If you had told me 12 years ago that by 2016 I’d have traveled to Myanmar 12 times, I’d probably think you were crazy. Well, sometimes life is crazy.
Tomorrow Bridges Myanmar is sponsoring two teams who traveling to and working with the people of Myanmar. This will be my 12th time visiting and connecting with our friends there. At this point my passport almost acts exclusively as a Myanmar Tourist Visa stamp booklet. Besides being an A’s fan and a follower of Christ, there aren’t many other things I’ve been connected with as long as I have been with the people of Myanmar.
What’s even crazier than the fact that this will be my 12th time going to Myanmar since 2004 is all the incredible work that we’ve been able to be a part of. In so many ways our work in Myanmar is a result of the support and prayers of countless folks who believed in what we have been doing. As we pack our bags and make get the final things done in preparation for our trip I wanted to say thank you to our family and friends for your continued support. A special thanks to CrossWinds Church who helped birth this work so many years ago and also to Oak Life Church for sending these teams.
This year one team (led by Alie) will be working with Partners Relief and Development to assist a medical clinic at a refugee camp along the border of Myanmar and Thailand.
The other team, the one I’ll be with, will be connecting to some local churches and leaders as well donating computers to multiple schools in an impoverished region. We’ll also be providing 100 of these really cool and urgently needed devices that will combat anemia. Special thanks to Lucky Iron Fish for their partnership with Bridges Myanmar.
Since our work in Myanmar began here are some highlights of the last decade plus:
Please note my usage of the word “we”. The story of our work in Myanmar is the story of dozens and dozens of volunteers, dreamers, contributors, and supporters. If you’ve prayed for, talked about, donated to, or come with- you are a part of this!
-We sponsored a young woman from one of the orphanages to go to college here in the US. Her name is Phyu Win and she’s the bravest woman I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to see what her future holds. She’s currently being hosted by our friends Sadie and Cory who are some of the most generous and sacrificial people I know.
-Last year we hosted one of our main partners, Pastor Ako here in the US in order to share about his work in Myanmar and continue the partnership. He visited dozens of homes and churches.
-We bought a local church/orphanage a truck to transport kids and people around town.
-We’ve donated medical supplies to the community in Thaton
-We’ve given hundreds of toys to local orphanages
-We’ve provided computers, cameras, and other technology to various preschools, churches, and orphanages
-We’ve donated thousands of dollars to purchase rice, clothes, and other supplies for a local orphanage in Thaton
-We visited Burmese prisoners and offered encouragement
-We’ve sponsored 6 trips to the beach for the orphans
-We’ve participated in hundreds, yes I mean hundreds, of house church services where we offered friendship and encouragement to folks who are often persecuted for their faith
-We’ve taken over 35 people to Myanmar
-We partnered with CrossWinds Church and donated $10,000 to a local church in order to upgrade their worn out facility
-We started a non-profit 501c3 organization in order to grow and support our work in Myanmar
-We’ve become family with our friends in Myanmar.
None of this would have been possible without the support of so many of you. Thank you! I’m confident that this is just the beginning.