An Outsider In Southeast Asia
“They look at us Christians like outsiders. Like Hepatitis C, they say we have the ‘Double C Virus.’ Chins and Christians.”
Tun* belongs to a minority tribe in Southeast Asia, called the Chin. In his country, the law states that citizens must be Buddhist, and many Buddhist groups pressure religious and cultural minorities to leave the country to keep it ‘pure’. Tun faces harassment because of both his faith and his tribe. Despite this, Tun is passionate about his role as a pastor.
“The best thing is to see the lives of people being transformed and being dedicated to Christ and winning souls,” Tun shares. “This gives me pure joy in my life.”
Starvation Leads To Christ
Every 50 years, the bamboo around Tun’s village blossoms into flowers. These flowers bring hordes of rats who feast on the flowers before devouring all other crops. The infestation leaves villagers facing starvation and exhaustion as they are unable to find proper nourishment.
Image: Tun* pointing out his sugarcane and livestock farm
The rats came to Tun’s village in 2008. In the midst of starvation and hopelessness, Tun attended an event run by local partners of Open Doors.
“What I learned about Jesus really touched my heart and changed the way I think,” Tun explained. “Before the training I was a nominal Christian. Through it, I learned more about the life of Jesus and what I thought of Him changed. I became closer in my relationship with the Lord.”
Sharing The Gospel
In the years that have passed since Tun attended the training, the Lord has used him in miraculous ways. Tun has passed on the same training he received to over one thousand believers, strengthening their spiritual walk and deepening their faith in Christ.
He has also provided livelihood training to 100 believers, showing them how to survive and rebuild following the rat plague. This has provided a stable income and food source for a multitude of families and communities.
Tun travels for two or three days to reach believers awaiting training. Often the journey is uncomfortable and taxing. It can include a 10-12 hour boat trip, riding a motorcycle or squeezing his legs between two iron rods on the side of a truck. On some occasions the journey causes great physical pain that takes days to heal.
He is also aware that because of this work, persecution against him and his family could intensify.
“I tell them: ‘In case I am put in prison, or if I get killed, don’t be surprised, you still press on and still hold your faith. The Lord will do His part, we will do our part.’”
A Motivated Mission
Tun explains his motivation for continuing to teach, despite the hardships.
Image: Tun* leading Bible study and fellowship at his house.
“Whenever I teach, one thing comes into my mind – I remember the story of the Ethiopian eunuch and Phillip… I just point my students to the right direction, and they go in the right way, study their Bible by themselves and pray and cultivate themselves. It brings joy and happiness to my heart, seeing all these things.”
The survival of the persecuted church is dependent on discipling believers. Your monthly donations support believers like Tun as they live for Christ in their community.
*Name changed for security purposes.