Miracle School Dedicated to God in Myanmar
By Andrew McChesney
Connections are essential in Myanmar. It’s not who you are or what you have. It’s who you know that counts in this Southeast Asian country.
But connections didn’t seem to be working for local Seventh-day Adventist leaders who needed authorization to build a larger school in Myanmar’s capital, Yangon. Enrollment had reached 650 children in two small buildings used since 1975, and teachers had no choice but to turn away new students.
Church leaders approached Yangon city authorities for permission to construct a brand-new building, but no one seemed to want to sign off on the paperwork. The leaders reached out to their personal acquaintances in the city government for help, but again nothing happened.
In the United States, the General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist world church, recognized the need for the new school building and approved a request from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, whose territory includes Myanmar, to allocate part of a 2012 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for its construction.
The money was collected, but local church leaders still couldn’t find connections in the city government to approve the project. Three years passed.
Then new church leadership was chosen during regular elections. The new leaders didn’t have any connections in the city government, and they threw up their hands in dismay. The situation seemed impossible.
Samuel Saw, president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division and a Myanmar native, gently reproached the church leaders. “Yes, you don’t have the connections and don’t know the right people,” he said. “But we have God. If we ask Him, He will get us through.”
He suggested that the leaders pray and file a new request for a city building permit. The leaders prayed and went to the city office, where a woman greeted them at the front desk. Her face lit up when she heard that they represented Yangon Adventist Seminary, as the grade 1-12 school is known.
“You’re from that school!” she exclaimed. “I studied at that school. I like their values and their education so much that two of my children are studying there right now.”
Learning about the school construction plans, she immediately declared that she would make sure that all necessary documents were approved.
“I will help you,” she said. “I will work for you.” And she did. In a short time, construction started on the school building.
The new six-story school building, is a true answer to prayer, and was dedicated to God at a recent ceremony attended by Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, and dozens of teachers, students, and church leaders. The new building will accommodate 800 children, and even more students can attend if the older buildings continue to be used. Samuel Saw, division president, called the construction of the school building an absolute miracle. “We may not have connections with the authorities, but we have the most important connection of all — with God,” Elder Saw said in an interview.
Andrew McChesney is Editor of Adventist Mission. This story was originally featured in Adventist Mission and is reprinted with permission. To read the full story, click here.
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World Church Prayer Requests
for Nov. 19 - 26, 2017
• PRAISE REPORT: Thank you for praying for the recent AMEN health clinic hosted at the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. People began lining up in the rain at 4:00 a.m. to receive free vision and dental care. Volunteers served over 400 people, and made many connections for the future.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for all the General Conference staff working on the logistics for the 2020 General Conference session held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pray that they will seek God’s will in all that they do. We especially want to lift up Sheri Clemmer and Miriam Taylor as they coordinate details behind the scenes. Pray that God will give them Holy Spirit wisdom and strength.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please continue to pray for the country of Japan and the Total Member Involvement events to happen in 2018. Pray for the many young adults who are going doing to door sharing literature and selling books. Pray that hearts will be open and prepared for the upcoming meetings. Pray for adequate funds to be raised for the translation of more literature and Ellen White books into Japanese.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the 34 million people living in the 10 least reached cities in the East Central Africa Division. Pray for God to raise up missionaries to plant churches in this largely unreached region.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for prayer ministries to become an active part of every Division, Union, Conference, Mission and local church. Pray that God’s people would take the call to pray seriously, not just for their local church leaders, but for the unbelievers living all around them, for we are living in perilous times and souls are being either saved or lost for eternity.