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Burma: Jail, a New Place to Preach

BurmaA Burmese monk

Luke grew up in a Buddhist family in Burma. He and his family are part of the Rakhine tribe.

Few Rakhine people know about Jesus. Only about one-tenth of 1 percent are Christians. That means if there were 1,000 Rakhine people, maybe only one would be a Christian. (There are actually more than a million Rakhine people in Burma.) Source: Operation World, 7th Edition

Many Rakhine boys spend a few months living as monks in a monastery. A monastery is a place where monks live together, separate from others and from their families. Monks spend their time studying their religion and following its rules. Some Buddhist boys decide to become monks for the rest of their lives.

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Burma and Gems

Burma has valuable natural resources, but many of its minerals have not been mined. (“Mined” means to get minerals from the earth, or to make use of them.)

Just as these natural treasures remain in the ground, many of Burma’s people remain unaware of the good news of Jesus. The unsaved people in Burma are treasures to God (see Romans 5:8). Pray they will be “mined” for his kingdom.

Rubies, jade, sapphires, and other gems and minerals are among Burma’s treasures. You can follow the instructions below to make “gems” using white craft glue that dries “clear and durable.”

Instructions

  1. Pour about 1 ounce (1/4 of a 4-ounce bottle) of the glue into a small disposable container. Use a different container for each color of gem you want to make.
  2. Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to the glue and mix well with a plastic spoon or craft stick. (To make “diamonds,” use glue with no coloring.)
  3. Drop small blobs of the colored glue 1 inch apart on a large sheet of aluminum foil. The blobs will spread out to form ovals or circles. If they spread out too flat, add more glue to the mixture.
  4. It will take several days for the gems to dry and become glassy. After they dry, cut them into desired shapes with scissors.

You may want to draw the breastplate described in Exodus 28 and glue your gems on it. Or, with larger flat pieces, create a mosaic or stained glass window.


Comparing Buddhism and Christianity

Buddhism
Christianity
Founder A prince in India, Siddartha Gautama, started Buddhism. He was called “Buddha.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
God Buddhists do not believe in a Supreme Being, or Creator God. There is one God (Mark 12:29). He reveals himself to us in three ways: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Followers About 478 million people, or about 7 percent of the world’s population, are Buddhists. (Source: Operation World, 7th edition) More than 2 billion people are Christians. (Source: Operation World, 7th edition)
What is our problem? Buddhists believe that all suffering comes from desire. They think the way to get rid of desires is to work hard to do right things and to think right thoughts. “The Eightfold Path” and “The Four Noble Truths” are Buddhist lists of ways to think and do right. Christians know that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Good works alone cannot earn God’s favor (Ephesians 2:8–9). Jesus did not sin, so he was the perfect sacrifice for sin. Whoever believes in him is saved, not condemned (John 3:16–18, Romans 1:16).
The afterlife Many Buddhists believe that after they die, they can be reborn on earth as someone else. This belief is called “reincarnation.” The cycle of rebirth and death is over when one becomes “enlightened” by following Buddhist principles. Believers who have trusted Christ for their salvation will enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)

Burma: May Thin Khai

Burma
May Thin Khai

The government in Burma would like everyone in their country to follow Buddhism. So they limit the number of Bibles and Christian books that are brought into Burma. Some Burmese people live their entire lives without ever reading a Bible.

May Thin Khai is a Buddhist girl in Burma. Her grandmother is a Christian, and she teaches May about Jesus. May would like to become a Christian. But it would not be easy because almost everyone she knows is a Buddhist.

May shared her story with workers from The Voice of the Martyrs. Read what she said below, and pray that she will follow Jesus.

May said:

I don’t know the exact date of my birth. I know only that I was born in 1998. My family is Buddhist.

My grandma is a Christian. My parents do not want me to go to church, but sometimes I go with my grandma. She teaches me to memorize Bible verses. I am not a Christian yet, but I do believe in God. Here is the reason why.

One day I accidentally broke the ruler my mom had given me as a present. She is very strict. I was restless and worried about what she would do. So on the way home from school, I started to recite Psalm 46. It was one of the things my grandma had taught me.

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