Persevering in Myanmar Time
Ann wanted to believe in the Lord, but her husband, Marty, advised against it. They had a background in Buddhism—both came from Central Myanmar, home to few believers and zero churches. But because Marty and Ann moved to Songkhla, Thailand, for work, Randall and Liz Briggs* received the opportunity to share the gospel with them.
In 2007, the Briggses developed a heart for the people of Myanmar after meeting refugees who had moved from Myanmar to America. Randall and Liz then lived in Myanmar for three years before moving in 2013 to Thailand, where they and their two young children now consider home.
The Briggses plant house churches at various Thai factories in their area. “Our work is focused on the Myanmar migrant population,” Randall said. “They come across the border to work and send money home. The average salary in Myanmar is $3 a day, but the average salary in Thailand is $9 a day. We meet people from all over Myanmar, but the majority come from [the southern region] like the Mon and Dawei but also from Western Myanmar like the Rakhine.”
When Randall and Liz initially visited Marty, they expected him to be antagonistic. But even though he was distant, he opened his heart to listen. It took a while, though, for him to accept the message of the gospel, and the Briggs family kept praying.
“The Father used this opportunity to teach us perseverance through prayer and to wait on His timing,” Randall said. “It took a good year of visiting them weekly and sharing the gospel before the husband came to faith. That was a year of praying for Marty’s salvation and preparing Bible lessons to teach them. We learned that God’s timing is not our timing, but looking back, we could see His hand in it all.”
Today Marty and Ann continue to grow through weekly fellowship and discipleship. However, COVID-19 greatly impacted the Briggs family. “Please pray God gives us wisdom on how to best do ministry while under government restrictions,” Randall said.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. —Galatians 6:9
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Shelli Littleton lives near Dallas, Texas, and she writes at shellilittleton.com.