ICC Brings Food to 53 Burmese Evangelists
11/18/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In September, ICC received information from Myanmar Baptist Churches Union (MBCU) that dozens of its pastors and missionaries no longer receive support or salaries from the churches they are serving at.
Most of their congregation members are blue-collar workers, struggling to stay afloat during this pandemic. Some of them are facing a severe financial crisis. In Buddhist-majority Myanmar, most of the churches could not financially support their pastors. The standard salary is a meager average of $40 to $50 a month. They mostly rely on personal donations when they do home visitations or provide special prayers. During COVID-19, since they could no longer visit congregants and have discontinued special prayer services, they did not have additional cash to support their families.
Most of the pastors serving the outskirt areas of Yangon are in a dire situation, for their congregations were struggling financially even before the pandemic. These pastors have to seek other support from the churches that are financially stronger in the city area from time to time. These days, people in the city area shut their homes so the pastors now have nowhere to turn. In addition, many churches have shut down their mission activities, leaving missionaries with no salaries. MBCU has a list of 53 pastors and missionaries who lost their income and requested assistance. ICC responded by supporting these workers with a one-month supply of food.
When ICC’s in-country representative received the funds, the government had just installed a stricter stay at home order. ICC’s assistance was quite timely as Myanmar began to face its second wave of COVID-19, with about 1,000 new cases every day. The government has decided to extend its existing restrictions with additional limitations. Many pastors acknowledged that the support was indeed a gift from God.
One of the beneficiaries, Saya Thet Maung Oo, told ICC,“In this kind of difficult time, we are really thankful for the help from ICC. As an organization, may you be able to participate more in God’s mission works, and may you be able to reach out to people and missionaries who are in need. Thanks, ICC.”