Calvary Church Photoessay: Myanmar


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Calvary Church has a mission to be a church without walls and to serve locally and globally. We have committed to share the love of Christ in Myanmar by partnering with local ministries, sending people on short-term mission trips, developing a sponsorship initiative with local orphanages, resourcing the International Calvary Theological Seminary, and supporting a movement to plant 1,000 churches in Myanmar.

This photo essay is part of the Leadership Network year-long photo essay contest, which ends June 30, 2014. For more information visit

Published in: Art & Photos, Spiritual, Travel
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Calvary Church Photoessay: Myanmar

  1. 1. Calvary Church is not a place; we are a movement of people who have been called to build a church without walls. Our mission is simple – we live out the gospel by connecting people to Christ, Community, and their Calling. Integral in that mission is to serve others and tell others about Jesus, both locally and globally.
  2. 2. One of the places we serve is Myanmar (formally known as Burma). Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia, and is bordered by Thailand, China, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and is approximately the size of Texas. Christians in Myanmar are part of the persecuted church. Myanmar is primarily a Buddhist country and is governed by a socialist military regime.
  3. 3. Calvary Church has the Myanmar Impact Team. They work primarily with Myanmar Agape Ministries (MAM) in Yangon, Myanmar. MAM was founded by Joseph Sang in 1989 to “preach the life-changing message of Jesus Christ to every soul.” MAM has many ministries including orphanages, International Calvary Theological Seminary, Mighty Refuge Prayer Mountain, literature, church planting, pre-school, and farming projects.
  4. 4. We have an annual short-term mission trip to Myanmar. The purpose of the trip is to provide opportunity for formal, spiritual, and vocational education, so the future of Myanmar will be equipped to bring hope through Christ to what would be, without Christ, a hapless situation.
  5. 5. Participants teach vacation Bible school at an orphanage, love and play with the children, teach at a Bible conference or seminary, assess the needs for present and future involvement (such as agriculture sustainability and teaching vocational skills), assist with construction needs, and encourage those who continue to fight persecution.
  6. 6. Calvary also supports Myanmar through the International Calvary Theological Seminary (ICTS). ICTS is a school Calvary helped start through a partnership with Burmese nationals. ICTS is training students to be missionaries, pastors, worship leaders, and teachers. Graduates from ICTS have gone out to plant churches, start orphanages, and begin mission centers in Buddhist communities. Through ICTS Calvary has the opportunity to help reach one of the largest unreached people groups in the world.
  7. 7. Here’s the story of Timothy. At the age of nine, Timothy’s parents sent him hundreds of miles away to become a Buddhist monk. Instead of accepting him, the monastery put him on the street. With nowhere to go, he accepted the invitation of an orphanage worker to live at Agape Orphanage. At the orphanage, Timothy not only received food, clothing, and schooling, he received the gospel and new life in Christ. Last year Timothy graduated from International Calvary Theological Seminary. He is preparing to go back to his village to tell them about Jesus.
  8. 8. Calvary also supports Myanmar through their Calvary Global Kids (CGK) sponsorship program ( CGK is committed to serving kids of greatest need – those who are defenseless, vulnerable, rejected and abandoned – and bringing them into connection with people who care. It developed from relationships between individuals and orphanages in different parts of the world. These diverse connections have converged into a coordinated program of sponsorship through Calvary Global Kids, which seeks to bring greater stability and hope to kids who have minimal support and resources.
  9. 9. Calvary Global Kids supports orphanages in the Dominican Republic, Rwanda, and Myanmar. The mission of CGK is to connect kids with hope by meeting their basic needs (food, clothing, and education), encouraging them through involvement of a caring sponsor, and introducing them to the love of Christ.
  10. 10. CGK facilitates sponsorships of individual kids at orphanages and provides sponsors with the opportunity to communicate with their sponsored child through email and letters and receive periodic updates. Calvary Global Kids and Calvary Church do not make direct care decisions or have staff on-site at the orphanages. CGK partners with nationals in each country who are responsible for the management of the orphanages and related decision making. It assists these orphanages by providing financial support through sponsorships and engendering life- enhancing connections between sponsors and kids who are at risk due to poverty, lack of family, and social isolation.
  11. 11. Calvary Global Kids provides sponsorships for four orphanages in and near Yangon, Myanmar. There are some 162 children at the four orphanages. The children range in age from infants through teenagers. Most live at the largest orphanage, but three of the homes have 22 children or fewer allowing for a more family-like setting. Each orphanage provides children with food, shelter, clothing, educational supplies, basic healthcare, and spiritual discipleship.
  12. 12. Benjamin is 8 years old. He has one brother that is at Wonderful Children Orphanage with him. His brother’s name is Paul. After Benjamin’s father passed away, his mother remarried. Benjamin's stepfather is an alcoholic, and he beat Benjamin and his brother, and treated them very poorly. Because Benjamin's stepfather treated him badly, Benjamin's mother sent Paul and him to live at Wonderful Children Orphanage. Benjamin has lived there since December 16, 2009. Benjamin loves playing “spinning top,” called Gin in Burmese. His favorite subject in school is English.
