I Love Myanmar


96-dpi-4x6-hmawbi-2“I love Myanmar” is a slogan that one sees often plastered across signage from clothing to the sides of busses to billboards to the face of city buildings. I love Myanmar, too. I love the countryside, the people and especially my brothers and sisters in Christ.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-9Therman Hodge and I arrived in Yangon, Myanmar finally on Saturday, October 22 after around 30 hours of constant travel by jet planes and brief layovers in airports between flights. We had left Jackson, MS on Thursday, October 20, traveling to Houston, TX to Moscow, Russia to Singapore to Yangon, Myanmar.

96-dpi-4x6-kyaw-sein-1Since then, we have worshipped with brethren of two congregations in Yangon, and I assembled with brethren last weekend in a distant Asho tribe on a mountain accessible only by footpath. Monday through Friday for two weeks, we spoke at the Hmawbi Bible College tucked away amidst tropical flora. For one week, I taught half a day in the jungle home of Kyaw Sein. At night when not too tired, I worked on our Internet magazine (Gospel Gazette Online) as well as on our print journal (The Voice of Truth International). I fielded emails and literature orders also.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-1My adventure last Friday through the wee hours of Monday morning involved a trek via automobile about 12 hours each way over mountains, across the mighty Irrawaddy River and winding up back and forth on the side of a 3,000 foot high peak. After taking some respite in a modest, old teak wood and bamboo home borne by stilts on a highland slope, Asho brethren and I hiked a foliage shrouded, meandering uphill path that hugged the cliff. Less than an hour later, we emerged at the edge of small village of 20 homes, themselves suspended upon the mountainside and camouflaged with the dense rainforest. Torrential rain for the two days I was there, low clouds masking the scenery and unimaginable humidity – surely somehow more than 100% – inhibited sightseeing and picture taking. Leeches that bloodied my feet and the lack of amenities to which I have become accustomed proved to be challenging and temporarily excited some culture shock.96-dpi-4x6-hmawbi-1

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-4Nearly every resident of the village who is old enough to obey the Gospel is a member of Christ’s church! The meetinghouse for the church of Christ is an elevated platform with a corrugated metal roof, but without walls. Once complete, the structure will have bamboo walls to interfere with blowing rain that currently bombards attendees from time to time.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-7Approximately 50 men, women and children came together for many hours Saturday and Sunday. The eagerness with which the audience hung on every word and took notes compelled me to focus on their edification from the Word of God and less on my grumbling. Following each instruction, they refused to take a break and asked for “more.” Over the two days, I taught eight lessons, and we only concluded in anticipation of darkness in the absence of electricity with which to illuminate the night.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-8No one arrives at this village in a Myanmar alp by accident, but by purposeful and deliberate exertion. To facilitate easier access for me, brethren gave the trail a haircut so to speak. They made it easier for me to penetrate the jungle thoroughfare to their homes by cutting back grasses, banana trees, etc.

96-dpi-4x6-aung-san-1In addition to the mountain destination, along the way, I visited the museum of the Myanmar national hero, Aung San. At another wayside stop, Burmese brethren and I visited a private boarding school of about 400 teenagers. Dotting the travel were numerous oxcarts alongside cars, bicycles, motorbikes, trucks, buses and an abundance of cows, dogs, goats, an elephant and people.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-6Lord willing on Friday, Therman and I board the first of two airplanes to wing our way ultimately to India. Once on the ground, we’ll take a hotel for the night before proceeding the next day by land to Kakinada, India. Once that appointment concludes in about a week, brother Hodge will return home while I make my way to additional venues in India.

96-dpi-4x6-asho-village-5Sometimes where we are, what we eat and such like prove to be somewhat daunting, but we and others like us simply push forward. The sense of Christian duty and souls anxious to hear the old Jerusalem Gospel propel us with eagerness into fields that are white unto harvest.


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One Comment on “I Love Myanmar”

  1. Thank you for sharing. Look forward to meeting you in Delhi soon.

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