Burma Background

ActionOverseas has partnered with Stand By Me, a global movement of people who rescue kids in crisis, to come to the aid of children in Burma. In 2009 land was purchased, staff trained and four homes built to cater for 48 young children who have no parents to care for them. The teachers come from a nearby Bible college where ActionOverseas has a good relationship with the principal. It is our hope that all children will come to accept Jesus as their saviour during their stay at the home.

Visits are made twice a year by teams from the UK to promote and assist with the work in these homes. Such encouraging progress is evident to see as each child has his or her own bunk bed with a comfortable mattress, which they are very proud to show you, this is something many Burmese children do not have. They attend a local school, have clean clothes and nourishing food, and are surrounded by loving, caring Christian people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to care for them.

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Burma - Special Report

Special Report by Carol Jenkins. (Burma)

It was such a great privilege to be given the opportunity to travel with ActionOverseas to visit the Children's Homes in Burma. I have now visited twice, but the trip has had far reaching impact on many people other than myself.

I run a dance school in Dover and when my pastor invited me on the team, I thought it would be wonderful if the school could be involved in some way. The staff and children really supported the fund raising efforts. Since 2010, the school has raised well over £5,000, which has been used to buy many things for the home, including a TV and DVD, transformers to boost the homes electricity, minibus hire to take the children to church and some teaching for the students. We have performed three shows at my local church, The Ark; each time completely selling out of tickets and also filled over 200 ActionOverseas Pigs with money. I believe God places you in positions where you can use gifts and talents to help others, who maybe do not have all the blessings that we take for granted.

Raising money for Burma has also enabled a strong link between The Ark and my school to develop, a real outreach to people who previously had no link with a local church. It has been a wonderful journey and God has really blessed the step of faith taken.

Travelling to Burma and visiting the 'ActionOverseas Village,' and the Bible School, was a fantastic privilege. On the first visit the home had no light, no running water, no furniture and yet they were so happy. My friend Rachel and myself taught them fun dances, played games and gave them presents bought by children from my school.

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The second year it was great to see the home now much better equipped, each child proudly showed us their bunk beds, complete with mattress and pillow, they had a cupboard and a few sets of clothes. A big improvement on the previous year. Each child received an individually wrapped present from a child at my dance school and once again, we spent time with them, this time at the local zoo.....definitely an experience. It was sad to leave, but I am sure I was see them again.

Part of both trips was spent visiting a Bible School. It was wonderful to see the work that God was doing in the lives of these young people and the real commitment in their faith. In a country where they could so easily be arrested and imprisoned they were bold, showing great courage in a nation where Christians are not favoured. We presented some teaching sessions and also had fun days with them dancing and playing games. It was a bit of a surreal experience doing the Okey Cokey, Music Man and other party songs with the students. The teaching days they seemed so quiet and reserved, but the party day was filled with lively vibrant students who simply loved taking part, it was a brand new experience for them and in fact the following year when we went back, the dancing was the first thing they asked to do.

At present the Bible School is housed in tiny premises near to the city, the conditions were pretty bad when we visited, with cramped dormitories, poor cooking facilities and small, hot stuffy lecture rooms. This is soon to change however as a new Bible School is currently being built, located in a rural area which will be so much safer for the students and with great new facilities. The plans for the new school were drawn up by an elder from my church, Steve Green.

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I am so grateful to ActionOverseas for the opportunity to travel to Burma, we were prayed for as a team before we went on the first trip, and I was given a prophetic word that it would be a life changing experience.......that it certainly has been in a majorly impacting way. I am hoping to visit again in 2013

Burma Profile

Burma was once a prosperous country with thriving agriculture, rich deposits of jade and extensive timber industries; it was known as the Golden Land. However a cruel and military junta, persecution and corruption have resulted in poverty, starvation, hunger, child prostitution and the largest percentage of child soldiers in any country in the world. Until recently isolation and persecution of Christians and the closure of churches was an everyday occurrence. One million people live in the forests of Burma still afraid of the government forces.

There is a glimmer of hope for the country as a new government has come into power and progress is slowly being made. Some aid is now reaching the country from the UK, with an aim to tackle malaria, reduce child mortality and enable children to build their future. This is still only a tiny proportion of that truly required by the nation.

The country is still predominantly Buddhist with some 89% of the population following this religion. Christianity meanwhile accounts for only 4%, with people facing attack and persecution by the military. In early 2012 talks between the government and Christian leaders were held, there is hope these will lead to an end of the sixty year conflict within the nation but there is a long way to go as the conflict, the warfare, the death of civilians, and attacks specifically targeting Christians are long running issues.

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