June 2020 The Special Character of Aung Mang
Dr. Aung Mang died in Yangon on Friday, 17 April from stomach cancer.
Aung was the founding principal of the Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (MEGST). 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.’
Aung could have chosen a easier path in life. He could have left Myanmar with his young family many years ago and declared himself a refugee which would have enabled him to, apply for political asylum and residency in the USA. He was often encouraged to do so, but he declined saying that his call was to serve Christ, and to suffer for Him, in Myanmar.
Aung was given many large financial gifts and gifts in kind, during his international travels. He was frequently advocating for numerous ministries, Bible schools and children’s homes. 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 in both his own tribal Falam Chin group and his Assembly of God church denomination. Aung was elected to the Executive Council of the Myanmar Evangelical Christian Alliance, an affiliate of the World Evangelical Alliance, in 2014. He was subsequently elected Chairman of the Theological Commission of MECA, which required him to become Chairman of the Board of MEGST. 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.
Aung exemplified biblical, humble servant Christian leadership, and was sacrificially committed to the service of Christ and His church in Myanmar. He will forever be remembered for his sacrificial generosity, simplicity of lifestyle, and integrity and excellence in all that he tried to achieve.
17 April 2020 – AUNG MANG IS WITH THE LORD
The board and staff of LeaDev-Langham [LDL] is saddened to report that our dearly beloved brother in Christ, Rev Dr Aung Mang [known affectionately in NZ as ‘St Aung of Yangon’] went to be with the Lord at 2:45am Yangon time, 8:15am NZ time today. His body will buried today [7:30pm NZ time] at a very small funeral service with a maximum of only 20 people allowed to attend, limited by the Myanmar government measures to reduce spread of the Coronavirus in Yangon.
A memorial service in NZ [with video link] will be considered for some time after the restrictions on public gatherings are lifted.
Bro Aung will long be remembered in Myanmar and in New Zealand. May indeed his spirit infect the people of God in both countries!
The LDL partnership with the Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (MEGST) began on the very first day of MEGST [17 June 1996], when former Executive Director, Tony Plews, arrived in Yangon on his first visit. Dr Aung Mang was the founding Principal (part time for the first three years), under the Founding Board Chairman, Rev Dr Ral Buai. Dr Aung Mang succeeded Dr Ral Buai as MEGST Board Chair six years ago upon Dr Ral’s retirement. Dr Aung was first succeeded as Principal by Rev San Cung Nung for three years, and then by Rev Dr CK Hrang Tiam in April 2017. Bro CK had already taken over from bro Aung as the face of MEGST in NZ, visiting from 2017.
Bro Aung and Tony Plews formed a close friendship, based on their mutual enjoyment of each other’s company, mutual respect, and the joint efforts with LDL to see MEGST grow, thrive, and change the face of Christian leadership training for Myanmar and beyond. It was, and still is, LDL’s earnest desire that MEGST be known for training humble servant leaders of simplicity in lifestyle, integrity, and excellence.
Bro Aung visited NZ every year for 12-13 years, and endeared himself to many with his engaging, joyful personality, his simple lifestyle, and his radical, sacrificial commitment to serving the gospel of Christ in Myanmar, with his faithful, loving, loyal wife, Dawt Dim [who visited NZ with Aung once, in 2012], and their four children.
Please pray for, and prepare to support, the family who remain.
Truly, Aung fought the good fight, and finished his race full of faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. Well done good and faithful servant! To God Alone Be the Glory!
7 April 2020 – Aung Mang moved to Yangon
We are deeply saddened to report that our beloved brother, Aung Mang [aka St Aung of Yangon] is critically ill in ICU in hospital in Yangon.
He took a turn for the worse on 11 March after Chemo infusion No 5, in the aftermath of stomach removal surgery last October for cancer. Despite the best efforts of ICU doctors in Bangkok, and after being flown by air ambulance to Yangon, he has deteriorated, and is currently not conscious.
His dear wife, Dawt Dim, and four children, cling to the hope of a miracle. Please remember them in your prayers. We will alert all those who have been receiving email updates, and any others who request to receive them, should there be any significant change in his condition. He is intermittently conscious.
Lord have mercy!
Photo: Aung Mang being transferred to hospital in Yangon, while his wife, Dawt Dim, looks on.