Thank you for interceding with us this week for Nok Kam from Myanmar.
Also known as Burma, Myanmar is home to nearly 54 million people from 135 ethnic groups. Approximately 88% of Burmese practice Theravada Buddhism, which has shaped the country’s history, culture, and architecture over the past millennium. Christians and Muslims, who represent 6% and 4% of the population respectively, face persecution in the primarily Buddhist country, and are often excluded from military service or government jobs, two pathways for economic advancement in Myanmar. An estimated 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the country in recent years to nearby Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia.
Nok is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Through his research, Nok seeks to renew Christian identity and mission in Myanmar. After graduation, he will return to teach at Chin Christian Institute of Theology (formerly Zomi Theological College) and resume pastoral ministry in Myanmar. Nok and his wife Ngai Khan Lun have four teenaged children.
Nok shares the following message:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With my strong desire to serve God, I decided to attend Zomi Theological College as an undergraduate in June 1998. Right after graduating with my BTh from Zomi Theological College (now Chin Christian Institute of Theology) in March 2002, I became a pastor at my mother church. With the approval of my church, I continued my theological studies at Myanmar Institute of Theology and graduated with my MDiv in 2006.
By the invitation of Zomi Theological College and with approval from my mother church, I began serving there as teaching faculty in 2006 until I left for Fuller Theological Seminary. During that time, I was ordained by my regional Baptist association in 2014. After completion of my studies here at Fuller, I will go back and resume my ministry as a teacher, leader, and pastor among my people in Myanmar.
Myanmar (formerly Burma) is known as the land of pagodas. Protestant Christian mission was widespread through the work of Adoniram and Ann Judson, the very first American foreign missionaries (though not the first missionaries) in Burma. However, Christian mission among the Burmese in Myanmar has not penetrated deeply, despite Christianity’s long history in the country.
Generally, Christian mission has followed a Christological approach. Since Buddhism is a peaceful religion, emphases on death, crucifixion, and blood sacrifice have become a hindrance to Christian mission and interreligious dialogue. As a result, Christian mission ends up as interreligious debate without real dialogue. In lieu of such an approach, I would like to introduce a pneumatological approach (focused on the Holy Spirit) that could enable more effective and harmonious mission. Religiously, the Burmese are very power-conscious because their primal religion is spirit worship, called nats in Burmese. Therefore, the tentative topic for my research is Constructing Hybridized Pneumatology for Renewing Christian Mission in Myanmar.
I ask for your intercessory prayer for my people and my country, Myanmar, which is full of conflicts between the Burmese military and ethnic minorities. Christians and ethnic minorities have been tortured by the military for a long time. Consequently, many ethnic groups are seeking refuge in neighboring countries and in Western countries as well. Please do pray for the total dismantling of military power in the Union government.
Pray for my studies and my family back home, so that I can complete my studies very well and resume my ministry, serving God among my people effectively. I have four children. My eldest son is in the US applying to undergraduate programs, and three of my children and my beloved wife are waiting for me to return home.
Pray for the churches in Myanmar, so that they can be a faithful witness to our Lord amid hardships, and pray for God’s kingdom to be established in Myanmar.