Participants: Jaime Jorge
Series Code: HIM
Program Code: HIM000052A
00:02 Welcome to Myanmar.
00:04 I am standing on the bank
00:06 of the Delta region of this country
00:07 and as we look out on to the river,
00:09 this plays an integral part
00:11 in the lives and economy of the people in this country,
00:14 through fishing as well as transportation.
00:18 90% of the people in this country
00:20 practice Buddhism.
00:22 In fact Myanmar is one of the most
00:23 religious Buddhist countries in the world.
00:27 When looking at the proportion amongst the people,
00:30 population as well as the amount of income
00:34 that they spend on religion.
00:37 This presents a great challenge to the mission
00:40 of the Seventh-day Adventist church here in Myanmar.
00:43 But this is beginning to change slowly.
00:45 Adventist education plays a central role
00:50 in the spreading of the gospel in Myanmar.
00:53 But challenge is
00:55 that a decent education is expensive,
00:58 most people can't afford it.
01:00 But this is where an organization like Asian Aid
01:03 has such a great deal of impact.
01:06 They are concerned and committed
01:08 to the welfare of children in need here.
01:11 Join me on a journey as we see what Asian Aid
01:16 is doing to strengthen and further the mission
01:19 of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Myanmar.
01:36 Asian Aid is an organization giving hope,
01:39 an organization fostering permanent positive change
01:42 in the lives of disadvantaged children
01:44 and their communities, an organization
01:47 that is committed to making a difference
01:49 in the lives of children
01:50 and those who are in need, serving communities in Nepal,
01:54 Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and India.
02:06 For the last 40 years,
02:07 Asian Aid has invested in the futures of people
02:10 and their investment has proven infinite returns.
02:14 Driven by their dedication
02:16 to helping those who have the least,
02:18 Asian Aid is an organization
02:20 focused on the welfare of children,
02:23 implementing diverse development projects
02:26 and sponsoring thousands of children.
02:28 Their outreach spans from child rescue operations
02:32 to providing an education
02:33 for orphans, deaf and the blind children,
02:37 giving them a sense of place, a home.
02:40 But above all, Asian Aid is an organization giving hope,
02:44 giving hope to children, giving hope to communities,
02:48 giving hope to the ones who need it the most.
02:51 This is Hope in Motion.
03:09 Myanmar or Burma as it was used to be called
03:12 is in Southeast Asia.
03:14 It borders China, India, Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand.
03:19 It has naturally absorbed some of the cultural influences
03:22 of these neighbors.
03:24 For years colonial rule was seen here
03:27 but then rampant ethnic strife
03:29 caused a military backed government to take power.
03:34 But more recently civilian rule has come to be established
03:38 and the country has opened up its doors to the outside world.
03:42 There's peace and freedom.
03:45 This is good news for the mission
03:47 of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Myanmar
03:49 and the supporting ministries like Asian Aid.
04:02 Myanmar is predominantly a Buddhist country
04:05 where over 85% of the population
04:08 practices Buddhism.
04:10 Public evangelism is banned,
04:12 but the Adventist message is slowly trickling through.
04:17 The main reason for that is our school system.
04:20 Our Adventist schools are a wonderful place
04:23 for us to introduce Jesus to the children
04:25 at a very early age.
04:28 But being a poor country
04:30 many children struggle to attend school
04:32 and get a good education.
04:35 This is where Asian Aid has its biggest impact.
04:39 Last year at the GC session in San Antonio,
04:42 I was privileged to do a benefit concert for Asian Aid
04:45 so that more children could be sponsored.
04:47 When I heard about the work
04:49 that is also being done here in Myanmar,
04:51 I was naturally curious
04:52 and I wanted to come here and see for myself.
04:55 I wanted to see exactly what Asian Aid is doing
04:58 to bring hope, salvation
05:01 and a future to children in need in Myanmar.
05:22 I was first taken to Myanmar Union Adventist Seminary
05:25 or MUAS, as it is commonly known here.
