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Overseas Missions: A Report on Sittwe Boarding House (January 2021)
Rev Ramthanga (The Presbyterian Church of Myanmar)
Mar 2021

It is a pleasure to send you a report about Sittwe Boarding House which was built by your financial support.

The students stayed at Boarding House only till the month of 2019-2020 academic years, which is the end of March. As we know, this year is affected by Corona Virus (Covid-19), the Government closes every school and university for 2020-2021 academic years, and there is no student who stays at Sittwe Boarding House after March.

There were 25 students (Male 12 and Female 13) for 2019-2020 academic years. Every day, they have evening devotion. In addition every week they have special worship on Sunday morning and they invite the nearby pastor to share the gospel to the students because among the students there were non-believers.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the government declares social distancing that affected our ministry and almost all of our plans are cancelled. According to our experience the year 2020 is the most horrible or terrible year. In Rakhine Field, which became Rakhine Provisional Synod, some of the pastors whom the Annual Meeting decided to transfer couldn't take in action due to Covid-19 Pandemic and Civil war (Arakan Army and Government Army).

Challenges in our mission field:

As Rakhine State is battle field, I would like to mention one of the Mission Fields of Assembly Mission Board, namely Ann Field, because it's located in Rakhine State. In this Field, there are 11 Missionaries, but out of them only 3 can continue staying at their posting. All the rest have to leave their places due to the civil war. There are a lot of refugees, victims of the civil war. Our missionaries are trying to continue their ministry among the refugees, but Covid-19 pandemic hinders again. Our main strategy here in Ann Field is educational Mission. All the missionaries tried to help the villagers in teaching their children.

Ann Field is a problematic Field. Our missionaries are not well welcomed instead the villagers consistently try to kick them out. In one of the villages, namely Zayatkone, when the house, a resident for our missionary was being built by Hmuntha Vengpi Church members, the villagers shot with slingshot using a marble made of dry clay, one of them was hit at his knee.

In addition, in Mingalardone village, trying to kick out our missionary from the village, in spite of the constitution of Myanmar gives religious freedom, the house owner (our missionary lives in the house of U Shein, Mingalardone) U Shein was sued to a Town Court, accusing falsely. We have been facing dozen of opposition since 2017 in this Ann Field, though we are evangelizing through opening free tuition classes for every level of Schools. Now we are trying to promote our strategy to a medical missions by giving Nurse Aid Training to our missionaries.

According to the Constitution of Myanmar Christianity is a recognized religion, "The Union also recognizes Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animism as the religions existing in the Union at the day of the coming into operation of this Constitution" (Constitution 8:362). However, the constitution gives favor to Buddhism stating, "The Union recognizes special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens of the Union" (Constitution 8:361).




 
 




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