Myanmar Update

22 February 2021

The situation in Myanmar is dire.

The overwhelming majority of civilians, regardless of ethnicity or religion or social class, hate the military. There are ongoing mass protests every day.  We fear that the military may lose patience, and start putting down the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) using lethal force. This has always been their mode of operating.

We are now deeply concerned about the safety of some of our special friends.

The immediate consequences of this mass social unrest is the economy risks coming to a standstill; banks and shops can’t open because their staff are out protesting.  The longer-term consequence of military domination will be a return to restrictions on every area of life, movement, travel, etc, a reduction, if not halt to international investment, corruption and oppression.

Before the coup, MEGST was planning to open, to allow their annual Summer English School (SES) to run – this year taught via video from NZ, to live classrooms at MEGST, with local tutors. This has now been suspended by the MEGST leadership, and there will be growing doubt about their ability to start regular classes in June.

COVID is declining rapidly in Myanmar. Daily reported deaths are in single figures. An Indian vaccine is beginning to be offered.  COVID will most likely not obstruct MEGST in the future.

Let us pray for the safety of our most ‘at risk’ friends in Myanmar.

Please pray that mass carnage and casualties will not happen.

Please pray for the MEGST leadership courage and wisdom in measures appropriate for this very uncertain situation.

Thanks for your support in every way.  MEGST is actually expecting a high number of new students in spite of all obstacles.  Your financial support by way of student sponsorships would be most appreciated.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Tony Plews
Associate Director, Special Projects

3 February 2021


Dear LeaDev-Langham friends,

You will have learned by now from mainstream media, both NZ and international, that the Myanmar military have again deposed a democratically elected civilian government, and imposed military rule under ‘emergency rules’, supposedly for one year.

The justification is widespread voter fraud, which likely is a pretext to regain power.  The official announcement, using this pretext, was distributed over the name of the President ‘Pro Tem’ (‘for the time being’ / temporary / standing in). We know from inside reports that the elected President had refused to sign the declaration, and thus had been summarily deposed and replaced by a military puppet.

Public announcements stated that ‘State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, her appointed President, and others had been detained.

We worry for our good friend, and husband of dear friend Anna, Langham Scholar, and faculty member of the Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (MEGST), who completed her PhD at Otago University in 2018.  However, his name is not on the public list of detainees, and we have little inkling as to why. Please pray for him to be faithful and stand firm.

We have heard nothing definite of Anna’s safety and/or whereabouts.  Please pray for her safety.

Inside news is sketchy – to be expected. As of now, internal cell phone signals have been switched off, so it is difficult for the local population to communicate with each other (and/or to organize resistance).  However, we are still receiving some news via certain social media channels.

The borders are closed due to COVID.  The banks have ceased all international transactions.

We expect the Myanmar economy to be hard hit, as trade will be affected, and economic sanctions almost certain.

The greatest impact on churches and ministries, incl MEGST (where Anna, Ronald, and Aung Htoo teach), will also likely be economic, esp because banks are not receiving funds from overseas.

We will not be sending any further funds to MEGST until we are certain of the conditions surrounding the banking sector and the ability of MEGST to use those funds for their intended purposes.

Of course, COVID is preventing people from entering and/or leaving MM.  We may not know for some time if/when Myanmar citizens will be allowed to travel abroad – eg, MEGST faculty member, Pa Ci, who hopes to travel to Australia this year to take up a Langham Scholarship.

Please pray to the King of kings for His sovereign intervention, to bring about freedom, order, peace, and stability.

Please pray for Anna, her husband – and their children.

Please pray for MEGST, as they are close to gathering the new students for the required Summer English School, which, this year, will be taught from NZ via video, with local tutors assisting on site.  Regular classes, COVID and coup permitting, and especially Lord willing, will commence in early June.

Please pray for God’s people of every church, tribe, language, and location, that they will remain faithful and fearless in the face of this evil.

Please pray for the millions of Animists, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims throughout Myanmar, that the light of the gospel will reach them, wherever they are.

I will update as inside news comes to hand.

Thank you for your interest, love, prayers, and support.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

In Christ,

Russell Thorp

Executive Director

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