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"Unlikely Hero's : Part 6" 10/11/23

Dear brothers and sisters, Two years ago, I was sent the following email about Mindy (not her real name). I don't know what's happened to Mindy in the last two years. But I am sure of this that God is able to complete the good work he began in her life. As you read, think about how God brought you to himself. What have you given up to follow Jesus? Take a moment to thank God for his goodness and to ask Him for the strength to be faithful to Him. Mindy* is a young Burmese woman who grew up in Shan State in a military family and was raised in a staunchly Buddhist household. Before her father died, he was an alcoholic and very abusive to his family, including Mindy. Though she attempted to pass the Myanmar high school exit exam six times, she failed every time and eventually took to working at a local cigarette factory. Mindy worked at the factory for seven years, twelve hours a day, seven days a week, with only two days off a month. She made less than $4USD a day. With the recommendation of a friend, she then took a janitorial position at a local preschool, where she worked for another seven years in relative poverty and slave-like conditions. In her downtime at the school, however, she taught herself English and became fairly functional in the language. When Mindy came to apply for work at our English Language Center, she had nothing to show on her resume except a willingness to work and a large notebook where she had been journaling in English. We knew that God had brought Mindy to our center for a reason, and though she was a bit underqualified, we hired her as a junior-level teacher. In less than two weeks she devoured the course curriculum and trained herself up to a very proficient level of teaching basic English skills. On top of blessing Mindy with a dignified job, with fair pay, great hours, and good benefits, our family and our small Christian community began to bless Mindy with the gospel message. She had never really heard about Jesus and His power, His forgiveness, and His love, but she was always excited to hear and read more about Him when given the opportunity. One day she began to pray to Jesus every morning, and she did her best to read her Bible. Before our family was forced out of the country due to the coup and failing state, we met daily with Mindy, as she sorrowfully helped us get packed to leave. It was water festival week, and we asked Mindy if she was going to the temple that week to pray to Buddha and bring alms. She smiled and said, “No, I don’t go to the temple anymore. My family is not happy, but I follow Jesus now.” We miss Mindy daily but are blessed with opportunities to regularly connect with her online and encourage her in her young faith. Please be praying for Mindy and the many young people of Shan State Myanmar who are choosing to follow Jesus despite their communities’ strong disapproval. Please pray for the many, many youths of Myanmar who are trapped in cyclical poverty due to lack of proper education and opportunities, as well as exploitative employer culture.


In the West, we are largely unaware of the war and conflict around the world. But believers like Mindy live with oppression and explotation every day. Even now there is fighting in Myanmar as the military junta (who staged a coup back in February 2021) crack down on any and all opposition.


So let us pray for our brothers and sisters that God grant them grace to be faithful and fill them peace as they follow Christ. And let us pray that we may be ready to serve Jesus come what may.


Grace & Peace,


Matt


Matthew Deneault Pastor at Christ Community Fellowship

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