05:29 Now MUAS is the only Adventist institution
05:33 of higher learning in Myanmar.
05:36 And it plays a very important role
05:39 in developing young minds
05:41 to be future torchbearers for the church.
05:45 We have one, only one Adventist College in Myanmar
05:49 and it is very important
05:51 because all youths of Adventist church in Myanmar,
05:56 they come here to study.
06:00 It helps them to get education for their life
06:04 and also their spiritual education
06:07 to prepare for testimony
06:10 to others about the love of God.
06:14 Right now we have over 600 students this semester.
06:19 And most of our students
06:22 come from financially poor background
06:26 and our members scattered all over Myanmar
06:32 from different regions and states,
06:35 so, in my union mission,
06:39 the church have a good anticipation
06:43 on these young people.
06:45 They are the future of the church.
06:47 And they have solid Adventist education
06:52 in this institution only.
06:58 The seminary is a beautiful campus.
07:01 As I was given a quick tour,
07:03 I heard music coming from the auditorium.
07:06 Intrigued by the sound of violin filling the air,
07:10 I went to the auditorium
07:11 to find beautiful young ladies practicing.
07:16 Using and developing your talents
07:19 for God's honor and glory.
08:46 All right, fantastic.
08:49 I have been here to seminary for just a few hours,
08:51 but one of the things that has brought me the most joy
08:54 was to hear them practicing.
08:56 We were walking around the campus
08:58 but we could hear this wonderful beautiful music.
09:01 You know, these young people come from different places
09:04 and different backgrounds
09:06 but something has brought them together,
09:09 music and Jesus Christ.
09:11 You see some of these songs to praise the Lord
09:14 are the first exposure that they have to Jesus.
09:18 But this is a way in which they are coming
09:20 to learn about Jesus Christ.
09:22 Asian Aid is making it possible
09:24 for these young people and many others,
09:27 to be able to dedicate their talents and their lives
09:30 to share the love of Jesus with others.
09:35 Young people using their talents
09:37 for the glory of God and witnessing it
09:40 on one of the frontier mission fields
09:42 of the church is a true blessing.
09:45 In fact the spirituality that emits
09:47 from the students and staff a like
09:49 is very encouraging to me and many other visitors
09:53 who have visited this campus over the years.
09:56 It reinforced my belief in the Adventist school system
09:59 and the role education plays in witnessing
10:03 for our Lord and savior.
10:06 I believe that in the country of Myanmar probably more
10:10 so than in many other countries in the world,
10:12 education is vital.
10:14 And I believe so because education seems to be
10:19 the platform in which many non-Adventists
10:23 or Christians get to know about Jesus Christ.
10:27 And so from my particular perspective,
10:29 education is vital in this country.
10:31 It is important that we subsidize it,
10:34 it is important that we,
10:36 that we really create the environment
10:39 in which children have an opportunity
10:41 to learn about Christ.
10:45 But a good education is not easy to get,
10:48 particularly in rural areas,
10:51 especially in a poor country like Myanmar,
10:54 where obtaining a good Adventist education
10:56 is not within reach
10:58 of a majority of Adventist families.
11:02 As you know Asian Aid operates in six countries in Asia
11:06 and recently entered Myanmar.
11:08 Now traditionally Asian Aid takes a child by its own need
11:13 and places someone in Adventist school.
11:16 Poverty is a vicious cycle
11:18 and in Myanmar there is a lot of poverty
11:22 and the great thing about education is that
11:24 it helps break that cycle.
11:27 That cycle that has an impact
11:29 not just on the child but on the family,
11:32 and this is why sponsorship in a country like Myanmar
11:36 is very, very significant for the total population.
11:41 Not just on the child but on the family
11:44 and on the village they come from.
11:47 I truly believe that our Adventist schools
11:49 and seminaries not only serve as an educational institution
11:53 but also as a beacon of light to the community it serves.
11:59 Talking about community,
12:01 I was anxious to visit some of the neighboring villages
12:04 and see for myself some of the circumstances
12:08 that these students come from.
