Aung Mang Tributes
Including online Open Mic Tributes from Memorial Service
I’m going to share from two perspectives in this tribute to Dr Aung — firstly as an Empower Asia Board member and secondly as Summer English School (SES) Coordinator.
Dr Aung Mang was a highly valued part of the Empower Asia team in Myanmar. Empower Asia is a Children’s ministry which takes young people from difficult, unsafe, and/or poor backgrounds and gives them a great education while living in a loving home with house parents who train them to be disciples of Jesus. Dr Aung was the treasurer for Empower Asia Myanmar in the 1990s before taking over as Country Manager in the early 2000s. He was pivotal to the work. Without him we would not have expanded to the 10 homes we have today. It was Aung’s ability to network and the respect that people had for him that caused our growth. We were able to recruit house parents from the wide circle of people he knew and trusted. Aung was also an optimist who seldom ever said “Oh, I don’t think we can do that.” He was so appreciated and is hugely missed.
I first met Dr Aung in 2007 when I went on my first SES adventure at MEGST. My memories of him in those early days, which have continued on, were of graciousness, warmth, a wonderful smile, a heart for people and his love for the Lord. As far as SES was concerned, he was always available if we needed him. Yes, he was often in New Zealand for a good part of SES, but returned during our Team 4. He was encouraging, was a great listener and talker—we learned so much from Aung of how God was working in Myanmar; he delighted in taking us out for dinner and hosting us in his home—his and Dawt Dim’s hospitality was legendary! It was also our pleasure at Chapel services to sometimes listen to him inspiring the students, relating to them with humour. He radiated love for his Lord and love for people, working tirelessly for others. It was an joy to know him.
A little food story: once while in New Zealand, Aung stayed with us and I would take him from meeting to meeting. On our way home one day, I stopped to pick up some vegetables for dinner. He came into the shop and he wanted red-fleshed plums (Black Doris ones?). On returning home he introduced me to a ‘treat’! plums with salt and (from memory) chili?? It was an experience, one that he loved—but I haven’t repeated it!
Hi to you who are carrying on God’s ministry, including miracles that He did by the hundreds through Aung Mung. He would have only related a fraction of them. We were amazed at how Aung & his wife in their early days with young family, operated in their little flat across the street from the base of the oppressive. Yes feeding the several students that were living with them when they had food, & fasting when they didn’t.
Changed & empowered leaders have been and are ongoing miracles from the LeaDev Ministry. As is the accumulation of a library of thousands of study books etc secured in spite of tight monitoring by the authorities. What a testimony Aung Mung is to our Sovereign God, who in the words of Paul to the Ephesian believers is “able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we can ask or even imagine…..”
Not only these areas, but Aung showed his big heart like Jesus, rescuing and blessing many children and them receiving a new life in Jesus.
Aung Mung epitomises what an earlier Ecuadorian martyr Jim Elliot wrote; “it is no fool who is prepared to lose what he can’t keep, to gain what he can’t lose.” Truly Aung Mung was a spiritual giant in a small body, because he committed himself totally to God to be used by Him to do whatever He gave Aung to do. I feel privileged to have heard him speak powerfully from God’s Word, always with power and love.
Brother Aung Mang was a dear, precious friend to us. He was a part of our family. Our children and our grandchildren dearly loved him…one grandson affectionately calling him, “My friend, Mr Ong Man.” Many stories were read, songs sung, and walks taken with Mr Ong Man.
We loved it when he walked into our home, after arriving each time in N.Z. , whispering, “I am home! Hallelujah!” Sometimes he arrived with energy, other times weak, and needing rest and recuperation, most usually the latter. But he was always praising God, and singing or humming a favourite Christian song.
He was such a warm and caring man, full of love for His Lord…always thankful for everything when he had so little materially…even ready and willing to share the shirt off his back, when he maybe had only one other. He taught us that having God gave us all we needed, and that God was and is totally trustworthy and faithful.
He reminded us at the close of every prayer, “Our life and times are in His Hands.” And so they are…. AUNG MANG: Small man….big heart.
Tribute to my brother and friend Dr Aung Mang
God’s servant committed to serving his people and nation. A man of integrity and humility. I miss him as my friend and brother in the Lord. He ran a great race faithfully in spite of difficult circumstances, particularly during his illness but never lost courage and trust in the Lord. I will never forget my last meal with him and sister Dim in Seoul, Korea. He had a sense of humor even during uncertainty because of his faith. I praise God for my brother Aung Mang. Praying for Dim and children that the Lord will continue to sustain them with Hope and Grace.
