Myanmar


GOLDEN LAND / Once a golden kingdom, now disclosed after 50 years of dictatorship

Myanmar is only a 4-hour flight away from Taiwan, yet the Chinese name for Myanmar (or Miǎndiàn) actually means "faraway countryside". For someone to access the country from China, they would first have to board a boat and sail through Yunnan. Eventually, they'll reach the Irrawaddy River, and witness the age old capital of Yangon, the center of thousands of years of history and dynesties and thousands of Buddhist temples.

This is a country that has long been isolated from the outside world and today it is slowly opening it's doors to the world. Teak, a tropical hardwood tree, is the country's major export, used for construction and boat building. Elephants are in charge of transporting the wood to the rivers, along with rice and cotton, they sail to the capital of Yangon. On the streets of Yangon, traces of British colonialism still remain. Yet once leaving the prosperous capital, most of the population continue their traditional life of farming, living on tilted houses and washing their clothes by the river.

When walking on the streets of Myanmar, don't be surprised if you see shapes of leaves on the faces of women. It is a yellowish cosmetic paste called "thanaka", made from ground bark and used for protecting the face from ultraviolet rays.

3 Mins in Myanmar


video credit: Longly Planet

myanmar map
Map Original author is U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

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緬甸民族數 Tribes
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未聽聞福音人數 Never heard Gospel



LIVING STONE / Erasing Poverty from Children with the Power of Education


2008: With winds up to 190 km/h, Cyclone Nargis became a major disaster for the densely populated Irrawaddy delta, resulting in over 100 thousand fatalities.

2008: Esther Chen, a Burmese-Chinese working in Taiwan at the time, heart-broken by this disaster, prayed and cried before God. The Lord called her back to her homeland, a place where she once swore never to return.

2010: Esther started Bread of Life Myanmar Living Stone Student Center, aimed at providing education for children in the mountainous areas, giving them opportunities for a better life.

2013: New property purchased in Insein Township, north of Yangon, to serve as the new location and dormitaries for the student center.

January 25, 2015: The new building and facilities are ready for operation, accommodating both staff and students. Over 180 attendees participated in the historic dedication service.

2015: Number of students increases to 22.

2016: Founding of Bread of Life Myanmar Yangon Gospel Center, located in downtown Pansodan Street.

2018: Third enrollment of students, student number increases to 28.

The student center aims to educate students from minorities with the love of Christ, teaching them about the salvation and hope that can be found in Jesus, so that one day they can become disciples of Jesus.



POLITIC

Myanmar is a parliamentary republic under its new constituion of 2008, yet the military power still holds a large amount of power, often influencing election results. Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in 2015 and is hoping to transform Myanmar from military rule to a truly fee and democratic society.

ECONOMY

Myanmar is an emerging economy. College graduates earn about US$200 a month, take a look at the cost of living, and Yangon becomes an expensive city to live in. Houses and apartments have become extrememly expenisve to rent the past few years, as rental prices are rising 15% each year.

EDUCATION

Historically, Myanmar has had high literacy rates, with 90% in 2000. Yet spoon-fed education remains the norm in most schools. Students memorize knowledge without understanding the essence. College entrance exams begins after graduating from grade 10 and most parents base their child's success on the outcomes of these tests. Vocational education is not common and college education is mainly textbook instruction with scarce research focus.

RELIGION

90% of Burmese identify as Buddhist, minority ethnic groups are mostly either Protestant or Catholic, other religions include Islam and Hinduism. Buddhist monks in Myanmar obtain a high social status, one might face a lawsuit if not having taken off their shoes when entering a monestary or temple.

Uncovering 50 Years of Forgotton Darkness

LRM EXPORT 20180724 202730

Myanmar is the largest country in area in South East Asia with a population of about 60 million. 1962 Burmese coup d'état initated decades of military rule. They enforced Burmese nationalism, resulting in the oppression of many other minority groups. Conflict rose throughout the country, the economy backslided, and Myanmar became one of the poorest countries in South East Asia.


Recent years, hundred thousands of Rohingya people were persecuted by Myanmar's armed forces and police. The United Nations has also accused Min Aung Hlaing, the commander in chief, of violating human rights and ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people. At the same time, Kachin people in the north who are seeking independence, have ongoing conflicts with the military. Until now, 160 thousand people are displaced and living in refugee campls under extrememly poor conditions, where food is scarce and diseases are spreading.

Pray for Myanmar: May God cease the actions and violence carried out by the oppressors and military. And pray that God give Aung San Suu Kyi the wisdom and courage that is needed to lead the country out of poverty and into peace and abundance.