After church today I changed into a casual Burmese outfit. It consisted of a longyi (a long skirt for men), t-shirt, sandals, and an ethnic satchel. Many stagings smiled and commended me for wearing a longyi. While in Burma, I purposefully wore the longyi to show the staging people that I support them, for who they are. With advertisements for designer denim jeans and shorts covering Burmese media, I wonder how many more years will the traditional longyi survive? I am truly concerned by the influence of western culture on countries like Burma. Moreover how this influence can impact missions.
It is my desire that we learn and respect the different cultures of our world, before we attempt to overwrite them. Adoniram Judson was a model missionary for he was dedicated to studying every aspect of Burma in order to best minister to the people. As a future missionary, it is my desire to learn the best practices of missions in order to be most effective when I am called into active duty.
Wherever we are sent, down the street or across the world, I pray that we embrace the culture we meet with unconditional love as Jesus did.
I belong to the Kachin ethnic group in Myanmar. I am now serving as an associate minister at a Baptist church in Kachin State, which is in the northern part of Myanmar. We have over 7000 church members at my church.
I have been in ministry for over 17 years. I know that in order to lead my congregation effectively, I need more education. I believe that this D.Min. program will enhance my ministry today and into the future.
Learning together with other students from Myanmar has been very valuable for me. I have enjoyed living together. I have also learned from the Shawnee D.Min. students as well. It is good to be able to appreciate each other’s cultures and ministry experiences.