Friday, March 29
Good Friday Minute for Mission
My grandma smuggled me from China to Burma when I was three. The purpose, according to her, was to rescue me from the torment of the Cultural Revolution. My grandparents were Burmese citizens, but there were no provisions for them to bring their families to Burma legally.
I was adored as a little boy for being able to sing many Chinese national songs and recite poems, but now, in Burma, I was hushed each time I opened my mouth to sing: “Stop singing those songs! The Burmese will find out that you are from China, and the police will put you in prison and then send you back to China. Do you know what the Chinese Communists will do to you? They will hang you upside down on a tree, peel your nails off, and rub salt on your fingers.”
“If Burma doesn’t want me and China is hell, where do I belong?” Gone was my self-worth, my sense of belonging, my sense of security, and my voice. Soon I became virtually mute, because I feared someone might hear me and find out about me.
Fortunately, we attended church every Sunday. The healing message of the church that kept me sane was that we are citizens of the kingdom of God. Yes, there I found a sense of belonging! Moved by the message of the cross, certain missionaries had risked their lives to come to the highlands of southwestern China and present the gospel to the people there, including my great-grandparents. Now I am a fourth-generation Christian and also a third-generation minister.
I can’t imagine what life would be like without the good news of the cross. Let us remember Burma and the well-being of all children around the world in our prayers.
—Rev. Dr. Samuel Maung Stone, pastor, Trinity Presbyterian, Paramus, NJ
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Gracious God, there is no pain you don’t understand, no heart you can’t examine. Hear the little voices from the most obscure corners of the world, groaning, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Just as you were lifted up high, may our lives also be lifted up to become a cure for this sin-sick world. In your precious name we pray. Amen.