A story from Myanmar.
“And I will make you become fishers of men.” – Mark 1:17, ESV
A Rakhine fisherman, Mr. T.S. became a believer after two Christians prayed for his healing from alcohol-induced liver disease about seven years ago. He became completely well within a week but was without any Bible or fellowship for five years because he lived on an island five hours by boat from the mainland.
Later, he came to Yangon looking for work, but found fellowship instead, bringing his wife and staying with a Christian family for several months. During this time, he diligently learned the scriptures and showed a great interest in helping the poor. With another believer, he went to a village in the Delta to build a pre-school and make water filters. His practical help and humility made such an impression on them that they asked when he was coming back.
When he returned home, T.S. reflected on the poverty he had seen. There was extreme poverty in his part of the country, but the villagers he visited were the poorest he had ever encountered.
T.S. went back to conduct further training in the village, which included how to kick bad habits. He shared his own struggles. He had quit alcohol for several years, but went back to it when he suffered financial failure. Then he quit again, and is now seeking to stay off completely with the help of God and his fellow believers.
In the past 18 months of being home and working again as a fisherman, T.S. has won several other fishermen to faith. They have encountered opposition from the local religious authorities, but T.S. remains faithful, despite being threatened with expulsion from the village if he continues to preach. Training in community development has given him a vision for how the gospel can practically change a whole village.
Ways to pray:
- Pray for Rakhine believers who are scattered and scared, that they would have faith, boldness and see miracles from God.
- Pray for Rakhine people to be set free from their addictions, especially alcohol, smoking and betel chewing.
- Pray for Rakhine believers to overcome their ethnocentrism and to develop a love for the lost of other ethnic groups.
- Pray that Rakhine believers will have a vision for holistic development, and be able to implement this through both personal transformation and unified teamwork.