2017 Myanmar – Mark Yu

Theirs is the Kingdom

I had the honor of being sent to the nation of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) with a powerful team of 10 from New Philadelphia Church. From January 9th-16th we ministered in the northern city of Myitkyina and the capital city of Yangon. This trip was marked with rest, joy, and renewal. God’s presence was with us throughout our times of ministry at various churches and schools, including a Evangel Bible College and a drug rehabilitation discipleship school. Our team was also able to host a luncheon for some of the NPWM (Native Partners for World Missions) pastors serving in Myanmar. These leaders lead churches, ministries, and Bible schools and some are even national directors of their denominations. It was such a sweet time of fellowship and prayer and our team was so humbled to be able to pray with these mighty ministers!

But there is one specific ministry time time that really blessed me. Our team had the privilege of ministering at Pastor Khaugze’s home church in Myitkyina. The city of Myitkyina has a large Christian population, unlike the rest of Myanmar which is largely Buddhist. Pastor Khaugnze established Faith Community Christian Fellowship Church in 2000, and has planted six other churches as well, in addition to a drug rehabilitation discipleship school. His dream is to plant 20 more churches over the next ten years. Pastor Khaungze also serves as the national director for the Church of God denomination in Myanmar. Our team was so honored and humbled to be able to minister not only to his church leaders, but also to several influential Christian leaders in Myitkyina.

As the church service started, the charismatic worship leader led us in a passionate time of worship and then the team ministered through leading some English worship songs and teaching some songs with dances. Then Pastor Marcus shared a message that ministered powerfully to all who were gathered- the local leaders and even the team! He preached on the passage in Numbers 20 where God tells Moses to speak to the rock so that water would flow. But rather than obeying God, Moses strikes the rock. Pastor Marcus shared that at the end of the previous chapter, Moses’s sister Miriam and died. Moses was also becoming frustrated with the grumbling Israelites. But because he did not address with these emotions first, he ended up disobeying God. Rather than going to God to deal with his own heart issues, he only went to God on behalf of the Israelites. Through this message Pastor Marcus exhorted the leaders to choose intimacy with God over function. If we only go to God on behalf of the people we are ministering to, our hearts can become unhealthy and hardened, just like what happened to Moses.

After Pastor Marcus wrapped up this anointed message, he led an altar call for those who felt that they had let their heart become hardened because they had been going to God only for the needs of their disciples and their flock. And Pastor Khaugnze was the first to respond. This mighty church planter, director of the Church of God denomination in Myanmar, this man who oversees hundreds of churches in the nation, this influential pastor- he was falling to his knees at the altar. Then every leader in the room- these leaders and pastors leading dozens of churches, schools, and Bible colleges- all came up to the front and fell to their knees to repent and renew their commitment to pursuing intimacy with God.

This sermon and this ministry time spoke to me so personally. I had just entered my first year of full-time ministry, after having served in various capacities since I was 11 years old. I had been through different seasons in ministry journey throughout the years. But I recently felt my heart getting hardened even though I was stepping into what I felt God had called me to do. Just like Pastor Marcus preached, I realized that I had been only been seeking God on behalf of the people I was ministering to, rather than pursuing intimacy with God first. My heart had been hardened through hurt, bitterness, and disappointment- and this had been stealing the joy of ministry. As God was exposing these things, I began to repent and recommit to pursuing intimacy with the Lord and allowing God to lead me in my life first.

This was such a powerful and humbling moment as we all wept together, and as the team prayed for each of these incredible men and women who were kneeling before God in humility. I was so humbled that God would send this team of young people in their 20s and 30s, from all over the world, that are currently living in Korea, to pray for these prominent Christian leaders in Myanmar. I was so humbled that He would use us to bless His people in this way.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:33

God is opening so many doors for the Gospel in Myanmar. He is raising up mighty men and women who are pure in heart, humble, and are working tirelessly for the kingdom of God in this nation. I am excited to see what God has in store for the Church in Myanmar! Please pray for the Christian government leaders, including the first ever Christian Vice President, Henry Van Thio. 2016 was the first year that Myanmar celebrated Christmas as a nation because of his leadership. Although Christians currently make up less than 4% of the current population, I believe that the Lord is going to bring a dramatic change to this nation for His glory!