(Photo courtesy of Vision Beyond Borders)
Burma (ANS/CAM) ― There are about 50,000 refugees in the United States from Burma’s “Chin” tribes. Christian Aid Mission is helping one pastor inspire refugees for missions to their native country.
The waves of liberty in Burma that began back in April, 2011 are spreading around the world. With the visit of President Obama to Burma immediately following his re-election last November, the pent-up hopes from decades of oppression burst out in many areas besides the booming economy, free press, and flourishing political parties.
A new era of optimism and hope is being created for Burma’s many Christian minorities and unreached tribal groups, causing a revival of Christian missions in Burma. Burma--also known as Myanmar--is home to 56 million souls.
Last week, Lang Khan Khai participated in the first “Myanmar Launch Lab” at the Christian Aid Conference Center to organize new engagements with the Zomi--one of the many Burma refugee groups here in the USA that are organizing new missions and sending money home to Christian missions in Southeast Asia.
Christian Aid Mission has established a special fund for Pastor Lang’s mission, Gift Code 715GNI, to receive gifts for his new efforts to organize the next generation of missions to the "Chin" peoples of Burma. Click here to support him.
Pastor Lang, head of Gospel Network Integrated Ministries of Kalamyo, has already visited over 20 congregations of “Chin” tribal communities who were accepted into the USA after genocidal attacks from the military junta in the federation of states which used to be known as Burma under the British colonizers.
He plans to visit 100 more churches this year and next, working with Christian Aid and volunteers from Overseas Students Mission to raise up new missionaries and support for the growing work in Burma.
The 50,000 “Chin refugees” in the USA come from the Asho, Falam, Haka, Matu, Mindat and Zomi tribes. Lang has ministered among about 10,000 of the Zomi tribe, teaching marriage and family seminars, and preaching the Gospel in revival meetings.
“Our people are having problems raising their children here in America,” he jokes. But his ministry is not just to the problems of raising second-generation Christians in an alien culture.
As he travels, he is challenging young people who are getting modern educations in the USA to forsake their new lifestyles and careers in the States to come back to Burma as teachers and missionaries in the schools, orphanages, and churches he is planting in Chin State, Sagaing Division.
He is also collecting missionary support from the Zomi community churches that are thriving among the Zomi’s rebuilding their families in the USA and have no desire to go back to the lives of desperate poverty and persecution they remember from the old days in Burma.
The Zomis-- like other “Chin” clans--fled Burma for refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and Thailand. From there, they have been resettled by sympathetic governments all over the world including Australia, Canada, and the United States.
The next Zomi Launch Lab sponsored by Overseas Students Mission and Christian Aid will probably be held in conjunction with the Ethnic American Network annual convention April 18-20 in Chicago, IL.
Christian Aid Mission is celebrating 60 years of service this year. It helps support over 800 native mission societies that minister to 3000 tribes, tongues, and nations. At present, Christian Aid helps to deploy over 80,000 indigenous missionaries.
Despite recent violence in some areas (particularly among the Kachin and Rohingya), most of the eight major language groups and 135 sub-groups in Burma are living in peace and giddy optimism about the future.
The GDP income per person in Burma is still only $446, one of the lowest in the world and only 1% of the average person in the USA. However, there is a rush of new investment and consumerism in the country.