Southern Asia-Pacific

Adventist church in Myanmar trains community service workers

Service projects offer practical resources for local families.

Gay Deles with additional reporting from Myo Chan

Following the recent relief operations in flood-affected areas in Myanmar, the Adventist church headquarters in the country conducted session 1 of the International Institute of Christian Discipleship (IICD) Community Services and Urban Ministries on October 4-9 in Yangon. More than 60 community service leaders, Adventist pastors and church members attended this first of its kind certification program in Myanmar. 

“I am glad to see the works carried out by Adventist church in community services in Myanmar as this was the basic method of what Christ has done with the community” expressed by Dr. May-Ellen Colon, Adventist Community Services (ACS) Director for the world church who was invited as a resource speaker.

The Adventist Community Services in Myanmar was organized in 2010 to implement various projects in respective townships and churches. Presently, ACS and other NGOs, like IsrAID, have partnered with the church’s Myanmar Union Mission (MYUM) to help families with livelihood support and education programs. 

Sixty-five families in the Myaungmya Township were provided $180 each to help them generate income through gardening, selling, and raising livestock among other means. 

In the church’s South East Mission in Mawlamyine, southern Myanmar, ACS provided five government schools, 26 church and community schools with learning aid and materials, teacher training and eight school renovations in 2014.

“I can see the participation of the Adventist church in the disaster relief operation in Kayin state which made the meaning of helping the community through love in kind,” said by Dr. Sung Kwon, ACS director for the church’s North American Division. Kwon was also a resource speaker for the certification program and visited the disaster response area in the flooded eastern part of Myanmar.

“The program was really exciting for me to do it. Believe that Jesus did this method and it had a great impact to the ministry. I am committed…to this ministry ” said participant Ms. Ciin Lam Mang who is actively involved in church activities in Yangon Central Church.
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Mang enjoyed the lectures, role-playing, group work and dynamics among the other activities in the five-day program.

“We will also be participating in Non-Profit Leadership Program by sending our community services leaders from Myanmar to attend. It will … enhance our ministry in Myanmar,” commented Maung Maung Myo Chan, MYUM ACS director.

With the continued support from the church, MYUM will later conduct the certification’s session 2 in September 2016. 

Session 1 and 2 are part of the certification program initiated by the Adventist World church headquarters and Adventist Community Services in North America. 

MYUM and donors around the world were heavily involved in relief operations during the recent flooding that affected the country in July and August. MYUM disaster response teams distributed food items and other forms of relief goods.