Ashish Chrispal, Senior Advisor, Overseas Council – United World Mission.
It was a great blessing and privilege to be able to host Dr Aung in our home over a number of years.
He was a joy to have in our home, his sense of humor was infectious. He taught us to appreciate the small things that we take for granted, like our roads.
He was a great blessing to both Adrienne & I and our lives have been the richer for having known both Aung & Dawt.
He was truly a servant of God. Like the apostle Paul new how to be continent in what ever his circumstances were.
He touched many lives for God and his legacy will live on for eternity.
Colin & Adrienne Sutton
Dr Aung Mang and I first met in the Philippines. He was undertaking masters’ studies; I was in a post graduate program.
Much, much later we shared in two journeys together.
The first, in NZ. For a week I was Aung’s chauffeur. He had speaking commitments in the lower South Island. Leaves of gold, orange, and yellow – colours of autumn – carpeted the road. Outrageous beauty symbolised our journey: laughter, delightful conversation, joyous Christian songs, and breathtaking scenery. Heaven came close.
The second journey was in Myanmar. Together with Aung, Denise and I travelled the long, dusty road past Falam and on to Hakka Here also was beauty: the amazing Chin hills unfolding endlessly into the purple distance. But what captured me was something else. At each stop for refreshments, and there were several, everyone knew Aung – by name, personally. He was valued, all owned him; like Jesus, friendship and relationships marked him out; he was special.
It was a privilege to have travelled with Dr Aung Mang…
We join the rest of Leadev in thanking you for your vision and leadership in the creation of MEGST. You will never be forgotten and we as a family will continue with fond memories of your staying with us and your love and caring for your family, Myanmar but most importantly our Lord Jesus Christ. Rest in Peace.
Mike & Heather Johnson
Dr Aung was an influencer. His vision and charisma inspired people to do good and significant things. Though he wasn’t so good at detail – so where Aung was able to inspire others, he needed people to get some of the practical things done. That is often God’s way. It was Aung’s inspiring message at our church back in 2005/2006 that moved Wendy and me to first visit Myanmar. His contribution to God’s work in this world has been huge. We miss him greatly.
We both praise God for the years we knew Dr Aung. In all our time at Megst he treated us as friends. He was a busy man, but always had time for you as an individual. I enjoyed our chats when he came into the office.
He never deviated from his God given task of raising up the next generation of God’s servants. Our lives are richer for having known him.
Jim and Diane Russell
We consider it a privilege to have been given the opportunity to meet and be inspired by Aung Mang, during his visits to NZ. Having him stay in our home over night before his speaking in our rural community Church, we got to see him ‘up close’ as well as in a preaching setting. He was one of those people [ rare in our experience] who seemed to radiate qualities of gentleness and humility backed up with incisive thinking and a sense of the power of the Lord Jesus, whom he presented and represented well. It was clear, even as he navigated a range of life and work challenges, that he was both impelled and delightedly dedicated to walk the way of His master, whatever the cost, sharing his wisdom and love to those he had been given responsibility for, and those he encountered.
Neil & Bev Hopkins
It was an honour to meet Aung when he visited NZ a few years ago at the Mount Zion Church in Milton.
To the family of Aung, thankyou for the opportunity to join in this memorial service. Aung was a true servant a God, whom the Lord chose to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please accept my heartfelt condolences in your loss of Aung.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace”.
Finally, “Let the weak say, I am strong, let the poor say, I am rich, because of what the Lord has done in me.”
The Special Character of Aung Mang – aka St Aung of Yangon
My dear friend Aung Mang died in Yangon on Friday, 17 April from complications arising from the effect of chemotherapy he was undergoing post-surgery for stomach cancer. This was during COVID pandemic lockdown here in NZ, and when Myanmar was under increasing restrictions. I lamented not being able to visit him to say, “Goodbye, until we meet again,” and was only able to speak to his wife Dawt Dim on FaceTime shortly after his passing. Aung was buried the same day he died, with fewer than 20 people allowed at the burial. Discussions are taking place in Yangon about holding a memorial service later in the year, when large gatherings are allowed. I hope to be able to travel for that event, to speak in honour of my friend. Ka kite ano!
I have said many times and in many places that Aung was the person I most admired of anybody I have ever met, for the reasons below. What a privilege to have known him, called him friend, and been called a friend by him.
