Car accident takes the life of one of our future pastors.
In February 2021, the Burmese military successfully overthrew the democratically elected leaders and, with the help of foreign governments, began committing acts of genocide against ethnic minorities in certain regions. Two regions, Shan State and Kachin State are close to Thailand.
So when the military began setting fire to villages and shooting those who tried to escape, many Burmese hid and waited until nightfall to cross the river into Thailand.
They escaped into areas where we have a high concentration of churches. Many of our people served and ministered to these refugees.
One of these young men who came across the border was named Za, a Christian from the Kachin Tribe.
By the grace of God, Za connected with one of our pastors and ended up being discipled and serving along side him as he tried to minister to the Burmese refugees. Our pastor poured into this young man's life.
Za eventually said he wanted to return to Myanmar to plant a church in his war-torn city. We started him in our pastor training program with the hopes that we would send him back to plant a church in Myanmar in 2023.
Za would never see 2023. He was in a car with three or four other young men when, in the distance, they saw a police checkpoint on the road. Knowing that all the men in the vehicle were Burmese and, if stopped by the police, they would immediately be shipped back into Myanmar, they turned the car around and sped away. A police officer noticed the car turning around and pursued the escaping vehicle.
The driver lost control of the car, went off the road, hitting a tree, and everyone inside the car perished.
Za was only 26 years old. He survived the murder of his people at the hands of his government, only to die in a car accident running from police.
This is the second time we have tragically lost people from Myanmar to whom we have tried to minister, and the second vehicle accident that has taken the life of one of our ministry leaders.