“I stole, robbed, messed with people around me,
and I was a bad guy.”
– Jonathan, Church Elder
Jonathan* is now the respected and godly elder of a church in Myanmar. But this was not the trajectory his life started on.
Born into a household of animists, Jonathan’s father was a drunkard, and his mom passed away when he was quite young. Expelled from school at thirteen, he was sent to Thailand at age sixteen by his father. There, Jonathan said, “I stole, robbed, messed with people around me, and I was a bad guy.” If you had asked him about church, Christ, or love, he would have said, “I do not know about any of them.”
In 2015, on a soccer field, Jonathan met Daniel, a pastor who has been part of WordPartners training in Myanmar. One day, they saw some Roman Catholics praying for the dead at a local cemetery. Pastor Daniel took the opportunity to share the gospel with Jonathan and his other teammates. Interested by this, Jonathan and a friend had a further conversation with Daniel, and they believed in Jesus and submitted their lives to Him. That same night, they decided to start a church, and eventually Jonathan became an elder of the church.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Pastor Daniel has a vision to reach out cross culturally to different villages in the area that do not speak Burmese. Using the principles he learned from WordPartners, he has begun to train local men, like Jonathan. These men will then be sent out to serve different villages so that other people, like Jonathan, can have their lives transformed by the power of God’s Word.
*Names changed for security reasons.