Burma (OM/MNN) — Ever step out of your comfort zone to get your hands dirty in the Great Commission? I mean, REALLY step out?
That's exactly what a team of 12 young people from 7 nations did when they went to Yangon, Burma (Myanmar) together recently.
The 10-day road trip followed Operation Mobilization-Malaysia's "Out of the Comfort Zone (OCZ)" conference. It's a short-term mission exposure program designed to help young people experience first-hand reaching lives with the good news.
By the end of the two-week outreach among university students, children, and church members, they returned home with broadened horizons and valuable experiences.
Fiona from Australia took to these gentle people quickly, noting that "they were by far the most gentle people that we had ever met. They were genuine, welcoming, and gave generously despite having little. It was an honor to serve the people of Myanmar through the program OM had organized for us."
Due to the size of the team, some members taught English to university students while others went on a prayer walk through the city. They were encouraged to pray specifically and fervently as a result of what they saw and experienced. Free English class was also offered before church on Sunday morning, and some Buddhist monks who attended stayed on for the service, too.
The team enjoyed playing games with children at two orphanages and one kindergarten in a slum area. They also connected with believers at The Upper Room Church and Youth Club. Prompted to become more intentional with their free time, some participants attached little "Jesus loves you" notes to the pulley systems used by the Burmese people to receive mail, while others set out to engage with locals on the street and in tea shops.
"It was a privilege to work with the OM team," concluded Fiona. "We were very blessed by their prayers, Bible study, and morning devotions. The Burmese people have a sadness in their hearts but continue to act out of joy. We look forward to what the Lord will do in this nation in the next years and are thankful to God that He has grown our hearts for this beautiful people and country."
It's quite a change from earlier days. In a previous report, the leader of OM Myanmar said the change has come rapidly. People are adjusting, he says, adding that "people feel more freedom in the media, in the streets and in the church. As this is all very new, no one is sure to what extent that freedom will reach, but we thank God for the open door and answered prayers!"