Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is the largest country (geographical area) in mainland Southeast Asia, or Indochina. Bordered by the People’s Republic of China on the northeast, Laos on the east, and Thailand on the southeast, Myanmar is located in the 10/40 window (an area of the world where the majority of unreached people groups reside). Myanmar has an estimated population of about 56 million, and 92% of the population is Buddhist. Priority One partners with Judah Tangshing and his church in order to bring the gospel to the people of Myanmar. Judah and his wife Khaw founded two orphanages and Wireless Christian Church. Their thriving ministry focuses on caring for orphans, preaching the gospel to unreached people, planting churches, and supporting Bible college students and evangelists.
Judah became a Christian at the age of 16 and then attended and graduated from the University of Mandalay. While he was in college, Judah felt God calling him to become a missionary. He came to the United States from 1995-1997 to attend Florida Christian College and receive Christian Leadership training. He then returned to Myanmar. He and his wife Khaw moved to the town of Wireless, on the outskirts of Yangon, to dedicate themselves to full time ministry. They founded Wireless Christian Church, which is the first and only Christian church in the community. They also founded two orphanages, one in Wireless and another in Putao.
Besides the church and orphanages, Judah’s ministry also supports Bible college students and evangelists who travel to unreached areas. With Judah’s support, these evangelists have planted several churches in villages throughout the country.
Myanmar has many “street children.” Some estimate that 15% of the children in Myanmar are homeless. Often they are forced by their parents to beg on the streets, work long hours in businesses or join the military. Some run away to the jungles to look for work in the gold mines and often die there of malaria. They do adult labor, work extremely long hours, earn little salary, and often become sick and malnourished. The children learn inappropriate language and morals, and their life becomes a nightmare, without the promise of a better future.
Many children, both on and off the street, are orphans. Malaria and tuberculosis are the two main causes of death in Myanmar. Sometimes parents give up their children voluntarily to orphanages or Buddhist monasteries because they cannot afford to take care of them, and they realize that someone else could give their children the hope and future they cannot.