Cyclone, Rats, Devastation, and Evangelism

On May 2, 2008, Cyclone Nargis struck the Delta region of Myanmar. For two days it crossed the southern portion of the country leaving nothing but devastation in its wake. With more than 150,000 lives lost and millions more affected, this part of the country was in ruins. Our national church partners in Myanmar jumped right in to aid the victims, including dealing with the inevitable rat infestation. The rats had destroyed thousands of acres of rice paddies. Farmers could do nothing to stop this destruction. Our national partners negotiated with an organization that paid 10 cents per rat tail. For every 30 rat tails, they received $30. This small bit of aid, as well as providing rice and seed to the affected farmers, resulted in a keen interest in the Gospel. The farmers wanted to know why our partners were going out of their way to help them when no one else seemed to care. They asked to learn more and said 50 people would attend a Bible study. But when our partners arrived, they saw 200 waiting. A few weeks later, the farmers requested another Bible study. This time they made sure to say 300 would attend. Of course, our partners double-checked the numbers so they could prepare adequately, but the organizers assured them that only 300 farmers had shown an interest. In total, more than 800 had come and at the end of the day, 200 gave their lives to Christ and were baptized.

In John 13:34 – 35, it says: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have this love, one for another.

Myanmar is a place like no other. It is where the church shows the love of Christ to all men and women resulting in many lives for the Kingdom. Our partners there understand that people will see Jesus when they see this unconditional love. Such a thing is rare in a country that was ruled for so many years by a brutal military and the Lord is using His perfect love to transform lives today.

The rats had destroyed thousands of acres of rice paddies.

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