BY JULIA O'CAREY
As dawn broke across the sky on March 19, 2019, a large group of missionaries, church leaders, and friends gathered in Myaungmya, Myanmar, for the dedication of the Ahlin (“Light” in Burmese) Medical Missionary Training Center. This simple yet functional center was built on the campus of Myanmar Union Adventist Seminary (MUAS). Dr. Elizabeth Daw,* ASAP medical missionary trainer and supervisor, envisioned it as a place to teach MUAS students, laypeople, and ASAP missionaries the medical missionary skills needed to effectively reach their communities. After devoting so much time and energy to the building project and curriculum development, the opening of the center was in some ways like the birth of a child for Dr. Daw.
The five Seventh-day Adventist missions in Myanmar, along with the Myanmar Union Mission, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and ASAP Ministries all recognized the need for this center and combined their resources to make it a reality. This unity of purpose and effort made the opening celebration extra special. The event touched my heart personally because ASAP contributed funds given in memory of my mother, ASAP founder Judy Aitken. A nurse by trade, Judy invested time and resources in growing medical missionary projects throughout Southeast Asia, and she would have loved to see this center completed and in use.
Following the dedication ceremony, Dr. Daw and team began a two-month training program at the beginning of April. Classes included healthy cooking, massage, hydrotherapy, herbs, understanding how to reach Buddhists, how to give Bible studies, and practical classes like sewing, exercise, and many more.
Ruth Htar,* a new ASAP medical missionary, completed the program and now feels equipped to work alongside Dr. Daw for the next training program. Ruth grew up in a staunchly Buddhist Burmese family and community. At the age of 14, she was excommunicated from her village for choosing to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist. But since then, because of her faithful witness, her mother, father, and brother have also become Seventh-day Adventists. Please pray for Ruth, Dr. Daw, and the rest of the staff as they serve at the Ahlin Medical Missionary Training Center, treating physical sickness and disease and helping people find spiritual healing.