Myanmar: Children receive high scores on final exams; diverse crops flourishing on new land; story of one orphan boy’s journey from poverty to hope in his own words

Photo: Children of our orphan care program were happy to recently visit the new farmland which is producing fruits and vegetables of many kinds.

Our primary and middle school students took their end-of-semester exams in February, and our high school students took their end-of-semester exams in March. To prepare for their exams, the children received tutoring and put in extra hours of study of their school subjects: their native Burmese language, English, math, geography, history, physics, chemistry, and biology. We are happy to report that our primary and middle school students all passed their exams, many receiving A’s, and we are eagerly awaiting the results of our high school students’ exam scores which will be available in June.

The children have had fun during their school break which began last month — they have enjoyed learning how to play guitar, singing, learning Bible stories, watching TV, reading, and playing fun games together outside. All 79 of our orphans (ages 6-18) started back to school this week, and they are excited to keep learning and flourishing in their education. However, our children are in great need of school materials such as new school uniforms, umbrellas, backpacks, textbooks, and school supplies. Thus, we are seeking to raise $3,555 over and above their general operating support in order to purchase these necessary items for all of our children. We are also wanting to raise $250 to purchase 5 children’s bicycles and $400 to purchase 5 adult’s bicycles for our children’s and native team’s enjoyment and convenience of transportation. In addition, we are hoping to raise $300 to purchase 3 more guitars as all of the children are really enjoying learning how to play music.

We first partnered with our Myanmar native team in 2008 when we launched our orphan care program, which during these 11 years has grown to encompass 3 orphan homes where we have provided complete residential care to 165 orphans during the life of the program. The greatest success of our orphan care program has been to provide our children with a quality education wherein they go on to graduate from high school, continue their education at higher levels and receive a college degree, and return home and become school teachers to help other impoverished children succeed in their academic studies.

Today we’d like to share the redemptive story of 17-year-old Thaung*, who lives at one of our orphan homes in Myanmar, told in his own words:

My name is Thaung. I have one brother and one younger sister. I was born on July 12, 2002. I arrived at the children’s home in 2013. My parents divorced and my father was not involved in our lives which resulted in many financial struggles for my mother, thus nobody could support me in my education and I was not able to attend school. Just finding daily food for us was a big struggle for my mother and we would miss many meals often. Desperate for how to care for me, my mother brought me to the home which she had heard about from a local pastor. Now the children’s home is a good place for me and I never have to worry about missing meals. I thank God who brought to me to the children’s home. Now I have taken the exam for the 10th grade. If I pass high school, I want to attend higher academic classes in a different language, and I am interested in studying operations. I am also interested in studying art and music. In my future, I want to help children who have faced problems in their life struggles. Thank you so much for your care, love, and support for my life. I also want to say a big thank you for those who are praying for me and supporting me. Please continue praying for my life.

On the 5 acres of land that we acquired last year, which will be our forthcoming new campus, we are growing various vegetables and fruits such as chilies, mustard leaves, pineapples, papayas, and bananas, as well as raising 25 free-range chickens currently. We also recently cultivated a jasmine flower farm where we harvest $5-7 worth of jasmine daily, which adds up to a helpful monthly net profit to supplement our program funding.

Some of our staff members live on the new land right now to tend to the crops until we relocate the main campus to this location which is about one hour north of the city. The location is very tranquil and is not prone to flooding like our current campus. There is also a water well that is producing consistent and fresh water, and there are good public schools nearby. We are praying to be able to relocate to the new campus as soon as funds are provided to build our own facilities — we need to raise $75,000 to construct a two-story building, including a bathroom and library. We also need to raise $24,000 for a transformer in order to supply electricity to the new campus.

We are extremely grateful for your generous support making the work that we do for these children possible.

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Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others

* Story names are changed to protect our program participants.

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