Since February 1, 2021, Myanmar — also known as Burma — has faced tragedies that most of us will never experience. The military junta assumed full control of the country. A shadow unity government formed in exile, and they encouraged citizens in every village to rise up with arms against the military. This action enraged the military. Bombings and bloodshed took place throughout the country.
Myanmar escaped the first waves of COVID-19, but people were caught off guard by more transmissible variants. The military hoarded vaccines and PPE. The remaining few hospitals had limited supplies and inadequate staffing. The military limited access to healthcare by welding shut hospital gates.
“Thousands have died, and we may never know the true number of deaths that occurred this past year,” says one of Reach A Village’s ministry partners. “The economy is in shambles, and war rages on in all parts of the country. Local believers have taken in thousands of villagers who are seeking shelter. They have also provided countless bags of rice, cooking oil and dried noodles and fish in unreached villages as they shared the Gospel.”
These local believers have endured their own suffering and persecution. Their vehicles were confiscated at checkpoints. Their families were interrogated as the military went from house to house. Their homes were destroyed when they refused to give their young adult males to military service.
Be encouraged. There is also positive news from Myanmar. Ministry leaders are meeting weekly with local believers by video conferencing, even with limited internet access. Believers were able to get 10,000 Bibles into the country. Through the work of the Holy Spirit during the past year, more than 200 house churches started; more than 100,000 people heard the Gospel; more than 10,000 people accepted Christ; and more than 6,000 new believers were baptized.