He was a favourite with my whole family. As a family we visited Aung in Myanmar once, in Dec 2000, and he, of course visited NZ more than a dozen times, and stayed with us each year. On one occasion as he entered our house I heard him quietly whisper, “I am home.” My eldest grandchild, Aiken, loved Aung, and from his earliest days called him “Mr Ong Man; he’s my friend!” One photo captures that relationship so well.
Bro Aung Mang endeared himself to everyone he met, especially in NZ, not only because of his joyful, outgoing, sunny disposition and personality, but because of the character he demonstrated over a long period of time. It was for that latter reason that he came to be called and known in NZ as ‘St Aung of Yangon.’
He exemplified biblical, humble servant Christian leadership of sacrificial commitment to the service of Christ and His church in Myanmar, sacrificial generosity, simplicity of lifestyle – voluntary poverty almost, integrity and excellence in all that he tried to achieve.
Aung could have left Myanmar with his very young family many years ago, declared himself a refugee, and applied for political asylum and residency in the USA. He was often encouraged to do so, but he declined, as he always said that his call was to serve Christ, and to suffer for Him, in Myanmar.
Aung was given many large financial gifts, and many gifts in kind, during his many international travels advocating for a variety of ministries, Bible schools and children’s homes especially. But he never accumulated for himself. On a multitude of occasions he literally gave the shirt or jacket off his back to someone who asked, who had less than Aung.
Aung was an enthusiast and ideas person, who often made expansionary and innovative decisions somewhat unilaterally. However, as was explained by someone in Myanmar, he never made a selfish decision, and thus all his colleagues, whom he called ‘co-workers’ from most senior to least junior, followed him and supported him, because they trusted him.
Aung was highly esteemed and trusted within Myanmar, not just within his own tribal group [Falam Chin] and/or church denomination [Assembly of God], but across the board. Aung was elected to the Executive Council of the Myanmar Evangelical Christian Alliance [MECA] – affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance [WEA] – in 2014, and elected Chairman of the Theological Commission of MECA, which required him to become Chairman of the Board of MEGST [thus requiring him to resign as Principal]. He was invited to represent MECA and many other groups at a multitude of international gatherings [including Lausanne III, Cape Town, Oct 2010], and to speak at events throughout Myanmar associated with many churches and Christian organizations.
Tony Plews Associate Director, Special Projects
When Aung first came to our church we were captured by his vision, not just for MEGST as a Theological School but his greater vision of how it could be used to develop future leaders even at Government level. His message “one day we will have an elected Govt and we need to have Christians trained and read to be govt level leaders” rang true to our ears. We wanted to help and Philippa has been able to teach at MEGST – what a great privilege. Furthermore, we have been able to teach in churches in Dr Aungs beloved Chin state.
Thank you Aung for transferring some of your heart for the people of Myanmar into ours.
Russell & Philippa McLachlan
I knew Dr Aung Mang for almost 15 years. He was small of stature yet a giant in the faith and unstinted in his courage in the face of harassment and uncertainty. I well remember him telling me once some years ago, when the military were in full control of Myanmar, that on a recent return to Myanmar he had been pulled aside for a chat by one senior official who in the course of the discussion said to him “we are afraid of you Dr Aung”. This was because he was fearless of their effect on him and never shrank from the task to grow the kingdom.
His selfless devotion to the needs of others, his fierce determination to serve Myanmar for his whole life (when most if not all of those in his theological degree cohort had found the “better life” in other countries), and the openness with which he utilised the resources given to him all speak to the character of this wonderful servant of God. Aung was the perfect living illustration of our mantra that we want to develop “humble servant leaders who believe, study, teach, model and apply the Word of God in their context”. Not only was he such an example, but his legacy includes the fact that many others from the faculty and graduates of MEGST now begin to model the same character
Rest in peace dear brother
I first met Aung just prior to my first visit to Myanmar in 2011 while he was on New Zealand deputation. After 9 years and 13 visits to his beautiful country, the words of expression that come at Aungs passing are “humble”. I came to see Aung in the role of the most senior Christian leader in Myanmar but he certainly did not seek to be a popular grandstander, content to live an ordinary existence with no trimmings.
“Sincere” – the bottom line in what he was doing and his message was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in his words – always talking of knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. This always remained his central focus.
