Myanmar – The people of Myanmar are enduring an ongoing civil war that escalated due to the coup d’état of Myanmar’s rightfully elected government on Feb. 1, 2021; however, there is an organization providing spiritual and physical assistance. The organization that is listening to God’s call is the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Myanmar.
Myanmar Civil War
This civil war is a major humanitarian crisis that has affected the people of Myanmar for almost three years. Over this period, Myanmar’s military junta has bombed civilians, gunned down protestors, displaced people from their homes, and committed numerous other war crimes against its citizens.
He stated, “We have collected compelling evidence of the widespread burning of Rohingya villages and the assaults and killings of civilians. I have been particularly horrified by the numerous accounts of sexual crimes that we have collected.”
In retaliation of their corrupt government, the people started their own government, the National Unity Government (NUG), and military division, the People’s Defense Force (PDF), to combat the authoritarian government’s atrocities.
CBN Myanmar, an organization that began in 2013, focuses on the physical and spiritual needs of those suffering in Myanmar. The team of 42 works together to evangelize and disciple the people living in this war-torn country.
In a Zoom interview about the war’s impact, a producer at CBN Myanmar said, “Now people are more open to find hope… they are looking for something to save them.”
Mason Pigue, the director of international disaster response, preparedness, and relief for Operation Blessing (OB), said in a Zoom interview, “We’re stepping forward in faith that God is going to provide. Once we hit the ground, He’s going to create those opportunities. He’s going to create those connections. He’s going to create those resources. And we’re going to be able to provide the relief that He’s calling us to provide at that time.”
CBN Myanmar’s ministry focuses on creating media resources, helping families in need, and discipling children. The team accomplishes these goals by working with local churches within Myanmar to provide necessary resources.
In 2014, before the coup, CBN Myanmar started its humanitarian project. Operation Blessing (OB) is a non-profit humanitarian organization that focuses on providing relief worldwide that partners with CBN Myanmar to provide food, clean water, hygiene products, and medical care.
CBN Myanmar’s humanitarian program also provides many opportunities to spread the word of God. This aspect demonstrates the importance of applying biblical principles to humanitarian work.
Pigue stated, “All of these are just venues that create opportunities for sharing the gospel, and it gives us an opportunity for us to talk about what Jesus has done for us.”
A managing director at CBN Myanmar shared via Zoom that besides its humanitarian program, he and the team equip local churches with means for children’s discipleship. They have expanded to “digital evangelism” through Facebook and YouTube videos.
Their digital evangelism includes media resources for parents and children, such as their Super Parent Myanmar and Superbook Myanmar programs. CBN Myanmar then helps the churches set up programs centered around their biblical media to continue teaching the children and their families.
With 7.8 million children receiving no education, these programs allow children to receive entertainment, food, prayer, and Jesus’ love. Children find relief during the constant trauma from the war through CBN Myanmar’s Superbook program, which focuses on discipling children.
Kashmir Taylor, a CBN international producer, stated that because CBN Myanmar unifies its humanitarian aid and media branches, it creates “a combo effect.” For instance, the people of Myanmar receive prayer and spiritual assistance from the team through its media outreach and humanitarian resources to help their families.
While CBN Myanmar mainly works with churches, the team also helps refugee camps. They provide the same resources as they would for the churches, giving the team the opportunity to spread the gospel to more people.
Myanmar’s United Nations division reports that the war has forced about 1.5 million people to seek refuge elsewhere based on data from December 2022. However, due to the coup, the team faces obstacles in ensuring people receive these necessary resources.
A managing director at CBN Myanmar shared that his team encounters checkpoints, making it challenging for them to go to areas that need aid because of the military’s view of humanitarian workers.
Pigue shared what could happen if humanitarian workers aid a non-loyalist in Myanmar.
He stated, “If you’re providing aid to that person, then you’re going to be considered a non-loyalist. So, therefore, you’re going to be arrested and jailed.”
The team is overcoming these obstacles with God’s help and encouraging others through their continued faith. To sustain this hope, the team and the people of Myanmar need prayer.
A managing director stated, “On the ground, we see many injustice, many things that happen, but I like his [Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar] view. This is a spiritual warfare… we are not against the flesh but against the spirit of the thief.”
Individuals can also help by donating to CBN Myanmar. All one has to do is visit CBN Myanmar’s online homepage and click Give Now.