|

Heaven's Family Magazine
November 2011 Issue

Compassion for a Captain

The Christians with Disabilities Fund at Work in Myanmar

Jeff Trotter, Disabilities Ministry, , Disaster Relief Ministry

handicapped-captain-tunlins-home

Inside Captain Tunlwin’s home, showing some of the damage to his roof caused by Cyclone Giri

The afternoon was hot, and I welcomed a seat in the shade under a tree. I was in Myebon, a riverside town in southwest Myanmar, bringing relief to victims of Cyclone Giri with one of Heaven’s Family’s Burmese ministry partners, M.B. Thang.

We had just helped a widow and her four children with funds that would enable them to rebuild their flattened home, and the rare sighting of a white guy in this remote area attracted about thirty curious neighbors. M.B. and I took advantage of our captivated audience to share the gospel—and they were very hungry to hear about the Lord. I also told them about Jesus’ followers from far away who had sent me to help them.

That’s when I spotted a tall, dark man hobbling up on a homemade pair of wooden crutches. He was missing his right leg below the middle of his thigh, and the rows of wrinkles etched on his middle-aged face betrayed hardships beyond his years.

I asked the gathered crowd if they had received disaster assistance from the Burmese government, and he answered for them all. He said that, months ago, some government officials came, promising to help him repair his cyclone-damaged home, but he never heard from them again. I could see frustration on his face. I sensed in that moment that the Lord wanted us to help him, so I asked if I could visit his home. He gladly agreed, and I followed him for several minutes as he limped up a wide, rocky path to his hilltop house. It was just one room, topped with a low, A-frame thatched roof.

Once inside and seated on the floorboards, he told us his story. He introduced himself as Captain Tunlwin. He had lost his leg fighting for the Burmese government during his fifteen-year military career. His wife, Thangyi, had given him five children. They all believed in Jesus.

He eventually pointed out the obvious—gaping holes in his roof. His family would have no protection from daily downpours of rain during the soon-coming summer monsoon.

I knew that CJ McDaniel, director of Heaven’s Family’s Christians with Disabilities, would want me to help, so I asked the captain how much it would cost to replace his tattered thatched roof with metal sheeting and repair some other damage. His answer: $100. It was a joy to help him.

handicapped-hungry-listener

One hungry listener pondering the message of the gospel

Since that day, M.B. Thang has returned to Myebon several times to follow-up on our work. Each time he’s preached the gospel to hearts that have been softened by acts of love—all made possible by gifts to the Christians with Disabilities Fund and the Disaster Relief Fund. Other homes have been repaired, and more food has been distributed to help those affected by Cyclone Giri. Many have received Christ as a result and have been baptized. And Captain Tunlwin? Although he already professed faith in Jesus, M.B. and I left his hilltop home that day confident that, in addition to helping restore his home, we also helped restore his trust in God’s faithfulness.

THE BIGGER PICTURE:

The Christians with Disabilities Fund serves brothers and sisters in Christ whose pressing needs are made even more difficult because of their physical impairments. In the places where Heaven’s Family ministers, the average healthy man earns less than $2 per day. Handicapped men and women are rarely able to compete for such work, so we assist them through grants and cottage-industry micro-loans to help them become more self-sufficient.

Help handicapped Christians

$

This Month's Articles

Strategic Stewardship

Avoiding Capital Gains Tax on Real Estate Sales

Parting Shot: Feeling Blue Under a Green Cap

parting-shot

As you’re reading this, I’m serving in Myanmar (Burma) with a team of 18 people. We always have lots of fun in Myanmar interacting with precious children at the more than 30 Christian orphanages that we assist there. Last year in Myanmar, this sad little guy caught my camera’s eye. — David