“His Heart” – to teach, skill, equip and strengthen Christian people in an endeavour to further advance the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I could ask the question – “Who could ever fill his shoes”?, and then stand back and come to the realisation that there are already hundreds of people all over Myanmar that are already filling his shoes because of the impact of his life into theirs.
Aung Mang spoke at a church service I was at many years ago, I was deeply moved by his commitment to serving God and the calling on his life to serve the people of Myanmar.
His voice was full of conviction and conveyed his deep desire to follow Jesus despite the difficulties, persecution and hardships he and his family faced. His strong, steady faith was unwavering throughout the years that I knew him.
When I had the opportunity to work for LeaDev-Langham, I was really excited that I would be able to support and promote MEGST and the work that Aung Mang was doing. Earlier this year I was able to visit MEGST with my husband and a group from New Zealand. We meet the sacrificial staff and students working there, and saw first-hand the impact that this school is having in training strong Christian leaders. All of this possible because of Aung Mang and how he inspired people. What a legacy he has left.
We are deeply saddened at the passing of this wonderful, friendly, intelligent and fervent man of God. Our prayers, love and sympathy to Dawt Dim and their children. As we grieve with them, may they be comforted in knowing that he is now with our heavenly Father.
Two things remain forcibly in my memory of Aung Mang.
The first and uppermost is typical of first reactions by many westerners I suspect: what a mighty person packaged in such a small parcel! This diminutive man by some standards was a giant in stature in fact! This soon became apparent when anyone spoke with him even for 15 minutes. We first met with much more time on our hands, with my wife and I hosting Aung for a meal a number of years ago. By the end of the evening, the glorious growth of a significant part of the Asian church’s history had been revealed. Thank you for the lesson, Aung. It was akin to sitting at the feet of the likes of Bp Stephen Neill.
The second feature is transferable directly to any situation over time or across places. Steady faithfulness over time applying oneself to a calling delivered by the Chief Shepherd whatever the circumstances is both a grace of God yet also our human response. Aung embodied both beautifully. Thank you again – for revealing what 1 Peter 5:1-11 might mean for us all.
So; thank you brother! Rest in peace and rise in glory. And let light perpetual shine upon you! Amine!
Your energy, your vision and your achievements in Yangon will always inspire us
We are praying for comfort to all family members and colleagues in Yangon
Lots of love
Peter & Jessica Crothall
A gentle, humble man, who loved God, his family and his country deeply. In New Zealand we say, of a great person on his/her passing, that “a mighty Totara (a native tree) has fallen.” That is truly the case.
Aung Mang – only 62? but those years were given for his family, his people, his country and his Lord. He was always a joy to be with and an inspiration to us all. He had that smile, his warmth cheered the room but then he could look you in the eye and ask “Brother Geoff…..”. He was a man of vision and could see what could be. He did not let the issues of today cloud his vision of what was possible. Aung will remain in our hearts as a good man, a great friend and fellow follower of Jesus.
I first became aware of Aung when Tony Plews returned from his first visit to Myanmar in 1996. He returned full of praise for the Princpal of MEGST and suggested Leadev NZ became full supporters of the College and its aims to train in Ministry local Christians. That support continues to today. We have visited MEGST twice andover the years have had him stay with us while he was preaching in Rotorua/Tauranga/Hamilton Churches.
To have him stay with us was a total blessing. He had the smallest suitcase for his possessions, his passion for training and love of Jesus was the daily conversation.
His legacy is so hard to define as he was involved in so many Christian outreaches besides his position at MEGST. His legacy is that since opening in 1996 there have been over 450 graduates of Megst and of these nearly 90% are still working in the Church in Myanmar.
Rest in peace dear brother and friend. You will not be forgotton.
I first met Aung Mang in 2006? when we were blessed to host him during his Rotorua visit. I say ‘blessed’ because that is how I felt to have this humble, gentle man of God grace our home. Over the years this has been repeated many times, once with Dawt Dim. In addition we have visited Aung twice. Rest in peace dear brother.
I have had the privilege of knowing Dr. Aung for about 10 years as he would come and visit New Zealand and sometimes stay with us at our home. He was a small man in physical stature but a huge man in his faith and work for God. He was always incredibly humble as he told many stories of the development of MEGST and the struggles that they had for years under military rule. As he visited our wealthy country with our big homes and luxury items, he was never judgemental towards us but would just continually tell us of his vision and passion to serve God and Myanmar. The realness of his commitment to God in difficult times and situations has become abundantly clearer to me having recently visited MEGST. The last 25 years of teaching God’s Word in Yangon is truly a miracle in many ways and a real testament of his faith, trust and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. His legacy will continue to live on through students who have graduated and continue to graduate from this humble Bible school. He is a spiritual brother that I will always fondly remember as an example of a man who has yielded himself to Christ. Rest in peace brother Aung.
