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A Safe Place for Kids

(Source: The December 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)

Life can be dangerous for Christian kids in some parts of Myanmar (Burma). Rebel groups who are fighting against other groups take Christian boys from their families. They teach the boys how to be soldiers for their cause. Girls may be kidnapped to become child brides or to be sold in China. Some families have even been forced to give up all their children to the rebels as a penalty for being Christians.

A New Home
Kan and Maiah live in a safer place in Myanmar. They had five children, ages 1 to 13. Then one day, a friend brought two boys, ages 5 and 7, to Kan and Maiah’s home. The boys’ family lived in an area where rebel fighters were active, and the boys were not safe there. “Could you and your wife take care of them?” the friend asked Kan.

Kan and Maiah didn’t know how they would be able to feed two more children, but they trusted God to provide. Four years later, they took in four more children whose families could not protect them, and they added several others over the next few years.

“When the children first arrive,” Kan said, “I tell them, ‘Welcome to the family. This is your home. But you have to know it is not me who feeds you or gives you everything. The one who gives you everything is God, so we will pray and you will learn more about God because everything is under God.’”

Today Kan and Maiah care for seven more children, in addition to three of their own who still live at home. Ten-year-old Aye Chan Mae has lived with Kan and Maiah for two years. She is grateful for their care, for the many siblings she has under their roof, and for her spiritual growth. “We do devotions, and they are always teaching us about God and reading the Bible,” she said. If not for Kan and Maiah’s care, she likely would have been taken as a child bride. (See the photo above of the kids praying.)

Kan and Maiah are thankful that God has allowed them to serve Him by caring for the children. “We don’t feel we deserve to get this far,” said Kan. “But first of all we give thanks to the Lord for helping us take care of these kids — to help them know Him more, to be educated, and to be part of our family. We praise the Lord for His provision and His guidance. We feel that these kids are our own children; they’re part of our family.”

Find more stories, as well as activities, country and culture facts, coloring pages, and prayer points in the book Bold Believers in Burma, available in the free Downloads section.


Jailed Because of a Banana

Many village vendors in Asia sell food from small shops, stands, or carts. Recently a Buddhist vendor in Myanmar (Burma) sold a banana to a Christian customer. Then the authorities took the vendor to jail for three days and made him pay a fine!

The Buddhist village leaders don’t want Christians to live in their village. So they made a law that said no one could sell food or anything else to Christians. Every day they told the Christians, “You can have food if you become Buddhists.”

“This is not a game,” one Christian told the leaders. “We believe in Christ 100 percent, and we will die believing.”

What do you think happened to the banana vendor? He saw that the Buddhists were wrong, and he decided to follow Christ! He has asked another believer to teach him more about the Bible and to baptize him.

Note: The Voice of the Martyrs helps provide food for the Myanmar village Christians.

(Source: VOM sources. Edited for length and clarity)

Learn more about Buddhism here.
Learn more about Christians in Myanmar (Burma) from Bold Believers in Burma, available in the Downloads section.


Thankful in Prison

Children in Myanmar

Pastor John Cao did not spend Thanksgiving last year with his wife and two sons in North Carolina. Instead, he spent the holiday in a Chinese prison.

“John committed the crime of doing good,” said a Christian friend of the pastor. Pastor John helped build 16 schools in Myanmar (Burma). The schools provide an education for 2,000 children in poverty. The students study the Bible in their classes, and many have come to Christ.

Pastor John’s wife and sons are American citizens, but he was born in China. He has kept his Chinese citizenship to make it easier for him to minister in Asia. In recent times, the Chinese government has increased control over Christian activities. Christians believe Pastor John may have been imprisoned because of stricter government rules.

Pastor John has been sentenced to seven years in prison. He is allowed to write only one letter a month. He misses his wife, children, mother, and siblings. He has several physical ailments.

But this is what Pastor John said in a letter to a family member: “Rejoice with me because I count this as kind of a privilege to suffer with my Lord. I am serious. I am not joking. This is a privilege.”

Pastor Cao hopes to be back at home with his family soon. But like the apostles in Acts 5, Pastor John is thankful for the opportunity to endure hard times for the name of Jesus.

This Thanksgiving, remember Christians who are in prison (Hebrew 13:3), and thank God for their faithful example to us and to those in prison with them.

(Sources include: vomradio.net and prisoneralert.com.)


Treats to Try

Mangos

Mangos are a favorite fruit in Myanmar (Burma). Try the mango cake recipe below.

1. Mix 2 cups of flour, 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. of baking powder, and 1 tsp. baking soda.
2. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of oil, 3 tsp. of vanilla, and 3 eggs.
3. Add 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of brown sugar to the egg mixture, then add the flour mixture.
4. Next add 1 cup of mango pulp from fresh mangos or from canned mangos mashed in a blender.
5. Then add 1 cup of crushed pineapple, ¼ cup of chopped canned or fresh (not dried) papaya spears, and ¼ cup of raisins.
6. Bake in a greased and floured 13-inch by 9-inch pan at 350 degrees for about an hour or until done.

Palm Sugar Sago is another treat in Myanmar.

People in Burma use sago and palm sugar to make palm sugar sago. The variation below uses tapioca and maple syrup instead.

1. Boil 7/8 cup of water in a saucepan. While the water boils, add ½ cup of tapioca, and stir until it dissolves.
2. Then add ¾ cup of maple syrup, and stir until dissolved.
3. Stirring constantly, return to a full rolling boil for one minute. Remove from heat.
4. Pour into a shallow baking dish or cake pan about 8 inches by 8 inches. Let it cool at room temperature a few minutes until set. Scoop small portions with a spoon or melon baller, roll them in grated coconut, and eat.

Learn more about Christians and life in Burma in Bold Believers in Burma, available in the Downloads section.


Burmese

Burmese is the main language of Myanmar (Burma).

The Burmese language has two forms: formal and informal. The formal form is used in official publications and speeches, and in works of literature. The informal form is used in daily conversations. Burmese writing is made up of circles and curves in different combinations.

Here is how to pronounce some Burmese words.

A formal way to say “hello” is pronounced “MING-gah-lah-bah.”
“Jesus” is pronounced “jee-SOO.”
“Yes” is pronounced “HOW-deh.”
“No” is pronounced “mah-HOW-boo.”
“Water” is pronounced “jee.”
[Pronunciations are approximate.]

Learn more about Christians and life in Burma in Bold Believers in Burma, available in the Downloads section.