follow
13:47 it brings me the greatest satisfaction
13:51 that I am able to do this kind of work.
13:55 It was when I was a student at this school
13:58 that I became a Christian and accepted Jesus as my Savior
14:03 because, my heart was so full
14:05 I wanted to share that joy with others.
14:08 So I decided to become a teacher myself
14:11 and now I am the one teaching the children about God's love.
14:16 The subjects that I enjoy
14:17 teaching the most are health and Bible.
14:21 To me there is no greater joy that a teacher can have
14:26 then when she sees one of her students
14:28 accept Christ as their personal Savior.
14:31 This is what makes it all worthwhile.
14:35 The thing that I like the most about this school
14:38 is that they teach the Bible here.
14:41 No other school in the camps do that.
14:44 I was born into a Buddhist family
14:46 and when I first came to this school
14:49 I did not know much about the Bible or God.
14:52 But everyday our teachers about the love of God
14:56 and how Jesus came to this earth to save us
15:01 and help us live better lives.
15:04 I decided that this is what I wanted for my life.
15:08 I have accepted Christ and have been baptized
15:12 here at this school.
15:15 Only about 25% of the students that attend our school
15:18 come from Adventist homes
15:20 and rest come from other religions or faiths.
15:24 This gives us a wonderful opportunity
15:26 to share Christ with the young people
15:28 who come to our school.
15:30 I believe that Christian education
15:33 is one of the best ways to evangelize.
15:39 It brings me the greatest joy when I see these young people
15:43 accepting Jesus and becoming baptized
15:46 and then as they finish and graduate from our school
15:50 some of them want to go on and become nurses,
15:53 doctors, teachers and pastors.
15:56 It is wonderful to think about how God's work will grow
16:00 as these young people go out and work for Him in the future.
16:04 Now we have about 174 teachers and about 25 lay pastors.
16:10 Even though we do not pay them a lot
16:13 the salaries of that many workers
16:15 adds up to a lot each month.
16:18 The reason that we need help from our friends from abroad
16:21 is because the villages are very poor.
16:25 In the refugee camps it is very difficult to make any income.
16:29 And in no-man's-land the crops are destroyed
16:32 by the enemy soldiers every year.
16:35 They burn down the homes,
16:37 their barns and destroy their food.
16:41 The people are very poor.
16:43 They don't really even have enough clothing
16:46 or food each year.
16:49 As a result it is very difficult to collect
16:52 any school fees at all.
16:55 And yet we believe that this work is so important
16:59 that we must keep running the schools
17:01 and trust in God for the funds to come.
17:05 Every month we have challenges
17:08 and yet witness great miracles.
17:11 God is faithful and we are putting our trust in Him.
17:22 Many people may have read the thrilling stories
17:24 that Eric B Hare wrote about his life
17:27 as a missionary in Burma.
17:30 Some have no doubt wondered
17:32 how different their lives would be
17:34 if they had become a missionary themselves
17:36 and been able to work with the people of Burma
17:39 and bring them to Jesus like Elder Hare did.
17:42 Through the Providence of God
17:44 we may still have this opportunity.
17:48 Since, most of us are not able to become
17:51 missionaries in the jungle of Burma
17:54 God is bringing the mission field to us.
17:58 A few years ago the United Nations began
18:01 the process of relocating families from Burma
18:04 to give them the opportunity to start a new life.
18:08 Many refugees have already moved to Australia,
18:12 Europe, Canada and the United States.
18:17 After living their entire lives in a refugee camp,
18:21 landing in a new country can be an overwhelming
18:25 and frightful experience.
18:28 As church members in Fort Wayne, Indiana have discovered
18:32 this is a wonderful opportunity
18:35 to become a missionary right here at home.
18:41 When the Karen Burmese refugees first come to Fort Wayne
18:47 they come with literally nothing.
18:49 When they get here everything is new
18:52 and it's a very different than home.
18:55 They have to come into a culture
18:59 where everything is fast paced.
19:02 Right after bath they need a job.
19:05 They get off the, of the airplane
19:07 and they have a one little suitcase
19:08 with their meager belongings
19:11 and they get put in apartment
19:13 which the government pays for a few months
19:16 and suddenly its like go find a job.
19:18 They have to learn how to use microwaves and rice cookers
19:22 and they have to learn how to drive cars.
19:24 And they have to learn how to use the computer
19:26 and a TV and fill out applications for jobs.
19:30 And they don't even know what common words mean.
19:33 They always get the poorest jobs,
19:36 they get minimum wage.
19:38 It means they end up living in the worst housing in the area.
19:42 The Seventh-day Adventist families that have come in
19:45 and come to our church mostly our church will take them things
19:49 they need like pots and pans and microwaves
19:52 and we give them cloths and bedding and food.
19:56 People who are fresh immigrants to this country
20:00 are most opened to the gospel.
20:02 In America we spend millions of dollars
20:05 on public evangelism and yet they return on that investment
20:09 I would guess as not as great as it would be
20:13 if we focused on reaching this first generation
20:16 refugees that come to America.
20:23 Even from the time I was a child
20:25 I have always wanted to be God's servant.
20:29 God has blessed me and I have been able to serve Him
20:33 in many different parts of Burma.