Milne & Shelly Horne
We count it a privilege to have known Aung and to have been able to host him in our home on several occasions during his visits to NZ. He was like the apostle Paul who knew how to be thankful with plenty or little. We were impressed how he gave thanks to God for things that we would take for granted. In spite of his busy life he kept in touch regularly. We will remember him as a great man of God.
Colin & Adrienne Sutton
Where to begin? All those many years ago when Aung MANG first appeared with Tony at our door in our first family home in Massey. Of course, Tony having been to MEGST a few times before, had shared very emotionally with our family, the measure of this dear man. And after spending an evening with Aung MANG, we could see he was all Tony described and even more!
Through the following years, I had the privilege of looking after Aung MANG in the new home Tony and I acquired. We had a little wing he cud call his own with a cozy study, couch and tv. We would often find him asleep there. He once arrived declaring loudly, “I’m home!!” He often appeared unwell, exhausted, and needing some good nutrition. He would sleep and eat, eat and sleep…pad down the stairs with a huge smile and a BOOMING “ HALLELUJAH!” no matter how he felt. I want to note that Dawt Dim took very good care of him but they often had over 20 students and family members living with them, so a bit of rice and maybe a small taste of meat would be a banquet for Aung Mang. We have no idea. One time when eating at our favourite restaurant, Canton, with a group of 10 people, Aung Mang commented there was enough food to feed over 50 people at MEGST. Aung was always grateful.
I learned a lot about this amazing friend as he talked with me at the breakfast bar, while I made his favourite breakfasts. His prayer before eating always ended with “Our life and times are in Your Hands.” Our family has taken on that sentiment and we have repeated it many times as we have journeyed thru some challenging times. Aung Mang and I usually ended our messages while he was in Bangkok Hospital with those words. He trusted completely in his Lord and Saviour though all his phases of life. His faith was unshakeable.
He would occasionally ask how to say something in English that he knew he didn’t have quite right. He was so humble…never pretending to know everything, in spite of his extensive experience through the years . He was a small man, with a respectful spirit, but he showed huge courage every day living in Myanmar. He experienced pounding on his door thru early morning hours with soldiers demanding the identity papers of everyone living in the flat. He remained calm but inwardly trembling he said. It was part of the unpredictability of life in Myanmar.
Our grandkids adored him. They became more closely acquainted with him when we moved out to the country to our family community. They loved playing with him and he affectionately became “Mr Ong Man.” They regularly prayed for him each night. Then when they knew he was sick, they asked about him all the time. Aung had such a capacity to love….young and old …and that love was returned!
Aung Mang was so generous. He continually gave whatever he had to someone who needed it more….a shirt, shoes, coat. He was the most sacrificial person I have ever known. He never considered anything he had as HIS….only just on loan until he could pass it on.
Aung Mang was a talented musician…recording many songs with the lovely young men in his church band. He loved singing and he and Tony had many favourites they would sing on their car travels through the years.
I have never known a man like him….sincere, humble, compassionate, enthusiastic, courageous, role model, sacrificial, faithful to His Lord and Saviour, totally himself ….He was a great friend and Heaven will truly be the richer and brighter. I can hear his HALLELUJAH TO THE KING OF KINGS!!
I did not know Aung well but he was a wonderful visitor and always called.
I found him to be very interested in all that we were doing and never short on encouragement at all.
In the early years of SES teaching at MEGST we saw a lot more of Dr Aung. My first impressions were of a very humble man who practised servant leadership and was held in such high respect by all who knew him.
He was so hospitable to the teams, taking us out for a meal to express his gratitude and showing genuine interest in us.
More recently we had the pleasure of having him to our home for a meal and getting to know him on a more personal level. We enjoyed hearing his stories, appreciating his sense of humour and the Godly wisdom that underpinned all he said and did.
He was a man who walked closely with God and cared deeply for others – a wonderful legacy for his family and those who knew him.
