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Every other month our CLC Board of Missions updates us with recent news from various mission fields.

Daily bread’ means everything we need for our bodily well-being. It includes . . . good government. . . .” (Luther’s Explanation to the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer).

Martin Luther lists over twenty different things under the heading “Daily Bread.” Good government helps to maintain order and peace in society, which allows us to receive the things we need for our daily lives. Paul tells us that the government is “God’s minister to you for good.” (Romans 13:4) We thank God for good government, especially when we see the suffering and chaos caused by bad government. That is what our fellow Christians in Myanmar have been experiencing over the past two and a half years.

On February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military regime usurped power from their democratically elected government. Since the coup, the political, economic, and humanitarian crisis has only grown more dire. Protests and violence between the military and citizens continue. Banks and ATMs were shut down, making it impossible for the CLC, for a time, to send funds to the NLCM and CLCM, the two indigenous church bodies with whom we are in fellowship. Members of our sister church bodies have heard gunfire and explosions just blocks from where they live. Recent reports indicate that more than two million people have been displaced since the coup.

The situation in Myanmar has also affected efforts to proclaim the Gospel. Most of the outreach efforts of our sister church bodies involve visiting members in their homes. Any large gathering is seen as a threat by the military and is quickly dispersed.

Pastor Kham of the CLCM recently reported that after an eight-day ground battle between the military junta and the People’s Defense Force, the military sent in bomber and fighter jets and carpet bombed several villages in Chin State. Many houses of CLCM members have been burned, damaged, or destroyed. In total, twenty-three families (115 individuals) have been affected. These families, who had already been struggling to provide for themselves, have now been forced to leave their homes and villages in search of safety and shelter.

Pastor Kham estimates that the cost to feed and shelter this many people is about $13,200/month or $3.82 per person per day. He believes the displaced members will need care for two or three months. In response, the Board of Missions authorized a $15,000 grant from kinship to provide aid for those displaced. In a recent correspondence with Missionary Todd Ohlmann, Pastor Kham wrote: “We couldn’t express in word how we feel and our gratitude to you and the CLC. Praise the Lord! How great He is!”

Please pray for our fellow Christians in Myanmar. Pray that God will strengthen and comfort them in their distress. Pray that He will provide for all their needs, including good government. Pray that He will enable them to continue to share His love and truth with others.

Village in Chin State in western Myanmar - June 2023
Village in Chin State in western Myanmar – June 2023

Robert Sauers is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Florida, and a member of the CLC Board of Missions