Rakhine State is known as the place in Myanmar for the ongoing conflict and UN Sanctions imposed on the Buddhist government regarding the Rohingya people. The Rohingyas are immigrants from Bangladesh that are Muslim’s. Many have been living in Rakhine State as second and third generation citizens. Yet over the past 8 years the government has forcibly moved them back over the border. This has resulted in a conflict between the Arakan Army (Muslim) and the Burmese Army. An indigenous brother from Mandalay and Jonathan traveled to Rakhine and worked with 10 pastors who are desiring to go to the unreached people groups in Rakhine State.
Myanmar is strategically located in SE Asia and contains 47 unreached people groups plus it is surrounded by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand. These 5 bordering countries contain 3,252 of the world’s 6,701 unreached people groups alone! That makes the current trip there a vital part of preparing leaders to fulfill the Great Commission.
In Jonathan’s own words, he says, “What a trip it has been! I have returned from Rakhine State and the training went very well there. We trained around 15 brothers and sisters. This morning (Tuesday) I have an incredible opportunity to go with brother Philip out to a village that has never heard the Gospel before. Please pray for them to accept our present of fruit trees that we bought at the market yesterday and that they would welcome the Gospel. I also ask that you pray for safety as we travel out into this area. It is extremely remote.”
Situations like this remind us of Paul’s comment that “for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). That is why we pray.
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