In Myanmar, Christians are a small minority group in the overwhelmingly Buddhist country. So it came as a surprise to the Lutherans in Yangon when they were ordered to place a cross atop their church. The city council told the Myanmar Lutheran Church (an LCA partner church) that without a cross the building doesn’t look […]
In Myanmar, Christians are a small minority group in the overwhelmingly Buddhist country. So it came as a surprise to the Lutherans in Yangon when they were ordered to place a cross atop their church.
The city council told the Myanmar Lutheran Church (an LCA partner church) that without a cross the building doesn’t look like ‘a proper church’. The church would be closed if the Lutherans did not build a tapered roof extension, with a cross atop, by the end of the year.
The instruction to prominently display a cross could be good news for the Myanmar Lutherans. But it’s not. In a community where many people struggle to feed their families, there was no capacity to fund the project, which was estimated at USD 18,700.
Since the project was to be completed by 31 December or the church would be closed, this money was needed urgently. Bishop Aaron Yap of the Lutheran Church of Malaysia (the initial supporting partner church for the fledgling Myanmar church) called on other partner churches to assist.
As a mature and well-resourced church, the Lutheran Church of Australia is able to help our sisters and brothers in the young mission field of Myanmar. We therefore called on our members to contribute to this urgent need, so that the Myanmar Lutherans can continue to worship in their church in Yangon.
Taking its first tentative steps in 1998, the Lutheran Church in Myanmar now has 17 ordained pastors, 22 evangelists and over 2500 members in 14 congregations. The ministry, which initially served the Khumi ethnic group, now also reaches people from the Asho Chin, Rakhine, Hakha Chin, Burmese and Karin groups.
The Myanmar Lutherans are sharing the gospel faithfully, and it is taking root. It would have been a bitter blow for them to no longer be able to use their place of worship.
We give thanks and celebrate with the people of the Lutheran Church in Myanmar that they have been able to complete the roof reconstruction on the church in Yangon. We thank you, the people of the Lutheran Church of Australia for your generous support which enabled this reconstruction to take place. The cross stands high on the roof giving witness to the people who pass by, and declaring that this is a place of worship. The LCA have helped our sisters and brothers to continue to be a light in their community, to turn what could have been a disaster (the closure of their church) into a blessing (the cross lifted high for all to see).
Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray
Read more stories about our partner churches in Myanmar at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/myanmar/