20:35 In His great providence God eventually
20:38 let me here to Fort Wayne, Indiana
20:41 where the local church was endeavoring
20:43 to reach out to the Karen families in US city.
20:48 Pastor Ramon asked me to have a translation services.
20:52 I was able to help the families that were coming to church
20:56 and the students that were coming to our Adventist school.
21:00 I then began to visit the Karen
21:02 and Burmese families in their homes
21:04 encouraging them and inviting them to church.
21:08 There are so many ways that a church can help
21:10 a new immigrant family.
21:13 In addition to provisions from your
21:16 local community services center
21:18 you can also help connect these lovely families
21:22 to other services available to them.
21:26 They need help in transportation for simple things
21:28 like grocery shopping, attending church,
21:31 finding clinics and hospitals
21:33 or even help in filling out a simple application.
21:38 I believe that as your church becomes involved
21:41 in a refugee ministry that you will find that it
21:44 not only helps serve God's children
21:48 it also brings a big blessing
21:50 to the church family that does the serving.
22:02 When I first began to work
22:05 with the Karen and other refugees
22:08 I wasn't expecting to fall in love with them as people
22:11 which I did.
22:12 They're really family
22:15 and I also wasn't really looking at it
22:18 from a perspective of this is my mission field.
22:22 You know, for years and years we have always said to God
22:25 you want us to go the mission field,
22:27 just tell us we'll go.
22:30 We were always willing and He never sent us.
22:33 And it was kind of like, why.
22:36 And then I came here and suddenly here we are with
22:39 thousands of refugees living here in Fort Wayne
22:43 and it seemed like no school, no church
22:49 was really saying here is a huge opportunity
22:53 to serve God right here in America.
22:57 We realize that suddenly we were in the mission field.
23:01 Wow, I am in the mission field and I didn't know it.
23:06 Every one of us in the mission field.
23:09 If you're in a little town or a big town no matter
23:11 what those people around that need to hear
23:14 the gospel and what you're waiting for.
23:19 There is an urgency to this mission.
23:23 I'm painful aware that many Adventist refugees
23:26 that come to this country end up
23:29 becoming part of other churches
23:32 because our own church is ill equipped
23:35 to care for their needs.
23:37 This mission field is ripe for the harvest.
23:40 They were many people who were ready to become
23:43 a part of the family of God if given the right invitation.
23:48 Our church has grown tremendously
23:51 because we are allowing God to love other people through us.
23:55 When I first came to this church
23:57 we were about half full
23:59 running two worship services now.
24:02 This church is now looking for a new campus
24:04 to accommodate the people who keep coming
24:07 because they're finding a safe place
24:09 where they can be loved and cared for
24:12 and your church can be such a church
24:16 if you're willing to make the sacrifice
24:20 and allow God to love other people through you.
24:24 Friends, we see God working in marvelous ways
24:27 for the people of Burma.
24:30 We invite you to partner with us to reach the
24:33 unreached people who desperately need Jesus.
24:37 We're told in the book Desire of Ages,
24:40 "All may find something to do.
24:42 'The poor always ye have with you' Jesus said,
24:46 and none need feel that there is no place
24:49 where they can labor for Him.
24:52 Millions upon millions of human souls ready to perish,
24:56 bound in chains of ignorance and sin
24:59 have never so much as heard of Christ's love for them.
25:04 Were our condition and theirs to be reversed,
25:07 what would we desire them to do for us?
25:11 All this so far as lies in our power,
25:14 we are under the most solemn obligation to do for them."
25:20 I invite you to pray with me asking Jesus Christ
25:24 the greatest missionary to dwell in us by His spirit
25:28 guiding us to become missionaries for Him.
25:31 I believe that if we pray this prayer He will answer
25:35 and lead us to the refugees in need.
25:38 We solicit your prayers for this ministry
25:41 and invite you to give as God impresses you.
25:44 Your gifts will help send many willing missionaries
25:48 to un-reach villages in Burma.
25:51 For $90 a month you can support a church planter,
25:55 $100 a month will support a medical missionary
25:59 and $70 a month will support a teacher
26:03 at the Karen Adventist Academy.
26:06 You can call ASAP now or go online at your convenience
26:10 to make a tax deductible donation.
26:13 To learn more about how you can reach out
26:16 to refugees here on your doorstep
26:19 please call us as the Lord impresses you.
26:22 My prayer is that God will bless you
26:25 and speak to your heart if you listen to our
26:28 Karen Brother Joe Tan sing "Open Our Eyes."
26:33 Open your eyes to the world all around you
26:37 Open your eyes, open your eyes
26:42 This world is much more than the things
26:45 that surround you
26:47 You must arise, and open your eyes
26:52 Sometimes we're too busy to share
26:56 But Jesus wants us to care, to care
27:04 Open your eyes to the world all around you
27:09 Open your eyes, open your eyes
27:13 This world is much more than the things
27:16 that surround you Open your eyes,
27:20 open your eyes
27:23 Jesus loves all men the same
27:27 So we've got to go out in His name,
27:32 His name
27:35 Jesus says, Jesus says,
27:39 Jesus says, it's Him
27:44 Jesus says, when we love someone
27:48 in His name,
27:50 we're loving Him
27:56 we're loving Him


Revised 2014-12-17