  13. 13. Elizabeth is 12 years old. She has one sister named Christy who is also at Myanmar Agape Orphanage. Both of Elizabeth's parents died, and she and her sister were left with no one to care for them. None of their close relatives wanted to care for them, so a pastor brought the girls to live at Myanmar Agape Orphanage. Her favorite food is chicken and bananas and her career ambition is to become a doctor.
  14. 14. Abraham is 5 years old. After Abraham's father died, his mother remarried and could not care for Abraham and his sister Eve. So she sent him and his sister to live at Wonderful Children Orphanage. Last winter Abraham had an ear infection that is still healing. He has medicine, but the medicine hasn’t completely healed the infection. Thankfully his hearing is still good. Abraham loves playing soccer.
  15. 15. Moses is 12 years old. He was 6 months old when he came to live at Myanmar Agape Orphanage. Both of Moses' parents died. Moses' father was a watchman in a field, and after Moses' parents died, the owner of the field sent Moses to MAO. When he came to Myanmar Agape Orphanage, he was very malnourished. His whole body was filled with scabs, and the doctors gave up on him. But God answered the prayers of all the staff and children at MAO and healed Moses miraculously! His career ambition is to become a teacher.
  16. 16. Deborah is 7 years old. Deborah's mother passed away, and her father remarried. After her father remarried, he and his new wife could not care for Deborah and her two brothers, so he sent them to live at Wonderful Children Orphanage. Before coming to Wonderful Children, Deborah did not have an education. Now that she is at Wonderful Children she is able to learn. Her favorite subject in school is history and her favorite hobby is singing.
  17. 17. Abraham Wai is 11 years old. After Abraham's father died, his mother took his sister (Susanna) and him to a Monastery. Since Susanna is a girl, the monks did not want her. The monks wanted her and Abraham to stay together since they are siblings, so the monks brought them both to Myanmar Agape Orphanage. According to the monks , when Abraham and his sister Susanna were very little (and still lived with their family), there was a house fire and Abraham was badly burned. Recently, in 2009, Abraham had surgery to reform his hand.
  18. 18. Sabina is 19 years old. She came from a very poor family. Her family stopped her schooling because they did not have enough money. Her family is from the strongest Buddhist environment in all of Myanmar. Her parents are still alive, but they sent her to live at Kid's Life orphanage. Her parents are Christians, but they are surrounded by strong Buddhists of the Rakine Tribe. Her parents felt it is better for Sabina to live in a Christian environment and be able to attend school. When Sabina grows up, she wants to serve God.
  19. 19. Mary is 12 years old. Mary's father killed her mother so he could marry another woman. After killing her mother, Mary's father ran away and left Mary and her brothers to live with their grandmother. Mary's grandmother could not care for her and her brothers, so her grandmother sent them to live at Myanmar Agape Orphanage. Mary has 2 younger brothers who also live at MAO. She loves praying, drawing, and wants to become a doctor.
  20. 20. John is 8 years old. John lived with his aunt and two brothers after his parents divorced. His aunt was too poor to care for the brothers, or send them to school, so the boys had to search through garbage and sell what they found. John's aunt asked Kid’s Life orphanage to take them in. John is very obedient. He is a very small boy, but is able to care of four cows. When John grows up, he wants to be an officer at a hospital or work in the health department.
  21. 21. Joshua is 10 years old. Joshua's parents divorced, and his mom brought Joshua and his brother, Jack, to live at Myanmar Agape Orphanage. No one at MAO knows where Jack's father is. When Joshua first came to MAO he coughed a lot, and had a lot of chest pain. Now he is very strong and healthy, and he plays a lot. By coming to MAO he is physically stronger. He also has to opportunity to learn about God and get an education. His favorite subject in school is Burmese.
  22. 22. What’s next? Calvary has just committed to help start a church-planting movement throughout Myanmar. Here’s a story of how Christ was recently shared in Myanmar. In May of 2013, Joseph Sang, founder of Myanmar Agape Orphanage and our partner and brother in Christ, wrote to us about a village in the mountains of the Chin State of Myanmar. The Chin State contains some of the most poverty-stricken people in Myanmar. This village, called Samantha, was one of the poorest in the Chin State. Not only impoverished, they had never heard of Jesus, but God gave Joseph the words “Love Never Fails.”
  23. 23. The students of our Bible School and leaders of the orphanages served the people of Samantha, building a road, developing a water supply, building a school, and providing a teacher. They were going beyond their walls to be living proof of a loving God. After a year of serving, the people wanted to know why, and the gospel of Christ was shared. On the last visit, 23 villagers accepted Jesus and were baptized. (The family above used to be practicing Buddhist, but have since come to know Christ. Here the daughter is holding a picture of herself
  24. 24. There are hundreds and thousands of villages in Myanmar waiting to hear about Jesus. God is giving us an opportunity to partner with leaders in Myanmar to reach one of the world’s most resistant people groups – the Burmese Buddhists, by supporting a movement to plant 1,000 churches in Myanmar.
  25. 25. The apostle Paul, with a passionate heart for people who did not yet know Jesus, once wrote these words, “But How can they call on Jesus to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” As Calvary continues to be a church without walls, our mission will continue to live out the gospel by connecting people to Christ, Community, and their Calling.