Provision Through Crisis
"I want to begin this letter by saying thank you to you and the donors for providing these food items for the people of Myanmar during this time of difficulties and hardships. Thank you for standing with us at this time." ~Pastor Khaw*
As Covid-19 and its ripple effects have spread throughout the world, Myanmar (Burma) stands out as one of the worst-affected countries.
Despite sharing over 1,300 miles of its border with China and being heavily intertwined economically with its northern neighbor, Myanmar's government downplayed the threat of Covid-19 and did not announce the nation's first confirmed case until March 23rd. Amid the government's early denial, an official even claimed the "lifestyle and diet" of Myanmar's people protected them from the virus.
Once containment measures were implemented, their poorly-planned, patchwork nature led to disruptions in supply chains of food and other necessities. Alongside the virus, the greatest threat quickly became hunger for the many millions living in poverty.
Physical distancing is difficult in Myanmar's urban areas, as well as in the many camps for internally-displaced persons forced from their homes due to conflict between the Burma Army and various ethnic-minority armed separatist groups. Regions controlled by these separatist groups have implemented their own lockdown policies, further complicating a coordinated response. The country's testing capacity remains limited, and its healthcare system was weak even in the best of times.
Our pastors and missionaries began small-scale food distributions even before receiving additional funds. Through your prayers and support, we were able to respond swiftly and effectively through these local missionaries. They have completed two phases of life-saving food distributions for the poorest and most neglected, with a third phase to begin soon.
Below, Pastor Khaw* in western Myanmar shares how your support and prayers are making a deep, holistic impact on the frontlines of this crisis in his village.
"I want to begin this letter by saying thank you to you and the donors for providing these food items for the people of Myanmar during this time of difficulties and hardships. Thank you for standing with us at this time. Through your donations, 12 families will have enough food for the next one month.
Praise the Lord for His provision. The people here were so thankful for the food. Each family received rice, beans, onions, cooking oil and potatoes. Thank you for the food supply, especially during this time as many people are not making money to purchase food.
The Lord has given us great opportunity to share His good news to the people in my village. They are open to the Gospel during this pandemic. Many people are willing to listen to the teaching of the Word of God, and they want to give their lives to Jesus. As of now, 12 people have come to the knowledge of salvation and 9 people are ready for water baptism as a testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ. God has given us a great harvest. I continue doing the follow-up work and safely visiting more houses to share the Good News of salvation.
I want to include one testimony:
‘I am Lien*. I was brought up in a Laipian [a small local religious cult] family. As I was taught, I never listened about Jesus Christ. But in this pandemic time, I was not sure if the Laipian god could take me to heaven. At that time, Pastor Khaw and his team visited my house and brought food for our family. They gave us food freely, which can feed us for one month. Not only that, but also Pastor Khaw shared with us about Jesus Christ who is the Savior of the world. I came to know that I am a sinner, who needs to be saved with the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. When he told me about this precious blood, my heart was moved because in my religion there is not the shedding of blood. Finally, I believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I thank God for saving my soul. I also want to say thank you to the ones who donated food to our family.’
Please continue to pray for more souls to be won for Christ during this time. Please continue to pray and help our people, as most of the people are struggling for their daily food. This will open more doors for the Gospel to the people here, which is the main focus for our ministry."
Pastor Khaw and all of our partners in Asia face enormous hardship in this time, but they continue to use what they have to proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel. Your support and prayer have been crucial in equipping them to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the most tragic of circumstances.
Thank you for continuing to stand with our brothers and sisters.
In Christ, Khaw and the Harvest Bridge Team
*Names changed for safety