A young participant at our Mandalay Training
Mandalay is known as the heart of Buddhism and the historical capital city for Burmese people. The last Burmese King, Thi Baw, was dethroned and exiled from Mandalay to India by the British in 1885. The largest and greatest palace in Mandalay is a historical evidence for the glory of Buddhism and Burmese civilization in Myanmar. The Mandalay region is the second most populated region in Myanmar which has about 7 millions population. It is also a political and religious center for Burmese Buddhists. Since the city is located at the center of the country, it is the hub for commercial business that connects China to India and Thailand. In fact, Mandalay is very strategic city in Myanmar.
Historically, Mandalay is the most difficult region for Christian mission work till today. Even now, the Christians are less than 1% of the population. Churches cannot grow because of so many retractions and oppressions for minority Christians. Many churches are doing underground ministry among urban poor and low class population. The total existing churches are less than 100 local churches.
In the midst of many challenges, we have a hope in God for reaching every child in this region. So, we partner with Mandalay Christian Mission Council that has the largest Christian networking among evangelical churches. We have partnership for distributing One Hope books in the region. By God's grace, we were able to facilitate the first training for teaching children with Pebbles and Stones on August 26, and had preaching ministry on August 27.
Our 123 participants are from 52 local churches and Christian organizations. They are from All Race Church, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Baptist, Revival Baptist, CEF, Campus Crusade for Christ, Grace Church, Evangelical Methodist church, and other many other independent churches.
After the training, we were able to distribute 4,000 cards of 17 stories, and 1,000 Story of Hope. We also introduce all One Hope products. We also can organize volunteer teams for book distributions and children ministry networking for Mandalay region.
"This is the training that changes my heart attitude for children. I just learn the spiritual value of children in my ministry. I cry so much during the training because I can hear God's voice that I never heard before."
- Sayama Khin San win
"This training really touches my heart. And, our church will do the ministry." - Saya Lay Lo