Are there truly any people left unreached?
In the 2000-year history of missions, one may assume that every nation and people group has, at least, heard the name Jesus Christ. The answer can be found in the winding road that is the history of Christianity in Myanmar. Two hundred years ago, this road began with one man.
Known as the first American missionary, Adoniram Judson (1788–1850) was the man who brought the gospel to Myanmar (formerly Burma). He understood the primacy of Scripture, and labored to translate the English Bible into Burmese, finishing the Old and New Testaments in 1834. Faithful in his mission, he spent the rest of his life committed to the Burmese church, preaching, teaching, and evangelizing until his death in 1850.
Since then, Judson’s work has endured, Myanmar has benefitted from the Bible in its own language and missions work in the nation continues.
Yet—two hundred years-post Judson’s start—nearly 90% of Myanmar’s population remains Buddhist. Clearly, the road has not ended. The work is not done.
There are places on Earth where the darkness feels oppressive. And this is where we now stand on the road of Myanmar’s redemptive story.
There is a despair in Myanmar from both the current civil war and its deep spiritual need. In a nation of 54 million people, over 80% of the Burmese population is still unreached. There are tribes of people whose languages American missionaries do not have the ability to study and learn—over fifty languages in the nation are completely unreached. But God, being rich in mercy and able to do all things, makes a way for His name to be heard (Isaiah 42:16).
This is where the ministry of TMAI steps foot on the path.
Recognizing the present need, churches in Myanmar reached out to TMAI, inviting the head of the Pastoral Training Seminary (PTS) in India to train men in expository preaching. By the ministry and labor of PTS—along with likeminded ministries like Children’s Hunger Fund—many key faculty members in Myanmar were equipped, and a new training center for the nation was formed.
One international ministry gave birth to another, shepherding, teaching, and encouraging what would become the Expository Preaching & Teaching Academy (EPTA) of Myanmar. TMAI is proud to welcome EPTA in Myanmar as its newest member school, as of November 2023.
And this is where we now stand on the road of Myanmar’s redemptive story.
There is darkness in desperate need of the light. The spiritual key to unlocking this darkness is the truth of God’s Word.
The spiritual key to unlocking this darkness is the truth of God’s Word. Training and equipping pastors and church leaders in Myanmar allows them to give that key to the people, and by God’s grace, the souls of lost people will be unlocked to the truth.
As they themselves are trained, the indigenous men at EPTA are starting to preach in the unreached tribes’ native tongue. They now step onto the path, with a desire to translate what they are learning at EPTA so they may better reach into the dark places of the country with the illuminating light of the gospel.
We look behind at Adoniram Judson’s years spent translating and laboring, glance down to see our feet below us, and look up to the path ahead, motivated by the work that still needs to be done for the sake of a nation coming to salvation in Christ.
Though the road is long and winding, God leads His people in His timing. And until He comes again and the road comes to a glorious end, we stand on foundations built by faithful men, likewise striving to be faithful to the same Lord, eager to labor alongside each other, proclaiming His name until they all hear.
TMAI is grateful for the opportunity to stand with these men and serve students and people across the nation of Myanmar, and your help is needed to make training affordable for the students. Please pray for the pastors of Myanmar, and if you would like to support the training of church leaders in the nation, please visit EPTA’s webpage HERE.