12:13 You are so cute.
12:39 I am in a small poor village deep in the heart of Myanmar.
12:43 You wouldn't know it
12:45 but our school is actually not too far away.
12:48 In our western comfortable cultures and countries
12:51 we've probably heard about poverty, we've read about it,
12:54 we've seen pictures, but unless you're here,
12:58 it's hard to fully grasp and understand what it's like.
13:02 The children you see behind me live in this village.
13:06 Their parents go out
13:07 and work under backbreaking conditions all day.
13:11 That means that these children stay here.
13:13 They don't have the chance to go to school.
13:16 And when they grow up, the cycle is perpetuated.
13:20 They can only go to work
13:21 where their parents worked and this continues.
13:24 But Asian Aid is making it possible
13:27 for these young people to be able to go
13:29 to a Christian school, get an education, love Jesus,
13:33 and then serve others and God.
13:37 Come with me after the break
13:39 and I'm going to show you a prime example
13:42 of how this sponsorship program is changing the lives.
13:46 It's breaking the cycle of poverty
13:48 and bringing hope, salvation, and a future to many.
13:59 A few years ago I had the privilege
14:00 of visiting India to see how the Asian Aid projects
14:04 are transforming lives in that country.
14:06 Especially the lives of abandoned children,
14:09 tribal children, orphan children,
14:12 children being raised without the advantages
14:14 we have here in America.
14:16 Sometimes things that we take for granted
14:18 are not there in that country.
14:20 And I discovered one very important thing
14:22 because of sponsors like you, these lives are being changed
14:26 and the future is being made bright.
14:29 Now these children have good clothing,
14:31 good nutritious food,
14:33 and they are able now to propel themselves
14:35 to a brighter tomorrow with good education
14:38 because of your sponsorship,
14:39 and your prayers, and your financial support.
14:41 And so on behalf of Asian Aid,
14:43 I want to thank you for what you do
14:45 because of what you have done and what you continue to do
14:48 not only in India but in other countries,
14:50 these children have hope, hope for a brighter future.
15:09 You know, couple of years ago
15:10 my daughters and I had a wonderful opportunity
15:13 to travel to India and there we met
15:15 another part of our family
15:17 and that was our sponsor daughter Sheela.
15:19 You know we've been sponsoring Sheela
15:21 through Asian Aid for a couple of years now
15:23 and it's been an incredible privilege.
15:26 While we were spending time with Sheela at her home
15:28 and at her school there in India,
15:30 we learnt that her dream was to become a nurse
15:33 and it's a wonderful blessing now to know that
15:36 she has realized that dream.
15:38 Sheela is now studying to become a nurse,
15:40 she's a vet at college and we could not be more proud
15:44 or happier for her.
15:46 You know, sponsoring Sheela
15:47 has made an incredible difference to our family
15:50 and I believe it can make a difference for you.
15:52 And most importantly,
15:53 sponsoring a child makes a difference
15:55 in the life of a child each and everyday.
16:20 Visiting a village that day was a revelation.
16:24 It opened my eyes to the struggles
16:26 and hardships of the poor in a way
16:29 that you can only understand by being there.
16:33 It gave me a new insight
16:35 into the role our schools play in the mission field
16:38 and the impact organizations like Asian Aid
16:42 has in supporting the church in its mission.
16:46 Even though the church work started
16:48 over a 100 years ago in Myanmar,
16:50 the past 50 years have been a huge challenge for the church
16:54 because of unfavorable political situations
16:57 that prevailed here
16:59 and the churches had great challenges
17:01 in promoting Christian education
17:03 across this Buddhist country.
17:05 But the situation has changed and the Lord has opened doors
17:09 and opportunities for us to expand His work in Myanmar.
17:15 For us to move forward in Myanmar in a positive way,
17:18 we established the Asian Aid Educate Myanmar Fund.
17:23 The purpose of this fund is to help sponsor
17:26 the 600 children that we've taken.
17:29 We don't have sponsors for them.