Jenni & Keith Bedford
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John15:13) Rev. Dr. Aung Mang was a man who deeply loved. He loved the Lord his God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. He wholeheartedly loved others. He loved his beautiful wife Dawt Dim and he delighted in his children. They were the joy of his life. He welcomed many others into his life: relatives, students, colleagues, visitors, his church family, believers everywhere, and treated them as friends. Dr Aung impacted our lives for eternity.
We could not stay the same after being welcomed by Dr Aung with his humour, wisdom, preaching, prayers and passion. We were so blessed by Aung, Uncle, staff and their families, and the students. Coming to MEGST is lifechanging, not just for the students and staff, but for those of us who had the privilege to be part of the Summer English School at MEGST. Many of us would join a team and then return year after year. We received so much. Sharing with the students and our friends in Myanmar enriched our lives.
We remember the joyful times sharing together: over a meal, in their home, on outings, up the 85+steps to Christian City Church, in the chapel, in the office.
We were so blessed when Dr Aung and Dawt Dim came to our home during their visit to New Zealand in April 2012. After lunch Aung was happy to have computer time while we enjoyed Dawt Dim’s company. We had a lovely walk together to the river and park. (I have enclosed two photos taken when Dr Aung and Dawt Dim visited us here at Waikanae.)
To conclude my tribute to Dr Aung, I would like to share an experience that is personal to me. During my time teaching English at MEGST in March 2008 I had a special Birthday. When the students were together in class I was presented with a delicious birthday cake. At that time Dr Aung prayed for me and I have not forgotten that anointed moment. When I returned to my room I fell on my face and prayed for a long time in a new language I did not know. I just wanted to stay close in God’s Presence. I remember Dr Aung as a person who preached and lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is what fired him up and that is what he passes onto us.
Let us, like Aung’s example, stay close to Jesus and be ambassadors for Christ wherever we are and wherever we go.
“To God be the glory for the things He has done.”
Janet Jones SES MEGST 2006-2017
What always amazed me when he was in NZ was his humility about how God used him to build His Kingdom in a quite difficult country and so ably assisted by his wife and family. A true saint
Rev Dr Aung Mang
It was a privilege to have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Aung Mang, when he stayed overnight at our house. The message he had given in our church that evening impressed as being heartfelt and while the points were easy to grasp, there was a clear sense of a sharp mind and devotion to God. But later , as we sat, down with him and with Toni, we got an insight into his heart.. What he said seemed to overflow from who he was. A man at peace, giving us a glimpse of God he loved.. There was no promoting himself , or pressure to speak. The previous struggles had driven him to lean on and reach out to God all the more…. In recent months we have had the occasional email correspondence with Aung. His health concerns were handled in the same way- While not understanding why it was clear that He had confidence God was trustworthy and in control.… Now that he has been called to his eternal home, given that we will miss him, we can only imagine the emptiness that his family, the students, and the others in the faculty are feeling. It is clear that He will be greatly missed. .. We get a greater glimpse of Jesus, looking at his life..
Neil & Bev Hopkins
I remember his generosity, gentle manner and passion for God and the work of growing His kingdom in Myanmar.
In 2016, just before heading to Yangon, I attended an Upper Room service at the Lighthouse Church in Masterton where Dr Aung was guest speaker. He sat at the same table with me as we shared a ‘Passover Meal’ together. He spoke between each course. His message was clearly from the heart, very inspiring, but what struck me most about him was his humility. How his face shone when he talked about his Lord. His passion for Myanmar was obvious too as we talked over the meal. That evening I had the utter privilege of washing his feet and having him wash mine in a foot washing ceremony. He was a delightful man and a wonderful servant of both the church and God. Our and Myanmar’s loss is heaven’s gain.
I didn’t know Dr Aung personally but his visit to our church in May 2018 was instrumental in starting my journey to MEGST. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share that testimony in person with my students this year.
Dr Aung was small in stature but tall in wisdom and Godliness.
He was friendly to everyone and excited about the Gospel.
When he spoke you wanted to listen. He made you think.
Thank you for not only teaching and preaching about your faith in Christ but also for living it. I appreciated your servant leadership, your integrity, your humility and your honesty. Also your compassion for your country and love for your people no matter what language or position they had. You had to face many difficult circumstances that came your way in life some of which I was privileged to hear from you when you came to stay at my home in Christchurch New Zealand. I remember you as a brother in Christ and have been blessed from knowing you,
Glynn Christie ESOL teacher from New Zealand. 2006-2015.
