It has been a challenge to follow up with the over two thousand new believers that made a commitment to Jesus during our Christmas outreach events in Myanmar. We are continually looking for new means to gain access to the remote Buddhist villages where these new believers live. It is not easy; even less so, during oppressive military rule. Declaring oneself an “evangelist” is a sure way to close doors. We needed another strategy. It was while our outreach team was embarking on a recent trip to the village of Mrauk Oo in Rakhine State that the Lord led us to an unexpected solution.
When the team first arrived at Mrauk Oo, they were horrified. On top of the many hardships forced upon them by the constant threat of military raids, bombs, food shortages, and COVID-19, these villagers were living without the means for simple, basic hygiene.
“Louise, there is excrement everywhere!” one team member called to tell me. “This is a village of over five hundred people, and they have only two outhouses. The young people just go into the jungle and find a tree, but the older people cannot go that far, or they cannot make it in time.”
It was after that call that the team sensed the Holy Spirit ask: “Would you being willing to do anything to reach these people? I’m sure I can open the door for you, if you offer to dig them a toilet.” Humbly, they said yes, and before too long I had another call from them.
“Louise,” the team member said excitedly, “we have built ten new outhouses! It’s hard work, digging through the rocky soil, so we have made friends with all the young men in the village. I noticed that once they finish their rice whiskey production in the morning, they have nothing else to do, and are totally bored. Now they are working with us!”
Our team had a great time building biffies with these young volunteers and shared the love of Jesus Christ with the village. As a result, a new church has now been planted in this least-reached state in Myanmar, and eight people have already been baptized! Pray for these new believers to grow in their faith and boldness and pray for the people of Myanmar to find Jesus in these dark days.