USPG started working in Myanmar in 1854.
Over the years we have built up close relationships with the church,
supporting a wide range of initiatives in education, healthcare and leadership training (you can read more about some of this work in this study guide).
Until recently, the Church of Myanmar had very little freedom to speak out due to heavy government restrictions levelled at minority religions in a majority-Buddhist country. So the church learned to speak with actions, rather than with words. However, today the political climate in Myanmar is beginning to relax, which means new opportunities for mission.
We asked Bishop John Wilme, of Toungoo Diocese, about his understanding of mission. He told USPG: ‘Mission means sharing the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ through action, not only in preaching or telling the gospel, but going into the field and serving the poor.
‘In Myanmar it is quite difficult to share the good news face to face
because Christians are in a minority. So it’s better for us to serve the people
through social activities – healthcare, education and leadership training.
‘Mission means providing health for communities, by which I do not just
mean physical health, but also mental and spiritual health.
‘I love to serve God by serving the people. We try to reach the unreached
people outside the church, the most needy.
‘The country is changing, so we need your prayers for our politicians, for
religious groups that are in conflict, and for Christians to be united and share the good news wherever they are.’