April 30-May 6, 2012
Church Ministry News
Indigenous Taiwanese youth shares love and the gospel in Myanmar
Reported by Sam Lee
Translated by Tsai Sheng-hsin
Lumaf Tamapima, a youth from Bunun Presbytery, has long been devoted to rescue and mission work in the refugee camps along the border between China and Myanmar. In spite of the possible danger of being in that region, he revisited some of these camps again on April 10-27, 2012 to deliver food and medicine. Kachin people face hardships and dangers presently mainly because they are facing brutal suppression from the ruling military junta. Refugees in the border camps are suffering from serious infectious diseases such as malaria; however, the food, water, and medical support accessible to them are sadly insufficient for their needs.
Five years ago, Lumaf Tamapima received training provided by “Minorities for Christ International”, a group established by an American interfaith organization. Since then, he has served as a volunteer and traveled to places like Yunnan, in China, to assist in sharing the Gospel and providing missionary training sessions to the local indigenous youths. Since 2011, Lumaf Tamapima has also been visiting refugees in camps along the China and Myanmar border to help the Kachin people there.
Lumaf Tamapima said that when Myanmar declared independence from Britain in 1947, General Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, agreed to make the Kachin State an autonomous region. Unfortunately, General Aung San was then assassinated and a military junta took control of the country. After a 20-year civil war, the military junta agreed to a cease-fire; however, it renewed its suppression of the Kachin people again last October.
This April, Lumaf Tamapima walked from southwest China to these refugee camps to deliver relief materials, share the gospel, and provide spiritual support. He said that for the past 100 years, many Kachin people have accepted the gospel and become Christians. However, after the breakdown of negotiations between the Kachin state and the military junta, the military junta has used “Myanmar is a Buddhist country” as an excuse to slaughter Kachin people. As a result, most Kachin men have gone to the front lines to fight the military junta; therefore, most missionaries stay in the camps to look after the elderly, women, and children. Sometimes, these missionaries also need to go to the front lines to pray with the soldiers.
From his trips to these centers, Lumaf Tamapima has witnessed the death of a lot of refugees due to the lack of proper medical treatment. Though Aung San Suu Kyi and her party recently won a landslide victory in a by-election, the country is still under the military junta’s control. Therefore, Lumaf Tamapima hopes that more and more people can give Myanmar a helping hand; he also prays that the war will end soon and the country can finally enjoy some peace.