It was with great sadness that we learnt of Aung’s passing into glory. We consider ourselves to have been extremely privileged to have met and worked alongside, for a limited time, a true man of God. We remember Dr Aung as a man, small in stature, but absolutely huge in his love for his Saviour and Lord, for his family, his ministry and his country. Many lives are now the poorer without his effervescent personality in our midst. Our hearts and prayers are with Dawt Dim, children and greater family at this incredibly sad time and we do pray for our Lord’s strength and comforting Spirit for each one. We mourn, and at the same time rejoice that this great Man of God is now residing with his heavenly Father enjoying all that awaited him through his latter-day struggles here in mortality.
Russell & Michele Pizzey SES Teachers, formerly from Christchurch, NZ
I first met Dr Aung in 2007 when I went on my first SES adventure at MEGST. My memories of him in those early days, which have continued on, were of graciousness, warmth, a wonderful smile, a heart for people and his love for the Lord. As far as SES was concerned, he was always available if we needed him. Yes, he was usually in New Zealand for a good part of SES, but often returned during our Team 4. He was encouraging, was a great listener, delighted in taking us out for dinner and hosting us in his home – and took any issues we had seriously. It was also our pleasure at Chapel services to sometimes listen to him inspiring the students, relating to them with humour. He radiated love for his Lord and love for people, working tirelessly for others.
Dr Aung’s influence went well beyond MEGST. He was also pivotal and hugely influential in Empower Asia, another organisation I’m involved with – being their Board Chair for Myanmar. This influence went beyond Myanmar’s borders. He will be greatly missed.
I met Dr. Aung Mang on four occasions, in Yangon and in connection with St. Barnabas in Ngongotaha. It was with great sadness that I received the news of his death. He will be a great loss to the Christian community in Myanmar and New Zealand, and in every other place in which he has had an influence. He literally radiated the love, the joy and the light of Christ. He was warm, hospitable and always bubbling over with good humour, and he is remembered with much affection.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory. I pray for his wife and family, that they may be comforted and provided for at this time.
Dr Aung spent several nights with us over the years. He loved our farm, the views, the beauty of farm land…. and we loved his preaching. He would arrive at church, usually in a longyi, and share humbly but with real conviction about his God. His God that was guiding his people through such traumatic times. I guess I saw him as a David… he had an amazing relationship with Christ and was proud to take that relationship with him.
We spend quite a lot of time (on SES) every year talking about “Radical Disciples”. Well Dr Aung was that for me.. a man committed to growing like Christ, to sharing Christ, to
introducing Christ to all those he came in contact with. His vision, his drive will be missed.
John first met Dr Aung in 2005. John was planning his sabbatical from his role at Chapel Hill Community Church and Dr on spoke at our church. as a result we went to Myanmar to see how church works in a majority world country. We spent a month at MEGST in 2006, Wendy teaching on the Summer English School and John meeting and learning from pastors through co-teaching a leadership seminar. This was a significant influence in our moving to live in Myanmar and work at MEGST for the past 7 years. We were captured by his vision for and commitment to the church in Myanmar. Dr Aung was a devoted follower of Jesus, a gentle and humble man, a tireless servant, a small man with a big heart and vision. Enjoy your rest.
John & Wendy Buchanan
Aung Mang has been in my life forever – at least it feels like that. Actually, it’s been only 11 or 12 years. But his warmth, high emotional and profound relational capacity, quickly forged a depth of friendship. Dr Aung knew me before I knew him; we overlapped during separate study commitments at AGST in the Philippines in the late 1980s. Then a bond grew during a decade or more of visits to Myanmar and MEGST.
Two events are highlights. Once it was my privilege to drive and host him for a week while he spoke and toured New Zealand’s South Island. At his initiative travel was full of song, stimulating conversation, worship, and wonder at the beauty of God’s creation. Then there was another journey, this time on an over-loaded mini-bus, perilously travelling from Kalaymyo to Hakha. Over the 10 hour journey we halted for refreshments. Astonishingly, at every roadside café or diner a welcome and free meal was provided – just because of Aung Mang! He was known, respected, valued; he was everyone’s friend. And loved.
Humility and leadership are not always companions, nor is sacrificial generosity – but with Aung they were. Why? He walked with Jesus. The Spirit of Jesus lived in him. And like Jesus, Aung laid down his life for others. We honour God because of Dr Aung Mang.
