Ever gone looking for a job and not gotten it? Oh, you have all the right training from the best schools, with the good grades and a shiny new diploma to back it up. Still, you may have been passed over for a different candidate. So what was the missing ingredient?
What did you lack that the other applicant had? More than likely, it was practical experience in your chosen field of endeavor. As we all know, good training and education is an important foundational requirement for many career paths, but many times the real learning begins when you actually start doing the work you have been preparing yourself for.
We know of a group of young Bible college students who are getting a dose of real-life experience in their “field”, fields that our Lord tells us are “ripe for harvest” (John 4:35, NIV).
God had a plan for a Bible college that would be located in the midst of a country led by an oppressive government hostile to the Gospel message, and He gave the vision for this plan to a young Burmese pastor named Benjamin.
Judged by the world’s standards, the timing of this project that was to eventually become Myanmar Bible College would be considered inopportune, to say the least.
As many of you might remember, the coast of Myanmar was struck by a powerful cyclone on February 2, 2008, and the resulting devastation was nothing short of catastrophic. Due to the mounting political fallout, Myanmar’s government stopped reporting the number of deaths at 138,000. Likely, the true number of dead will never be known, as large numbers of victims were simply washed out to sea, never to be seen again.
Pastor Benjamin’s family was spared, but they lost pretty much everything they had, as their house was destroyed and the pigs the family depended on for their living were drowned.
In the midst of this crisis, Pastor Benjamin, along with other pastors and the members of their respective church families, began reaching out to demonstrate the love of Christ to those suffering around them. One of the most evident effects of this storm was the creation of a vast number of orphans, created when their parents were lost during the cyclone. Church families, many of whose own lives were decimated by the floods, stepped out in faith and took some of these orphan children into their homes to care for. The result has been that more than 90 orphans are being cared for in loving, Christian homes.
God’s timing is always perfect, and despite the aftermath of this horrific disaster, Myanmar Bible College was dedicated in May 2011. Fast forward to January 2013. The Bible College will be closed for three months and the students and some of the teachers will head out to a remote part of Myanmar for their Gospel Outreach Program assignment.
Students will return to their own villages, where they will share their testimony and the Gospel message with their family and friends, many of who are non-believers. They will also go to other villages with this same message and the hope that many lost souls will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
As Pastor Benjamin explains, “The vision of our school is ‘to prepare God’s people for works of His service’. Therefore, we do not want to just be learning and teaching.” The emphasis is on the “works” part of the school’s vision as much as the “prepare” part.
It is exactly this viewpoint that makes Myanmar Bible College and the other ministries in which pastor Benjamin is involved such a great fit for the work to which God has called Harvesters. HIM has always been about assisting, supporting, and encouraging national missionary initiative at the local level.
We believe that putting “boots on the ground” to spread the good news of Jesus Christ is the best way to make the largest impact for God’s kingdom here on earth.
We believe this is what Jesus Himself commanded us to do in that passage of Scripture that we often refer to as the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Time and experience has taught us that the most effective “boots” are those that belong to the people God has called out from among a culture’s own members. Myanmar Bible College is this thesis put into action!
How can we most directly help these young people learn and go? Without a doubt, prayer is the most effective tool we have at our disposal to bring God’s power to bear in completing the work to which He has called us.
Please consider adding pastor Benjamin, the faculty, staff, and the students of Myanmar Bible College to your prayer list, lifting them up before our Lord on a regular basis.
As a practical matter, the majority of these students come from very poor families and depend on support to pursue what they believe is God’s calling on their lives. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring one or more of these students on a regular basis.
This coming May, the college will have 17 third-year and 7 second-year students returning to continue their studies. Pastor Benjamin would like to add 15 new students to this group, as the Lord provides. The cost to sponsor a student is $38.00 per month, or $456.00 per year. This amount covers food, lodging, books and study materials. If you feel that God is leading you to help in this regard, you may do so by simply designating on your check “Myanmar Bible Student Sponsor”.
This is our opportunity to put some of these “boots on the ground” in pursuit of what is given to us in Romans 10:14-15, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”