The Joys of Worship & Celebration in Myanmar
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
— Hebrews 12:1
One of the many questions my friends ask when I describe my work with Episcopal Relief & Development is, “Does conversion happen?” It’s a tough question. My colleagues will attest to my joy at working with our church partner in Myanmar. I have been visiting them for nearly ten years, and in those years, the country has worked to reform itself from a repressive past. With successive undemocratic regimes, the Christian community has faced a long history of religious persecution and global isolation. In many ways, the Church in contemporary Myanmar mirrors the life and challenges of the early Christians. And similar to the early followers of Christ, in Myanmar these hardships have deepened their faith, leading them to expand their presence across the country, compose songs of praise, enrich the lives of members with continuous spiritual formation and serve their neighbors through poverty alleviation and humanitarian support.
It is a privilege to participate in acts of worship and to celebrate God’s kingdom with my friends in Myanmar. Language is an insignificant obstacle that their passion and faith transcends. So, does conversion happen? Absolutely. For me. I am constantly renewed by the witness of my brothers and sisters across our global Anglican Communion. In what ways are you inspired and transformed by the faithful people you encounter.
Nagulan Nesiah is a Senior Program Officer at Episcopal Relief & Development.
Image: The hands of a child in the hands of a parent.