Burmese Christians Pray for Hope

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CWN.com - YANGON, Burma - Everthing seems normal now in the streets of Yangon.

This area was the center of the violent crackdown in September. Now it's filled with street vendors, eateries along the road, and Burmese going about life's daily routines.

The scene includes beggars in the streets and children making a living by selling postcards.

Reporter: Do you go to school?
Boy: Never school.
Reporter: How old are you?
Boy: Twelve
Reporter: What's your name?
Boy: My name is Michael
Reporter: Never school? Why?
Boy: I no money, no school.

Michael says he learned English on his own while living in the streets. He's quite intelligent, but when asked about his dreams, he has no words.

This attitude may be common among street children throughout the world. But here in Burma, most people are at a lost when it comes to their future.

The generals who have ruled the country for 46 years, also control a large part of their lives.

"Life is hard. But people are silent. They are afraid of the government," says one taxi driver.

He says the government keeps tight control, especially of their communications. Very few people can afford mobile phones because a simcard costs a staggering $2,000. The average burmese earns a daily wage of ,1000 kyat, pronounced "chat", or 90 cents. About one third of that goes to bus fare alone.

Because of the high cost of living and the difficulty finding jobs, most Burmese go abroad to earn money to send to their families back home.

Thang Sian Mang earns a living by teaching English to Burmese who want to go abroad. But he tries to persuade his students to stay in their country.

"We teach English. We also teach about Christian values," Mang said. "It is so important to know that there is a God who loves them and cares for them, loves this nation. As they know that there is a God, their lives will be changed, and their perspective and their even the destiny will be changed."

Ruth Lin Lin also grew up in a very poor family. As she experienced the love of God in her life, she knew her destiny was to help the poor children of her country.

At age 25, she started an orphanage called Grace Refuge Center. Now after two years, she takes care of 42 orphans. Her two sisters also run orphanages. They believe that through these children, Burma can have a bright future.

"We help them grow physically and spiritually," Lin said. "And because they know God they will live victorious lives and be a blessing to Burma."

In the midst of the seemingly hopeless situation, Burmese Christians are interceding for their country. Christians inside the country, and even those who fled to the jungles of neighboring countries are praying.

They believe that no amount of protests can topple the iron rule in Burma. Only prayer, they say, can change their nation.

"We need spiritual revival in Myanmar," Rev. Suak Za Go, an Assemblies of God pastor in Burma, said. "Please pray for us when we preach and evangelize our friends in Buddhism, we need the power of the Holy Spirit."

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Lucille Miranda

Lucille Miranda

CBN News Reporter

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