by Se A, DTS student
As soon as we crossed the border from Thailand to Myanmar, an irrational fear crawled over my shoulders. Mold and dust grew thick inside our bus — I wanted to escape. The five hour bus ride over unpaved, bumpy mountains felt so much longer. And every time the bus stopped at check points, the armed Burmese officials who boarded gave me chills.
Before coming to Thailand and Myanmar, I read the biography of missionary Adoniram Judson. He came to Myanmar 150 years ago. As I looked around me, I recognized the area from Judson’s descriptions in his journals. I was shocked that the Burmese living conditions were not much different 150 years later.
I had been looking forward to the adventure of being in Myanmar and was dismayed that as each day went by, I only wanted to escape. I longed for Thailand. What is wrong with me? I wondered. I rarely get home sick.
During our team devotional time one day, I became aware of the spiritual condition of the nation. My team and I recognized that fear played a major role in the peoples’ daily lives. The people themselves were literally trapped in Myanmar, forced to obtain travel permits to even move within their own nation. Whole villages were afraid of government officials. Women afraid of their abusive husbands.
When I realized that much of my feelings reflected those of the Burmese, empathy grew in my heart. I hardly even tasted a small amount of the struggles the Burmese face day after day, but it was almost too much for me. I thought of the antidote to fear — love. (1 John 4:18 says, “perfect love casts out fear.”)
From that day on, I did my best to show the power of love to the children at the orphanage. Love is the only and the best solution. The Burmese need to hear this good news.