By Janelle Cuthbert
Only four weeks before the departure date, an email invitation came through my inbox to join a mission trip to Myanmar. I had been praying for an opportunity to travel to a new country and to do something that would remind me of why I love and serve God. He provided an opportunity. I didn’t really know what we would be doing and had no idea where in the country we would be going. I didn’t even know anyone on the trip. What I experienced has encouraged me, lifted my spirit, and refocused me on the purpose to which God has called each one of us.
Primarily the trip was for three purposes: to provide some medical, dental, and optical work to those who cannot afford it, to provide training and encouragement to the workers that ASAP supports, and to support an evangelistic campaign. God completed the work! It reminded me of the early Christian church in Acts. We witnessed a tiny piece of the explosion.
Each morning there was training for the workers on various topics: health, spiritual, and discipleship. The doctors and dentists would see many patients each day, helping the best they could with tooth extractions, advice on lifestyle, and even sending people directly to the hospital.
Each evening Pastor Scott preached the word of God. Over 200 people would attend the meetings from the surrounding areas. They all became our new friends. Before the sermon, there was a concert of praise. God has given the people of Myanmar the ability to sing with their whole heart and soul. Then Doctor Moskala would teach about health with his loving, evangelistic heart. At the end of Pastor Scott’s sermon, he would make an appeal and each night many people came forward for special prayer or commitments to Christ.
Members, medical missionaries, and church planters had worked hard to reach out. On the final Sabbath 52 people were baptized. They went to a beach by a river and their joy was so beautiful! I will never forget it. The needs in Myanmar are enormous with its strong Buddhist culture and changes in the political system. The church work is growing but it needs our prayer and support.
By Jennifer Espinoza-Ruiz
It was my very first time working with children and I loved the experience. The children were so excited to have us; we were able to teach them more about God and how to take care of their health. I was amazed how the teachers were so committed. Even though they only earned $70 a month, half of what they earned went to buy materials for the school.
I have been beyond blessed on this mission trip; God filled me with so much happiness as I spoke to others about the wonderful God we serve. I remember the first Sabbath I arrived, I was asked to preach to a village that was 30 minutes away from Taungoo. As I sat in the back of the truck, I couldn’t help but smile and thank God for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. Even though the wind was messing up my hair and dust was all over my face and clothes, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was extremely happy that I had accepted the invitation God gave me. That Sabbath became the best Sabbath of my life.
I had the privilege of getting to know several bible workers, some of which were very discouraged for they had lost their families because they didn’t agree with their faith in God. I praise God for giving me the words to encourage them and pray for them. This whole experience made me think of how much work there is to be done and very few workers willing to help.