We arrived in Myanmar on November 7—the day of the first free election held here in two decades. No foreign journalists or observers were permitted in the country by the military rulers, and the elections were widely considered a sham. Prior to and after the elections, the government has done all it can to keep information from flowing out of the country, including via the internet. So we have found it impossible to send emails. However, after Saturday’s release of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been held under house arrest since her landslide victory in Myanmar’s last election 20 years ago, it seems that internet access has also been freed somewhat. So I am finally able to send a blog update.
We’ve focused our first week on hosting two 2-day conferences for all the orphanage directors whom we’ve been helping over the past 8 years—38 directors in all in 2 primary cities. In those conferences, we’ve been introducing the concept of Christian foster care as a better alternative for children than institutional orphanage care. We’ve brought with us an expert from the U.K. to speak on that subject—who has years of experience establishing foster care in nations where it has been heretofore foreign. I’ve been blessed by our orphanage directors’ receptivity to the teaching, and our hope in the years ahead is to slowly facilitate foster and kinship care in this nation.
We’ve also been meeting with many people who have been helped through Heaven’s Family’s various restricted funds. Many critical medical needs have been met here, and it has been a joy to meet, for example, little children who once suffered with tuberculosis who are now completely healthy.
The highlight of the trip so far for me was a trip to the most remote village I’ve ever visited in my life. Heaven’s Family has funded a water project there in the past year, and now the 150 very poor villagers—many of whom are Christians—don’t have to walk 2 miles for their drinking water. They now have 7 public faucets right inside their village. The entire population turned out to meet our team when we arrived, and the first thing they did was pray for us.
Speaking of prayers, thanks for your prayers for our team. We’ve still got a week of ministry remaining here in Myanmar. — David