“I currently run three ministries and feel that God is speaking to me to start a fourth business-ministry on a national level this year,” says Dwe Nan of Yangon, emerging Christian leader, and mum to 35 children (two by birth, the rest adopted).
At 36 years, Dwe Nan is a grass-roots leader who keeps looking for ways to be the difference in her community and networks. As she puts it: “to share Christ with Buddhists or whoever else does not know Christ, and if necessary use words.” And this courageous and determined MEGST* MDiv and biblical studies graduate (2012), is certainly living out the Gospel, rather than just talking about it.
She actively leads, with her husband, a church plant focused on Buddhist converts. Currently meeting in a rental house, they are shortly to start building a facility. They have in the past financially supported these new converts, especially with education for their children. In the same rental house, Dwe Nan looks after 33 children, mostly orphans, but a few have solo parents. Grace Haven Children Home cares for children from 3 to 18 years, with the children themselves pitching in with cooking and chores.
Then for the last three years Dwe Nan has run a ministry to uni students at Government Technology Institute in Thanlyin, an hour’s drive from downtown Yangon. This is set up as a boarding shelter for twenty students and she’s pulled in two other MEGST graduates to assist.
“Studying at MEGST helped me believe in my leadership gift, get important skills and confidence, and respond to God’s call to reach out and lead those around me.”
“The vision of this ministry is to impart the knowledge of Christ and biblical principles into the lives of these future leaders of the country in one way or another. I want to see highly educated country leaders who know Christ, so they would be blessings to Myanmar and beyond. However, the students are not open enough that Christ be preached to them directly. So we use indirect ways and activities to share the gospel with them, such as playing social games, football competitions, teaching gospel songs and any activities purposefully created for a day or two.”
Last year Dwe Nan felt like God started speaking to her about establishing a food business on a national level, giving her some of the details of how to go about it, with an aim of sharing Christ with her employees. Together with her husband, she is at the time of writing this article, praying about next steps.
Dwe Nan believes what made the biggest difference for her were the several years she spent as a student at MEGST. Getting the opportunity to study bridged the gap between a nascent call from God, and the biblical knowledge and ministry confidence to actually respond and get active in her community – in a country now newly open to the Gospel.
“Your investment in students like me is part of your mission in Asia…when you and I work together in this way, we are co-workers in the Kingdom, and God is one who makes it all happen and grows all of us, wherever we live in the world.”
Dwe Nan also knows that what made these student years possible was the regular financial support allocated to her fees that MEGST received from LeaDev-Langham:
“Without sponsorship from overseas…, I could not have successfully completed my study at MEGST; it made a huge difference to me and my family. Christian workers in Myanmar lack finances for education, as our income is used just on surviving.”
“When you give your support to schools like MEGST, Myanmar’s future receives more educated Christian ministers; leaders who are taught biblically, and who actually live out this teaching in the communities they serve – it is the best witness!”
With the same clarity of her next action in God’s Kingdom, Dwe Nan sees the international partnership for the Gospel that the New Zealand contribution brings:
“Your investment in students like me is part of your mission in Asia… when you and I work together in this way, we are co-workers in the Kingdom, and God is one who makes it all happen and grows all of us, wherever we live in the world.”
Simply put, the one sponsorship of this young, emerging leader made a huge difference; it bridged the gap between poverty and provision, calling and confidence, not only for her but those around her: children, orphans, struggling solo parents, students, Buddhist converts and (shortly) food workers in Yangon and surrounds.
Now that’s multiplied impact for God’s Kingdom we can rejoice in!
* Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology