2009 Myanmar – Yangon – Marcus Corpening

Love – The Greatest Weapon of All

Marcus Corpening
August 2009

“The weapon of our warfare is love.” – Me at the Yangon Queen’s Hotel, July 25th, 2009.

Those words exited my mouth amidst a steady stream of tears, snot, and perspiration running down my face. I had never spoken to the team in Myanmar with a prophetic word that I had felt the Lord pressing upon my heart, but this time was different. As I sat on the hardwood floor this first night in the Queen’s Hotel in the heart of Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, something in my heart broke. In the two months leading up coming to this broken land I had never felt any compassion, any concern, or any real love for the people in this land and yet now, in the heart of the capital city, my heart was in knots. Twisting and turning with the pain and anguish of heartbreak, my mind flashing with images of homeless people dying in shambles, I felt my soul begin to tug with the reality of my surroundings, with the reality of Myanmar.

We were in one of the darkest, most corrupt countries on Earth. At night instead of street lights the town had temples. Buddha gave the Burmese people all the light that they needed, and the streets stayed continually flooded with the constant rain that poured down from the heavens. The Lord’s heart for the land was poured out with heavenly tears that did not stop falling until morning. The Lord spoke to me at the beginning of the trip that the weapons of our warfare would not be weapons of binding, casting, and cutting, but simply the offensive love of Jesus Christ. It would be the weapons of love – compassion, joy, and hope – that were going to break through the enemy’s works of hopelessness, despair, and destruction.

A team of 8 individuals and myself started preparing for our trip to Myanmar almost over a month in advance with much prayer and fasting, in order to begin consecrating ourselves for what lied ahead. According to Forbes Magazine, Myanmar in 2008 was ranked as the most corrupt country on Earth, worse than Somalia, and worse than North Korea, so we understood that this would be a challenge both spiritually (due to the heavy idolatry), and physically. Not only that, but Myanmar was known to be a place of severe persecution against Christians, that has been well documented. However, I had sincerely felt before the trip that God had given us a mandate to go, and that this trip would be like any other that we had experienced before in our lifetime.

Before the trip, I had long struggled with fear and anxiety. The fear of man, the fear of rejection, and the fear of being a failure continually gripped me to the point where I would physically ill at times. This trip I was especially fearful due to the fact that I would have to be the main preacher for most of the big services that our team was holding in Myanmar. But the word that God continually impressed upon me was Jeremiah 1:7-8:

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.”

Our first revival services were held in a church in Myitkyina, in the northern part of Myanmar. There the Lord really began to show to the team and I that there was nothing to fear, but that it would be His hand that was looking to deliver and affirm us as we ministered. I preached a message about the fire of God, and when I invited people up for prayer (in my second altar call ever), God showed me that it is not me who does it, but the Spirit that lives in others and me that moves to convict and to empower. We had a POWERFUL time of ministry in Myitkyina, and almost every church that we visited, the kingdom of God came in power to set people free, to bind up the broken hearted, and to bring a release for those who were in the prisons of darkness. We left encouraged and empowered, as God sent us on to Mandalay.

Mandalay was a city of severe idolatry, and it showed itself when we visited one of the churches in the city. Across the street from a large Buddhist compound, we visited a church, planted in 1903, but since that time had lost almost all power and all semblance of a real ministry. It was so heartbreaking to see how the leadership had all but given up on God coming in power to save the people in the congregation, and had instead allowed the congregation to live lives mixed with worship to God and to idols. We begged and pleaded with the leadership to rise up, and to take back the church for God’s glory, but it was no use. The fear of man ruled and reigned more than the fear of God. They were hopeless. It was such a heartbreaking time, but I felt that God was using this experience to strengthen the team and myself to be people with greater boldness, moved out of compassion and love for the church in Myanmar.

Our next stop was in a small town in the mountains called Pyinoolwin, where we ministered to bible school students who were training up to be the next movers and shakers in Myanmar. As soon as we walked into the school, I felt a holy desire and jealousy for each one of the students, as I wanted to see God’s power and FIRE poured out on their lives, to set them ablaze for Jesus unlike anything else before. As God graciously allowed for me to preach, I felt the boldness and completely affirmation of God knowing that the Lord was with me to speak a message of fire and of love to the people, to set in there hearts a new desire for Him. God answered that desire, and it was in this small town where we saw the power of God move in radical healings, deliverance from evil spirits, and where we saw the fire of God come to embolden what were once a complacent, hopeless people.

Lastly, we traveled back to the capital city of Yangon, and the trip that started with tears streaming down my face ended with even more tears of compassion and love pouring down. In Yangon we met up with a pastor by the name of Brother Gabriel, who for the past year had suffered from a severe curse of witchcraft, which had robbed him of his mind, his health, and of his joy. As our team prayed for Brother Gabriel, what started like minutes of prayer became hours, as tears of compassion for this man flowed down our faces. One of our brothers received a word that we were praying not just for this man but for Myanmar, and I felt the Lord’s heavy heart just taking over mine. “If you don’t save this man,” I remember exclaiming, “what kind of life will he live, Lord?” I have never felt such compassion before in my life, and such love for a man that I had never known until moments before, but it was the Lord who had burdened our hearts. After a period of over 5 hours of wailing and interceding for this man, eventually breakthrough came, and the curse was broken, and it was love and compassion that brought it.

It was not screaming, binding, cutting, and casting out that brought deliverance – no, the weapons of our warfare on this trip was love. Love in Myitkyina, as we earnestly wanted to see a congregation set on fire to know that God was with them. Love in Mandalay, as the oppression and the fear of man gripped a hopeless and joyless pastor. Love in Pyinoolwin, to see revival spring forth and healing rush out into a broken nation; and love in Yangon, to see a curse lifted, and a man freed from the chains of bondage. It was love, love above all else, driving me to be bolder than I ever thought I could be, and it was that love that compelled this team to go out to see the power of God change a nation. The greatest power in the universe is not fire, not might, not strength. The greatest power in the universe is love.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Cor. 13:13

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