For the children of Myanmar,
we built a playground.
Their government dropped a bomb.
First and foremost, our ministry teaches and trains indigenous people to reach their country with the Gospel. We train up leadership and if appropriate, we will plant a church to reach and minister to the community. That is at the core of who we are and central to our actions.
Sometimes, however, there is a real need in our local villages that goes outside our purview. For instance: in our villages where we had planted churches, thousands of people didn't have food or water during the Covid lockdowns. So we found ways to make and distribute over 33,000 meals to people in 18 of our villages.
This year we had the worst flooding on record in nearly a decade. It destroyed homes in six of our villages. We did what we could to help the villages most severely damaged in the flooding.
We always remember our purpose here, but we also pay attention to the actual needs outside our doorstep and the people the Lord has entrusted to us.
In February 2021, there was a coup in Myanmar. Many people lost their lives, homes, and even their country as the military burned villages and shot at those who tried to flee. Thousands escaped and came to Thailand, specifically to a border area where we have intentionally planted churches.
We have ministered to several refugees over the last year and a half. But my most positive memory is when we partnered with a children's home to build a playground for refugee children who had lost everything and everyone they loved when their government burned their villages.
We purchased a refurbished playground from America, imported it in, and installed it on the property of a children's home near the Thai/Myanmar border. On the third day of our installation, the Myanmar military dropped a bomb on a village less than 20km from our location. We were never in harm's way, but I felt the effects of the bomb. I felt the ground shake, and knowing it likely killed people brought about an eeriness in the air that is difficult to explain if you have never been around war. It was as if time had stopped. Fear set in, and my body went cold.
I ducked my head until I heard cheerful laughter from the children. The bomb didn't scare them because they were conditioned not to fear bombs. That thought was genuinely even more heartbreaking.
The bomb and the laughter from the children made us work that much harder in the 100 degree heat. We started at dawn and worked through sunset. We worked so hard that we finished the project 3 days ahead of schedule. The kids swarmed the playground like ants on a picnic lunch. All smiles and big genuine belly laughs. I'm so thankful to the Lord that we had a chance to allow them to feel like normal childen and give them a refuge where they can be loved, laugh, and play.