Weeping and broken, Myanmar native missionary J. B. said, “God, if you count me worthy to be persecuted and martyred for the Gospel and Your name, I am willing. It would be my joy, and I would gladly accept that gift.”
J. B. had received Richard Wurmbrand’s book Tortured for Christ from a well-respected Christian man from Chin State, Myanmar. After reading it, J. B. finally grasped the upside-down kingdom of Christ and put his hand in the Lord’s, telling Him, “Do with me what You want.”
In 1899 a Christian couple from the US walked for over a week to reach an area of headhunters in Chin State of Myanmar and served as the first missionaries there. The people were savages, and the place was challenging and extremely remote. Eventually, the wife became discouraged. Then, one day, a local villager noticed that one of her teeth was gold. This word spread for miles, and soon the missionaries’ yard filled with those curious to see this phenomenon.
Her husband gathered them to sit and told them if they listened patiently to what he had to share, his wife would show them her gold tooth. Slowly, the Gospel began to take root in hearts, and the ways of life transformed. Over the next hundred years, native missionaries took up the call to extend the Good News throughout that state.
Today, Chin State is 98% Christian. Some of those first converts were the great-grandparents of J. B. and his wife, Mary.
The Calling and Ministry of J. B.
Although Chin State is primarily Christian, it is the second smallest state in the predominantly Buddhist country of 54 million people, meaning only 6% of the total population is Christian. There are 135 people groups in Myanmar needing to hear the Gospel, but foreign missionaries can no longer enter the country. Native missionaries are a necessity.
J. B.’s father died when J. B. was only four years old, leaving the family in extreme poverty. Although J. B. accepted Christ at a youth camp when he was 12, his desire to make money led him away from the Lord during his teen years. After his mother started an import/export business, she sent J. B. to a Bible college in India to learn English so he could take over the enterprise.
During his senior year, J. B. felt God calling him to serve in full-time ministry. After months of prayer, he returned to Myanmar, read Richard Wurmbrand’s book, and readied himself to take the Gospel to the millions who had never heard the name of Jesus.
He met and married Mary, and in 2006, they started Restoration Myanmar Mission with the primary purpose of “reaching the unreached; telling the untold.” They began by finding like-hearted people to share the Gospel, trained and discipled them, and sent them into the mission field.
Today they have planted 14 churches among animist and Buddhist communities. It is a difficult place, but J. B., Mary, and their native missionaries represent Christ well in that part of the world. Those in Myanmar know if they follow Jesus Christ, their commitment to Him may be costly, but they count it an honor to pay that price.
J. B.’s Thanks and Encouragement to All of Us from Myanmar
J. B. concludes by saying, “Thank you for standing with us. Let’s hold hands together as we support the missionaries in my field and those across the world. Many still need to know that Jesus loves them and has paid the price for their salvation and eternal life.”