Project Update: ICC Serves 84 Pastors in Myanmar During the Pandemic
03/19/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In Myanmar, most churches could only offer meager salaries to their pastors: on average, between $40 to $50 a month. They often rely on personal donations when they do home visitation or provide special prayer for their members. Pastors, especially those under the Baptist denomination, have low wages that only meet very basic needs of a household, such as rice and oil. During the pandemic, all the churches, as well as businesses, were shut down for ten months. As a result, most of the churches and their members have weak finances.
The Myanmar Baptist Churches Union (MBCU) had to reduce 50% of the salaries for many pastors and missionaries or asked them to serve voluntarily. As the pandemic drags on, pastors and their families suffer significantly when they do not have food on the table.
ICC stepped in and provided COVID-19 emergency support for 84 MBCU pastors who had reported that their churches and missions could no longer support them financially. These pastors hail from various parts of Myanmar. The support happened to arrive in Myanmar on December 19, and MBCU was able to distribute the food packages before and on Christmas day. These beneficiaries took this as a Christmas present from God. MBCU also issued a letter to ICC stating how they appreciated the support.
Sayama Aye Min Soe told ICC, “I do not want to talk about the difficulties because many people are facing the same thing. But I thank God and ICC for the gift, and God’s love through this gift. It is amazing to know that it comes all the way from America. Thank you and God bless you all.”
Saya Zin Ko Chit also shared his joy with ICC, “I am happy and I do not know what to say. When I gave my name to MBCU, I kind of knew they might try to help. But when I actually received [the aid], I appreciated everyone. Thank you so much and may God bless you all.”
This was not the first time ICC assists MBCU. Last September, ICC also supported 53 pastors from MBCU Bagu mission and city mission. Many more pastors started inquiring about whether they could be eligible as well.
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