Military conflicts have driven thousands of people from their homes, and native Christian workers are often the only ones in position to help them. Workers recently brought rice, oil and the gospel to 74 families in one area, 65 in another and 60 at a separate location; over the course of six months, they provided 1,476 people with food and the message of Christ’s salvation.
Leaders of native ministries request urgent prayer for aid and protection amid constant surges of people displaced by military conflict, and for workers risking their lives to help them. Recently fighting drove more than 40,000 people from 11 villages. “About 200 are under our care in our church compound,” a native ministry leader said.
In spite of ongoing military conflict, eight disciples recently graduated with bachelor’s degrees in theology from a native ministry’s seminary, including five in absentia, and eight others received diplomas for lesser studies. “It was a small celebration on our campus, yet a good reminder of God’s faithfulness through the years despite the many challenges confronting us,” the native ministry leader said.
A native Christian worker from the La Hu people went to his ethnic group in a jungle village, where the local animists worshipped evil spirits. The worker became friendly with the local priest, sharing about the heavenly Father who casts out evil spirits, and the leader called the villagers together and told them of the one God who created all things; some villagers believed and formed a small group worshipping Christ.
Military conflict in the first three weeks of March increased the number of Internally Displaced Persons in Burma (Myanmar) by nearly 100,000, bringing the total since the 2021 military coup to 1.76 million. Desperation in Burma is growing but, amid opposition and restrictions, in many areas only native workers have the knowledge and networks to meet needs. They are risking their lives to do so.
Unable to work amid military offensives and COVID-19, people are struggling to survive. Native Christian workers are providing rice, cooking oil, beans and basic medicines in several places.
Meeting only during the day because of gunfire and rockets at night, local Christian workers held a six-day event that 100 people attended daily, strengthening their faith. “There were testimonies by people saying, ‘Only now I’ve come to see the real Christian life,’ or, ‘Only now do I know the victorious spiritual life,’” the ministry leader said.
Sometimes relocating from one place to another to escape military and other violence, native Christian workers at one ministry shared the gospel with more than 4,000 people over a period of six months.
A worker with a native ministry went to a new village and visited homes one by one until he reached the last one – he did not know it was that of a military family, much despised by the community after the February 2021 coup.
When a local Christian worker in Burma (Myanmar) visiting homes knocked on one door in the country devastated by a military coup, he didn’t realize a military family lived there. Area residents were resentful and/or terrified of the family since the February 2021 coup unleashed havoc in the country – protests, crackdowns and sheer random violence left many areas paralyzed. “This family had the feeling that they were isolated, because military personnel were hated by all the people,” the leader of a native ministry said.