Every other month our CLC Board of Missions updates us with recent news from various mission fields.
Formerly the capital of Myanmar, Yangon is the most populous city in the country. In a nation of an estimated fifty-four million people, Yangon boasts a metro-area population of just over seven million. Sadly, many of these are practicing Buddhists, as Buddhism makes up 87% of the national population’s professed religion. In the heart of this theological desert lies a glimmering oasis of Gospel proclamation.
For thirty-one years, the National Lutheran Church of Myanmar (NLCM) has been proclaiming Christ crucified among the lost souls of Yangon. A small synod of about two hundred individual members, the NLCM is led by Pastor Charles Edwards, who has been in the full-time ministry since 1990. Pastor Charles not only serves the main congregation in Yangon and several preaching stations in the region, but has also been blessed with a rather large youth ministry among various orphanages. Through catechism instruction and weekly devotions, the Lord has brought over three hundred orphans to regularly drink in the waters of life flowing from the Scriptures.
As part of this ministry, Pastor Charles has also provided financial support for school fees, uniforms, and books for the over three hundred orphans and other under-privileged children. The Lord seems to have used this humanitarian work to open more doors for the Gospel, as several of the men involved with these orphanages have requested that preaching stations or congregations be established in their areas.
Through the end of 2018, this charitable work had been subsidized by grants from a humanitarian organization from the US. That support dried up in January, as the notification was delivered that no more funds would be provided. To assist Pastor Charles and the NLCM in their continued ministry to the underprivileged youth of Yangon, the CLC Mission Board directed KINSHIP to begin a new group sponsorship called “Myanmar Children’s Assistance.” $4000 will be sent annually to give aid to these children. We pray that the Lord would use the funds both to bless the children and to pave the way for more Gospel outreach.
Samuel Rodebaugh is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Florida, and a member of the CLC’s Project KINSHIP Committee.