Under the direction of local leaders coordinating with church planting evangelists, the Church of the Nazarene is starting schools and churches in eastern Myanmar. Joining this trend, Rev. Ro Ding Liana was inspired to open a new house church in his home this May which will also serve as an extension of South East Asia Nazarene Bible College.
Last December 2017, Nazarenes in Myanmar sent Rev. Liana and NMI coordinator Saya Tana to investigate potential church planting in cooperation with both villages and evangelists and to learn how best to reach this area for Christ. Bumpy bus rides, hundreds of flies, chickens, pigs met the men as they landed in the villages. In January 2018 an agreement was signed that launched the thrust to the east.
Eastern Myanmar has recently seen an emphasis on education, including a literacy program started by the government in 2015. However, many villages still do not have schools. Some of these villages have requested Nazarenes to start elementary schools and to start churches as well.
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There have been promising signs already. “New Christians have remained strong in spite of attacks from local villagers,” said Rev. Liana of those who have been served by the new house church. “Our new believers are strong in their faith.”
Much remains to be done. Leaders in the area ask for prayer in the following areas:
- Communication can be limited in this area of Myanmar, so pray for the means to stay in touch across distances.
- Pray for protection from local resistance to the Gospel.
- Pray for the leaders who are boldly sharing the Gospel in new areas.