17:31 So stage one of the Educate Myanmar Fund
17:34 is to help sponsor those 600 children
17:37 where we find sponsors.
17:40 The second way is obviously to sponsor
17:42 one or more Myanmar children which you can do
17:46 through the Asian Aid sponsorship system.
17:49 The other need is that these mission schools
17:52 need resources in the classroom.
17:55 They are growing so fast.
17:56 So the Asian Aid Myanmar Fund would be totally committed
18:01 to helping the Adventist schools in Myanmar
18:05 and the critical thing is that 100% of the money
18:09 sent to Myanmar goes direct to these needy schools
18:14 mainly for sponsorship
18:16 but also to help develop these schools.
18:19 The Educate Myanmar Fund that Asian Aid operates
18:23 to sponsor children addresses another important issue
18:27 and that is the issue of congestion in the dorms
18:30 and other infrastructural needs.
18:33 Visiting one of the girls' dorm that day,
18:36 it was very evident to me
18:38 that the boarding facilities lacked
18:40 a conducive living environment.
18:51 Yes, we need more rooms.
18:55 Thank you very much.
18:57 Mm-hmm. Good.
19:04 I just finished the tour of the girls' dorm.
19:07 But the segment that I walked around
19:09 is pretty crowded.
19:11 In fact there are 51 girls that are rooming in that area.
19:16 They sleep on a hard surface
19:18 and so we want to make it possible for them
19:21 to have improved conditions.
19:23 Now where they come from is a lot more disadvantaged.
19:27 So they are really excited and happy to be here.
19:30 We want to be able to get more of those young people
19:33 from those villages into here
19:35 so that they can study and learn.
19:53 Jim led me to the Adventist high school
19:55 that was situated right across the road
19:58 from the seminary.
20:00 As we went around,
20:01 I came across the same infrastructural needs
20:04 that prevailed in the seminary.
20:07 But to me what was encouraging was the fact that
20:10 in spite of the difficult circumstances and situations,
20:14 children were sitting in classrooms learning,
20:17 receiving an education, a Christian education.
20:22 How exciting it is to witness and participate
20:25 in the development of a child's future.
20:28 Going around the campus
20:30 and talking to students and staff,
20:32 I saw the role Asian Aid and more importantly you,
20:36 the sponsors, are playing in the lives of these children
20:40 that come from such impoverished backgrounds.
20:45 They say that seeing is believing.
20:47 Well, you know what?
20:49 This is it right here. It's very exciting.
20:52 Behind me beautiful, wonderful young people learning.
20:56 If you're a sponsor, I want you to check this out.
21:00 And if you're not, I want you to look at these young people
21:03 and perhaps catch the joy,
21:06 the spark and the spirit to be able to do the same
21:09 and make a difference in the lives
21:11 of one of these young people.
21:24 Students who received scholarship
21:27 and obtain the Adventist education,
21:30 now they are prospering in their ministry
21:35 as well as in outside jobs.
21:37 For instance some are now working
21:42 in the institution.
21:44 Some are in the mission field.
21:46 So I really thank God for this sponsorship program.
21:54 The sponsorship for the children
21:57 is very important
21:58 because when we look Adventist family
22:02 average of the families
22:05 are trying for their daily foods.
22:10 So that it is very difficult to send their children
22:15 to the college and sponsor their children.
22:18 So when the children get sponsorship,
22:22 they continue to their education
22:26 and when they, they got the sponsorship,
22:32 they study and when they finish they can,
22:36 some can work in the denomination
22:38 and some work outside and at the same time
22:43 they can be a good witness and testimonies to other.
22:47 They can tell about the love of Jesus.
22:51 This was important for me.
22:53 The fact that Asian Aid
22:54 was contributing to the growth of the church in Myanmar,
22:58 a frontier mission filed is good news.
23:01 As I mentioned earlier,
23:03 public evangelism in Myanmar is banned
23:06 and so Asian Aids involvement in our schools plays a key role
23:10 in the growth of the church.
23:13 I do believe that Asian Aid is in tune
23:15 with the mission of the church.
