Last December 2019, I was invited to visit and share the gospel in the Ayerwaddy Division, where there formal effected areas, People there living scattering villages in the winter time, but in the raining season from June to September, their lives were frequently affected with the flood. Therefore they build houses and churches with high pillars instead of making foundation of their building. My friend invited me last July to go and help them because their area was extremely affected by the flood because of over rainfall. But in the second invitation of my friend pastor, I could join there to see and learn their lives and also to share the good news of Jesus Christ. It was not so much strange for me to make friends with them and still feeling like the real family members or siblings. Yes, we all Christian are in one body and we have no separation and discrimination between the different family background, languages, culture, and even race. This is what God wants us to live in love in all situation.
When we visited there, my teams were preparing the drama of the Bible stories, dance and even songs. It was really precious gospel trip for me because of learning the faith of the local people right there and the performance of my team in serving the Lord. When it’s been 3 days we had passed there in serving, sharing the presents for the kids, and giving them spiritual food, making friends with the local people listening their past hard experience during the effected time. I was siting on the stage of the church, and something new words come to my mind looking to both the children’s performance and life in local people in the hardship even with poor education for some families. Why? No electricity, no schools, and yet they had to go to the populated place like town. They had to go to school by boat on the water still far from their villages. Then I could imagine their struggles comparing my struggle in childhood of poor education, health support of my birth place. I could also share their struggle in my spirit that the same thing happening which they were pretending like everting is going well.
I started praying to change my massage to share this topic “behind the stage”. Whoever earn the victory has life struggle behind the stage. I could stand on the stage as a young servant of God, or a pastor, or even like a student as well. I started opening my words by sharing metaphor of my team’s actively performance which was perfect drama, as well as dance. I asked the question about why my team’s performance was so incredible. It was because they were preparing for this stage. The stage that I stood was just where I was sharing the gospel and showing people myself to show I am the servant of God. Who knows how I live like in my private? I was just standing to preach there but the reality of my life was in secret. As a pastor, as well as a Student (MA), nobody except God knows my struggle, pain, and even tears. It was so precious to share just even a few motivation for their educations, even for spirituality, hope and strength for their next step of their life and for even the kingdom of God. I hope they would not give up even though such poor situation occur in this time. There was s way of escape from the present situation like those area. Whenever I face problems, and troubles in life, I used to ask God why God allowed me troubled? “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Cor 10:13). That means God open the way and gave me wisdom and strengths to overcome any kind of troubles. Struggle teaches us how to escape, and yet gives us a new strength for the next lever of our steps for tomorrow.
This is what I am just sharing my experiences of visiting to the lives in poverty and my motivation for to work hard and live for God not just on the stage but behind the stage. Amen.