Over two hundred children and counselors had gathered for one week of Bible camp in Khai-Kam, Myanmar. Since the military coup in 2021, our partners in Myanmar have run their ministries in a conflict zone. On the second day of camp in Khai-Kam, word arrived that fighting was resuming in the area. They would have to evacuate. The military was closing area roads. An escape route was quickly arranged for campers, teachers, and counselors to leave before fighting began. Two men stayed in order to avoid abandoning the property completely. Shells and bullets flew over the church grounds. By God’s grace, the men and property were spared.
The next week, word came from resistance fighters that the area was secure. Camp could resume! Although some of the original campers couldn’t return, over one hundred people were there by the weekend. Kimpi said, “All of our faithful teachers and counselors returned to teach and share the Gospel with these precious little souls.” Even though shots had been fired and camp was delayed, children put their trust in Christ. “We are just so thankful for their testimonies and for the saving grace of God!”
Kimpi does ministry in a conflict zone of Myanmar that has been ravaged by warfare under the military junta that toppled the government in February 2021. Local resistance forces and military units often battle for control of the region. Even in difficult conditions, God has sustained Kimpi and his family. His ministry of evangelism, church planting, and theological training is going forward under God’s care. Pray for Kimpi’s health as he deals with stress and digestive disorders. Pray about the financial burdens, including the increased cost of the camp, and pray about giving to meet those needs. Read more about Kimpi and find out how you can help: Kimpi in Myanmar.
Praying for Ministries in Conflict Zones
Whether in Myanmar, Ukraine, or the Manipur Province of India, Live Global partners are serving in conditions of danger, stress, and urgent need. God is working in those areas, calling people to faith in Christ, and strengthening His servants to be a living testimony for the Gospel. Although it is hard for us living in the relative peace of North America to understand their complex situations, we can and should be striving with them through prayer. How should we pray for them? Perhaps we can gather guidance from a few biblical examples.
1. We should pray for God’s protection. When God’s people are serving in dangerous places, it is right to pray for God protection and deliverance. Ezra asked God for protection as he and a group of Jews returned to Jerusalem through dangerous territory after the Exile (Ezra 8:21-23). Paul asked the Thessalonians to pray for his deliverance “from wicked and evil men” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). In Corinth, God promised Paul that no harm would come to him there (Acts 18:9-11).
2. We should pray for Spirit-filled courage. Although it is fitting to pray for protection, God’s messengers cannot avoid all risks and potential dangers. We should pray for God to give them courage and boldness. The early church prayed for boldness when they faced persecution. Acts 4:29-31 records one such prayer and God’s response: “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to preach the word of God with boldness.”
3. We should pray for divine direction. Gospel workers doing ministry in conflict zones need wisdom to discern God’s will and direction. When should they leave? Where should they go? How much risk is acceptable each day? The Holy Spirit provided direction to Paul and his team, stopping them from going some directions, and calling them to go over to Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). Paul demonstrated praying for God to fill believers “with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9).
4. We should pray for Gospel advances. God brings opportunities for sharing Christ and works miraculous conversions during seasons of persecution and trials of our faith. Paul encouraged the Philippians to recognize that the things that had happened to him (such as his imprisonment) had “served to advance the Gospel” (Philippians 1:12-14). Some of his readers surely recalled that Paul and Silas had been beaten, were jailed, and survived an earthquake on the night of their own salvation (Acts 16:22-34).
5. We should pray for humble reliance on the Lord. We ought to pray for our brothers and sisters who are still faithfully doing ministry in conflict zones to experience God’s grace, strength, and power in their times of weakness, pain, and fear (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We should pray that God would allow them to show His love to both friends and enemies for the Lord’s glory (Matthew 5:43-45). We can pray that they would know “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding,” even though they are surrounded by conflict. Only God can give them these things, so let’s be faithful to pray.
We may not be in the conflict zone physically with our partners, but we can battle with them in prayer.