23:17 The mission of the church is to prepare men and women
23:21 and to prepare the people
23:23 that believe in God for soul winning,
23:26 and Asian Aid is offering that particular opportunity.
23:30 There are 100% in tune
23:33 with the mission of this church.
23:36 All right, here she is.
23:41 Hi there, it's nice to meet you.
23:43 Nice to meet you.
23:45 I have heard a lot about this young lady.
23:56 She also has the interest in teaching.
23:58 We're working here
24:00 and also it's the calling from God
24:02 and she felt that calling from God,
24:05 so that is the reason why she is here.
24:07 Okay, fantastic.
24:09 Well, I shared with you that we had a special story
24:13 before the break and here she is Mia.
24:15 Mia is a recipient of our sponsorship program
24:19 for Asian Aid.
24:21 She was able to come to the school,
24:23 she finished her education,
24:25 then she felt the calling from God to go into teaching.
24:29 And that's why she is here
24:30 teaching these precious children.
24:33 This is what it's all about.
24:35 This is the story of hope.
24:36 This is the story of Asian Aid.
24:38 And you can be a part of that as we make it possible
24:42 for children to have an education,
24:45 come to know Jesus, and share with the world.
24:50 Mia's real name is May Thuzar Tun
24:54 but she preferred to be called Mia.
24:56 She is a 24-year-old Bachelor of Arts graduate
25:00 from the seminary.
25:01 Mia is a fine example
25:03 of what a simple gesture of sponsoring
25:05 a child's education can achieve.
25:08 It achieves far beyond its intended purpose
25:11 of providing a children's education.
25:13 It gives them hope for the future.
25:17 Meeting Mia that day also made me realize
25:20 that she was one of the lucky few.
25:23 Many children across Myanmar especially in rural areas
25:27 do not have this opportunity.
25:41 Being in this place a Christian school
25:44 in the heart of Myanmar reminds me
25:47 of when I was a little boy.
25:49 You see, I lived in a communist country
25:52 and it was impossible to have Christian schools there.
25:55 My parents dreamed of taking my sister and me to a place
26:00 where we should not only be able to worship God freely
26:03 but also have a Christian education.
26:06 Well, Asian Aid is making it possible
26:08 for hundreds of young people here in Myanmar
26:11 to have just that.
26:12 Would you consider partnering with us
26:15 to make a huge difference in the life of a young person
26:18 so that they can come to know Jesus,
26:21 have a Christian education, and share his love with others?
26:25 I was encouraged by Asian Aid's plans for Myanmar.
26:30 Asian Aid is an organization
26:31 that wants to make a significant contribution
26:34 in the lives of needy children.
26:37 Today Asian Aid is making it possible
26:39 to give them this opportunity
26:42 to not just receive an education
26:44 but an opportunity towards eternal life.
26:50 Children and their future are very important to me.
26:53 Those are things that are close to my heart.
26:55 And two years ago,
26:57 Asian Aid invited me
26:58 to go on a life changing trip to India.
27:01 Well, this time I have joined them
27:03 on a trip to Myanmar.
27:06 During our time here,
27:07 we have visited all kinds of interesting places.
27:10 We've been to pagodas, we've also been to villages
27:14 where poverty is visible everywhere.
27:17 I've also been on the campus of some of our schools.
27:21 I had the opportunity to play
27:22 with the group of beautiful young ladies
27:24 who play the violin.
27:26 I am seeing these young people whose lives are being changed
27:30 because of the sponsorship program.
27:33 They have a Christian education,
27:35 they have hope, and they will have a future.
27:37 In fact I met a young lady
27:39 who's now the teacher at a pre-school.
27:41 She went through our program, she was sponsored,
27:44 she graduated, and now she is a teacher.
27:47 What a joy it is to be able to make an impact in the lives
27:51 of so many young people.
27:53 Would you be willing to partner with us?
27:55 Would you be willing to help change a life
27:57 and bring future and Jesus to a young person in Myanmar?