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Heaven's Family Magazine
July 2010 Issue

A New Thing in Shimading

The Village Development Fund at Work in Myanmar

David Servant, Micro-Loan Ministry

shimading1

A mother in Shimading enjoying running water, right outside her home, for the first time in her life

Nestled on a remote mountain ridge in Myanmar, just a day’s walk by footpath from the borders of India and Bangladesh, is the remote village of Shimading. About five-hundred souls reside there in a cluster of seventy bamboo houses. Most everyone survives by subsistence farming. Some hunt or do a little trading.

All the families in Shimading are members of the Khumi tribe, who at one time worshipped rocks, trees and animals. But national missionaries brought the gospel to their region, and today, all but two of the families in Shimading are believers.

Over the past year, national missionaries sponsored by Heaven’s Family have been delivering tons of rice to villages that are suffering from famine in that region of Myanmar. Those missionaries travel first by bus for thirty-six perilous hours, and then hire a boat to take them up the Kaladan River for another fourteen hours. Reaching Shimading then requires a nine-mile hike on footpaths up from the river. There is no other way to get there.

Because Shimading villagers had to walk a mile to retrieve their drinking water from a stream, and because that stream was insufficient during part of the dry season, our national missionaries requested funding for a water line and a cement reservoir. The villagers would supply all the labor, and the total cost of materials would be $2,800. It was a perfect project for our Village Development Fund.

Our missionaries transported the PVC pipe, concrete and sand up the Kaladan River by boat, and the villagers carried it on their backs up the nine miles of footpaths that lead to Shimading. The “plumbing” work was completed in eight days. Some of the villagers had never seen water pipes, and one named cement “stone glue.” In the end, everyone rejoiced as ten faucets—strategically set among the seventy bamboo huts—provided a steady stream of water for the entire village.

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At left: Unloading cement bags from the boat before dawn. At right: A Shimading woman waits on the river’s shore to carry a bag of cement nine miles on her back. She will use the loop strap that is over her shoulder. It will go underneath the cement bag and over her forehead.


pipe-montage

At left: A view of the almost-finished cement reservoir with the gravity-fed water pipes descending in the background toward the homes of Shimading Village. At right: Everyone helped dig the ditches where the water pipes were buried.

News of their good deed has reached many other villages in the region of Shimading, and our national missionaries are taking advantage of their favor by preaching the gospel. On the same trip that they brought the water project materials, they also brought a generator, television and DVD player, and showed the movie The Passion of the Christ in villages where there is no electricity, much less televisions. After the movie they preached the gospel, and people responded, due in part, to gifts to the Village Development Fund.

The Bigger Picture:

A similar water project has just begun in Mual Zawl Village in Myanmar, where the residents currently walk two miles one way to retrieve their daily water. Gifts to the Village Development Fund are making the purchase of two miles of PVC pipe possible. This is another project being done in Christ’s name.

Help developing villages

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