A few weeks ago, Silk and I had the privilege of traveling around Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) with a group of leaders from 5 countries there to learn about ministry and what God has done through the years.
One of the most inspiring parts of our trip was visiting the sites (pictured here) where Adoniram Judson, America’s first anglo missionary and first to leave the western hemisphere, was in prison.
Adoniram’s entire life work in mission went down in flames and he was tortured for his faith. His family bore an incredible burden as well but they all left a powerful legacy that we saw in the lives of Burmese Pastors across the country.
One pastor, in particular, was invited to share at a peace conference several years ago as Myanmar has been facing a 70+ year civil war. He was invited to share but declined, saying, “I’m no politician. I would have nothing to share.” But, one of Myanmar’s most famous Nobel prize recipients challenged him saying “I know many preachers and they always have good things to share.” So, he prayed and God inspired him to share that reconciliation never follows peace, which was the theme of their gathering. Instead, he said, the bible tells us that reconciliation must precede peace. In order for us to have peace, we must be reconciled!
Story after story like this was shared with us as pastors talked about seeing the Gospel spread across their areas. It all hinged on prayer and several pointed to the legacy of Adoniram Judson as an inspiring story that catalyzed their faith.
After losing everything, seeing his family broken down, and spending time in prison one reporter asked Judson,
“What hope do you have for Burma after all of this tragedy?”
“The future is as bright as the promises of God.”
He knew that God’s promises would overcome any challenges. Likewise, pastors across Myanmar embody this same spirit today. They know that they can trust God so they walk by faith in their lives and leadership.
May we learn from these faithful leaders today. May we see that reconciliation must precede peace – that’s what the Prince of Peace came to live out. And, may we see that “The Future is as Bright as the Promises of God!”
Joe Handley, President
Related story: Bended Knees — Being here was a breakthrough for me!