Let my teaching fall like rain, and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants. (Deuteronomy 32:2)
HARVEST TIME FOR THE SHAN
Centuries ago migration from South West China began with the overthrow of Kunming by Kublai Khan. The Shan (Tai/Dai) ruled a vast area as far west as Assam, India and as far east as Northern Vietnam. This area steadily contracted to the point at which the Shan today have become marginalized and disadvantaged in many of the countries that they find themselves in. There are more than 5-6 million Shan peoples spread across several countries where rural farming characterizes the lives of the vast majority. Pray for the God of the impossible to keep the Shan united in maintaining their God-ordained identity while embracing Christianity, which counters their beliefs in Buddhism, animism, and ancestral worship.
*Note: Names and sometimes locations have been changed to protect privacy.
SUNDAYS • Because of her testimony
In 2021 there was an Easter party for Shan and Shan-speaking people. Nang Kahm* heard the good news in Shan at this meeting. Two weeks later she called and said that she wanted to become a Christian. When visited by believers she received Christ and was baptized. Nang Kahm shared the good news with her family and friends, and some became Christians too. Since then 25 people have been baptized and 15 of them are a direct result of her testimony. A Shan church was planted with between 30-50 people attending every Sunday. While the service is in Shan, many other minorities also attend. Pray for this new church plant. Ask for good follow-up with new Christians and wisdom in discipling them. Pray also for the Shan to reach out and share the good news (like this woman did!) to more neighboring people groups.
MONDAYS • God of patience
God has been at work among the Shan people for many years, yet the church is very small and the people are still unreached. For a long time, those who professed faith in God ended up returning to Buddhist beliefs because of family pressure. The number of Shan Christians who persevered was few. God has been faithful in calling people to reach the Shan people and in the past 20 years there has been significant growth in the Shan Church. Some of the most fruitful laborers are Shan Christians who have seen God change their lives and have responded by sharing their faith among their own people. Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Shan Church. Pray for God’s protection on those serving Him by sharing the Gospel with Shan people. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness over the years, never giving up on people who are slow to respond.
TUESDAYS • Forced to move
“If we stay here my husband will have to fight. Our children are all boys so there is no hope for us here.” A young family is preparing to move from Myanmar to Thailand. The border is still closed but many Shan people are paying $300-400 USD to get across the border. Pray for Shan families across the Shan State who are living in fear of recruitment to one of the many armies that control the area. Pray for peace so that families can live without fear. Pray that more and more Shan people will cry out to the Prince of Peace for deliverance and salvation.
WEDNESDAYS • He won’t put down his phone
“He is always playing on his phone – he won’t put it down…we don’t even try to ask him to come to church anymore,” remarked a Shan pastor’s wife regarding their teenage son. As is the case all around the world, overuse of video gaming and media can have a detrimental effect on the minds, hearts, educations, and relationships of young people today. Too many parents have thrown up their hands in defeat and do not know how to shepherd their children in developing healthy media habits. Pray that Shan parents, teachers, and pastors will receive the wisdom and instruction they need to successfully shepherd their children in today’s world. Pray for healing for young people who are addicted to video gaming. Ask for a thirst and desire for God’s word and the joy of knowing him.
THURSDAYS • Whom to depend on?
Rose* has been involved with Bible clubs and Sunday services for years. This past year her father died after a long illness. Now her mother has serious health problems. Rose had a fairly good job as a hotel receptionist but due to conflict in her country and Covid, the tourism industry is facing hard times causing her hours and salary to be cut. In a traditional Shan community there would be relatives to help her mother, but as migrants living far from home there is no one to help. If Rose takes her mother to the hospital, then she cannot earn money that day and is at risk of losing her job. Her friends give her all the support they can but their own situations are not much better. Pray for Rose’s faith to grow and for her to see that the God she has learned about for so many years is truly what He claims to be. Pray for her mother to be healed and to put her trust in Jesus Christ. Pray for Shan Christians to know how to support one another as members of the family of God.
FRIDAYS • Full conviction
Over a decade ago a child heard about Jesus in Bible Club and shared what they learned with Nong Li*, a classmate. Nong Li later went to university, got baptized and was discipled in a local church. She spent time working with a children’s ministry in another city after university. Now Nong Li has returned to her hometown and is working online. As her own boss she can devote weekends to teaching the Bible and English to Shan children, and sharing in other church ministry. She has also begun studies through an online seminary program. In some cases, responses to the Gospel appear to be slow and uncertain, but we rejoice to see examples of Shan coming to a firm conviction of the truth putting their faith into action in making Christ known to others. Pray for increasing evidence of the Gospel going forth among the Shan with power, the Holy Spirit and full conviction. Pray that God will guide each one into the right vocational choices and bless them in their labors so that they will have time for outside ministry. Thank God for Shan children who come to faith and share their faith with friends and family.
SATURDAYS • We have seen you!
In northern Myanmar, a local Shan evangelist heard about a village nearby where 40 Shan people came to faith last year. The evangelist was finally able to visit after the COVID lockdowns. When they entered the village, people said, “We know you. We saw your testimony videos on Facebook!” Shan Christians have been doing Facebook evangelism for the last three years. God has brought hundreds of thousands of people to watch these videos every year, and the team talks to thousands of them via chat. Pray that more churches and believers would catch the vision and partner with us. Pray for Seng, a local helper, for the Lord to continue to give him wisdom and strength and for more Shan people to hear and believe the Good News through these digital efforts.