Here are a Kevin’s reflections after returning from his Engineering Ministries International project trip to Myanmar:
I was surprised by Myanmar. Only 5 years ago it was mostly closed to foreigners. Today the country is opening up to tourists, and foreign investment. With the new openness, we are now learning what the local church has been up to Myanmar. From our observations, the church was and is incredibly active. About 8% of the country is Christianized, however the majority of these are from a small region in the western part of the country. The Christian leaders we were working with were training young people in a mission’s college and then commissioning them to plant churches in Buddhist villages. This church planting can be incredibly hard, slow and frustrating work. But the young people in the college are excited to receive this calling on their lives.
We worked all week with David Biakkung, director of Myanmar Mission College, to develop a long term vision to expand his college to meet his growing student population. From the 35 current students, he expects 100 students in the coming years in 4-year theology programs. This vision includes a library, chapel and more classrooms and dormitories. On the same campus is an orphanage of 25 children which has become an outreach for the college students.
David leads by example. He is one of the new heroes in my life who I see as following the calling God has put on his life. His life story is one of quiet sacrifice and compassion on the people around him. He could have a more illustrious pastoring position, but he has put himself in the center of God’s will in a small college located in a remote village far from his home. We need more heroes like him.