Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Last Christmas, my wife and I, along with three volunteers, went to Myanmar to visit CEDAR’s partner organisation, Full Moon. During this trip we had the rare opportunity of traveling to the mountainous areas in Mon State. Last year, CEDAR received a designated fund that supported the post-conflict rebuilding project in this restricted area, and the first programme of the project was to build a new school. In the past few decades, there were continuous conflicts between the Karen and Burmese government army in those mountainous areas, causing countless deaths and injuries. Not all have access to this area; even the Burmese people do not dare to enter this mountain. The ‘peace leader’ who led our group up to hill for celebration, along with a hundred orphans from the Full Moon compound, is actually the ex-leader of the rebellion that killed numerous people, including even some of the parents of the Full Moon orphans. A year ago, the Burmese government went through a big reform. This ex-leader of the rebellion was willing to cease fire and bring peace to Karen people. He appreciates the support and partnership of Hong Kong Christians.
Although Myanmar is a Buddhist country, we are able to witness God’s work all over the country. The founder of Full Moon is named U Ba Hla, and lives in what I called ‘Yesu (Jesus) Style’. U Ba Hla is now over seventy years old. He was a professor and very familiar with law, politics and officialdom. However, in 1997, he gave up everything and set up Full Moon compound to take care of over one hundred orphans by relying on prayer and God’s provision. Over the years, U Ba Hla experienced many different challenges and sufferings, to the extent where his daughter and son-in-law were killed five years ago. But he chose to follow Jesus’ example by not fighting back.
The changes in every new developing country can bring both opportunities as well as risks. In the mountain, I saw the local assiduous and frugal missionaries walking up to the mountain, but also the jeeps with black window glasses driving the Chinese and Korean gold mining investors and lumbermen there and back. I also talked about development work with a member of local Parliament.
The work of CEDAR Fund is definitely not an easy task. We need to have broad perspectives but be clear on our positions. We also need to work with different partners and release the power of synergy and unity. In order to create an impact on the culture and value of a society and nation, we need the support and participation of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Burmese co-workers sacrifice their lives, time and money to live out their mission. Shall we live in Yesu Style as well?
Your co-worker in Christ
CHAN Nim Chung