Myanmar: a land full of hopes and dreams
Is Myanmar really as isolated and closed off as it has been made out to be? Are there restrictions? In “At home worldwide” we took a closer look at this fascinating country. Now District Apostle Urs Hebeisen has given us a short interview and answered some questions about his work there.
nac.today: District Apostle Urs Hebeisen, you are responsible for the Church in numerous countries in South-East Asia, also in Myanmar. For a long time the country was considered closed off to the rest of the world. Is that still the case?
Hebeisen: The doors for tourism were opened a long time ago, but only certain regions of the country were accessible, such as Yangon, the national capital. Industry, businesses, and investments have been possible there for quite a while already.
nac.today: Were you able to travel in the country as District Apostle? What are the prospects for the Church?
Where the tourists were allowed to go I was also allowed to go too, of course. Unfortunately, there are only very few members in these areas. Most missionaries only made it as far as the capital city. But new prospects have opened up. The most important thing is that an Apostle is able to reach all the members in the country. This was possible thanks to Apostle David Thang, who had access to all parts of the country. In the meantime our Church in Myanmar counts 18 congregations and 1,300 members.
nac.today: How often are you going to go there?
Hebeisen: I usually visit the country once a year.
We are full of hope
nac.today: What is special about the people in Myanmar?
Hebeisen: They are the kindest and friendliest people, and are very hospitable to foreigners. Everyone, but especially the young generation, is full of hope, which of course has an enormous impact on migration. Generally, the people are rooted in Buddhism.
nac.today: What are the prospects for the future?
Hebeisen: Everybody is speaking about freedom. The people have big hopes and dreams. A good start has been made. Although the Church was never really banned in all these years, we hope to be able to put it on a somewhat more solid legal footing now. What we really need now are new church buildings. And of course we hope that the young people find jobs so that they remain in the country.
Foto: NAC Indonesia/ At the home of a little brother in faith in Myanmar