We first met Aung in Rangoon, Myanmar 11 years ago at the Theological School. Aung was a bright light in a Nation that was struggling and very repressive. He was a passionate follower of Jesus who wanted to share His light and His story throughout his country. He was able to navigate carefully within the country he loved. Aung had enormous integrity in his personal, community and fiscal life. He had a beaming humility which straddled politics, culture and all Nations. Most of all we would celebrate him, not so much for what he achieved, but for the legacy that he has left. We will never forget those fun loving twinkling eyes and mischievous smile.
John & Alma Sax
Diane and I first met Dr Aung in 2006 when we arrived at MEGST as part of the Summer English programme. On day 1 he spoke to us as though we had been good friends for years, and that was the way he always spoke to us.
In recent years we have got more involved in the college, Di as a proof reader for student work and myself introducing a refurbishment programme, and helping reshape the college financial processes.
Refurbishing the college was out of left field for them at that time. At the first meeting where I introduced the idea, nobody said anything. Finally Dr Aung said, “Jim you know what you are doing, get on with it”, the rest is history.
Diane and I will always remember Dr Aung as a faithful friend and encourager. We thank God for the opportunity to have known him.
Jim & Diane Russell
At LeaDev-Langham, we are passionate about raising up humble servant leaders of excellence and integrity.
Aung Mang was the nearest I’ve seen to this ideal. I was touched by his integrity, his deep and genuine humility, his immense trust in God, and his passion for changing Myanmar through the gospel and especially through MEGST.
Aung Mang was first about building God’s kingdom and I’m certain that he was instrumental in designing MEGST to provide a training experience that transcended tribal and denominational walls.
I never got to visit Myanmar, and this will be a lasting regret that if I do make it, he won’t be there to welcome me. But I will remember with much fondness his visits to NZ and to the office. His joy in the Lord radiated from his eyes and his smile, his hugs were genuine with warmth, and his gratitude and encouragement were both inspiring and motivating.
Well done good and faithful servant! We look forward to that day when we are face to face again in the new creation presence of God.
“It is a big loss for us.
Dr. Aung is faithful and humble in doing God’s Ministry. He never hesitated and shy to talk to the poor and lowest people. He always ready and doing helping others. He does not only speak but acts in life the love of God. He speaks tenderly (i never heard any harsh words from him). He is humble at our Lord’s Jesus feet. He know well how to communicate with children.. young people and every layer of human. He is approachable(that’s so important to have in life as God’s servant).
Words can’t fully express how he sacrificed for God.
Big loss but great joy in heaven.”
Van Lian Sang MEGST grad
We were some of the many people that Doctor Aung touched during his remarkable life and ministry. Tin Tin has fond memories of him as a lecturer, mentor, principal and colleague at MEGST. He was always so approachable, humble and able to put people at ease. He taught me true servant leadership. It was a blessing to serve the Lord with him. For both of us, we remember him most of all for leading the family meeting we had a few days before our engagement in June 2011. His wisdom and encouragement in guiding us as a couple was a real blessing to us.
Keith & Tin Tin
20 years ago, I ended up at a school called MEGST. The name of the college was initially strange to me, but it eventually happened to be a place of transformation. There I met a person, very simple, welcoming, approachable, who would speak to me like his brother or friend as if he had known me. That person was called Rev. Dr. Aung Mang, the Principal of the school. His teachings laid out the groundwork of my confidence and belief in theological Education. He taught me to believe in myself that I can also achieve one day. His inspiration became a turning point in my life. His influence changed me as a person I am today. I’m so proud to be Dr. Aung’s student, colleague, and friend. He is an inspiration, a model and a hero. Rest in peace with the Lord, for now, to receive us one day in glory.
Ronald Laldinsuah VP Academics, MEGST
It was my privilege to get to know Aung Mang over the period of 2005 to 2014, while I was the Co-ordinator of the Summer English School at MEGST in Yangon. It was one of the most rewarding times of my life, and it gave me much time to get to know and appreciate this dear Man of God. He was always easy to work alongside, and went out of his way to help us teachers both in the classroom setting, and outside the classroom as well. In this regard, I well remember him taking me out to Hmawbi, to visit the other Theological training school he had founded. It was also our privilege to host Aung during some of his visits to New Zealand. Two things come to mind about one visit. Firstly, Aung expressed surprise that Meri and I lived alone in our “large” house, while he and Dawt Dim accommodated about 17 people in a much smaller space in Yangon. The second memory has to do with seeing Aung’s excitement at catching his first ocean fish, on Brian Algie’s boat in Algies Bay.