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When you mention the country of Myanmar (known as Burma under British colonization), the first things that come to most people's minds are political uprisings, Aung San Suu Kyi, military rule, civil war, corruption, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and general chaos.
While these all exist in Myanmar, they by no means offer a complete picture of the country. We want to invite you to consider that there is much more happening inside the borders of this beautifully complex land. Once a country dictated to silence, the people of Myanmar are now faced with the complexities of dreaming into reality a future they desire. The recent elections and political changes have filled people, once silenced, with the hope that they can make the changes they have longed for in their country.
Since 2009 we have had teams exploring what it could mean to serve and learn from the people of Myanmar and their unique perspective. It has been encouraging that our teams received a warm welcome from both neighbours and local churches. By moving into these neighbourhoods – something not many foreigners do – we have been confronted and amazed. Confronted with the many challenges of life under poverty, fear and oppression; and amazed by life lived with hope, joy and generosity.
During 2014-2015 we had a small team that felt the draw to be a small hidden prayerful presence among all the changes that have been taking place in Myanmar. Functioning in many ways as a contemplative community, the team was for a season structured around the rhythm of silence, solitude, and prayer in the midst of the complexities of daily life, seeking out companionship with the poor. What was discovered by being this small team was the beauty and resilience of a people who longingly await changes that would benefit the whole of their people.
Though much groundwork was laid in 2015 we are without the physical presence of a team in Myanmar at this time. Lasting friendships, and connections to Myanmar people who are actively working for change, already await those who would choose to come to this country. It is not a country where life is easy in the best of circumstances. Yet the ground work is laid for those who choose to take the risks. We would like to again have a continuing presence among the poor in Myanmar. Here is your chance to dream up a team that can continue through the seasons and changes ahead for Myanmar.
This team is open to re-imagine what it might look like to be on the ground as times are changing for this country. If you're interested in finding out more about helping re-form this team, please contact your nearest Servants sending office.