“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
A Friendship Begins in the Clarks Summit University Dining Hall
In 2010, two young men met each other in the dining hall at Clarks Summit University (then, Baptist Bible College) in Pennsylvania. Sangpi was a foreign student from Myanmar and Andrew from Ohio. While they enjoyed sharing meals together occasionally in college, their friendship didn’t turn into a partnership until several years later.
After Sangpi returned to Myanmar with his undergraduate degree in Bible, he launched into full-time ministry alongside his dad, who was the founder and president at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. Sangpi and Andrew stayed friends and Andrew even went to visit in 2013.
All the while, God was working to cause his plans to flourish in the coming years. Sangpi and Andrew stayed in touch, encouraged each other in ministry, and prayed for one another. Then things took a drastic turn in 2015.
Myanmar Flood Leads to the Birth of Live Global
In July 2015, Myanmar experienced devastating flooding. Whole villages had to flee to the hills and had no way to eat. Sangpi along with others from his school got involved in relief efforts to bring food and the Gospel to those who had lost everything. Sangpi wanted to invite others to partner with them so they could expand their ministry to even more people. That’s when he reached out to Andrew.
Sangpi told Andrew that they could feed an entire family for a week with just $30. Sangpi and his team had enough to do a few families but they wanted to do more. Andrew knew that among just his friend group, they could likely raise enough money.
So Andrew put out the word and God provided. Through this, God brought forth the creation of Live Global (formerly called GAP) and called Andrew and his family to serve with this organization full-time in partnership ministry.
How Partnership Grows God’s Kingdom
Sangpi became the first Live Global partner, just as Sangpi’s dad was once the first partner for Live Global’s predecessor GAP.
The Bible college and seminary Sangpi serves has graduated hundreds of students who now serve their own country full time in ministry, pioneering efforts to unreached people groups all throughout the country. Sangpi has also ventured into the hard work of evangelism through offering free English classes on the campus during the summers and through his wife’s preschool. But Sangpi and the seminary desire to share their burden of ministry with others who can encourage them, pray for them, and serve in specific ways alongside them.
- North American individuals and ministries donated a combined 70,000 books to the seminary and Bible college campuses, that now serve as the country’s largest theological library.
- Churches and individuals in the United States pray for Sangpi, the seminary, and Bible college, and we have seen God answer their requests for more students and for safety as they serve.
- During COVID, North Americans created a video series for Sangpi’s English classes so that the school could attract students with the draw of a native speaker teacher.
- North Americans have donated money so that students could earn scholarships to reduce tuition costs.
The Cultural Climate in Myanmar Takes a Turn
COVID hit Myanmar with a vengeance in 2019-2020. Even more tragedy followed when on February 1, 2020 the military Junta took back control of the country, imprisoning the democratically elected government and sending the country back into the third world dark ages that were on the way out since 2015. The junta was ruthless after the takeover and in the summer of 2020, when Covid was at its peak, no oxygen was to be found for the average citizen. The military hoarded oxygen and common COVID treatments and hospitals were closed because of a massive strike by the citizens called the “Civil Disobedience Movement” – CDM. Sangpi’s father, Dr. Do Sung Mung, founder of Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary, passed away on July 18, 2021. This was a heavy blow for Sangpi, his family and the entire denominational association known in Myanmar as EBC (Evangelical Baptist Churches of Myanmar).
FBTS slowly fought back under a double blow of functioning in a failed state and moving forward without the founding father of the school. Sangpi assumed leadership of the Bible College in Tedim, Chin state in the North of Myanmar, which was able to re-open ahead of the Seminary in Yangon. In 2021, the seminary was holding online courses, trying to provide a way for those who started their program in 2019 to complete a degree and allowing new students to join as resources allowed.
In 2023, the paths of Sangpi and Andrew intersected in person once again, when Andrew was able to obtain a visa to visit Myanmar. Sangpi was appointed President of the Seminary and College and he invited his college friend to participate. Sangpi presided over the graduation of 125 graduate and undergraduate students and Andrew was there to give the “charge” to the graduates.
This is a truly unique “alumni” story for Clark Summit University and the Seminary. Sangpi is not the only alumni from Myanmar. Three other graduates from Myanmar are also making their mark on the evangelical landscape of the country in the midst of the civil war and the breakdown of infrastructure and basic necessities. Sangpi’s sister Lydia, (BS 2008, MA 2010) returned to Myanmar and in 2015 along with her husband, opened a school. Hope International School (HIS) is a private school, open to anyone. They openly let parents know that the school is a Christian School, run by Christians using Christian curriculum from the US. They currently have 35 students in grades one to three. Numbers were much higher pre-Covid and the coup but are once again climbing. Many students are from Buddhist, Hindu and even Muslim backgrounds. Praise God these students hear the Gospel and learn the Bible every day.
Sangpi’s brother Kimpi (BA 2013 M.Div 2017) now serves as Provost and Associate Professor of FBTS, Yangon, and also leads his own outreach ministry to unreached areas.
In addition, another notable alumnus is Dr. Lian Kim, who earned his Ph.D. from BBS in 2011. Since returning to Myanmar, Dr. Kim has started his own seminary, Koinonia Seminary, written and translated 24 books for Christians in his language group, and authored Gospel tracts for the Zomi-Chin people. Koinonia Seminary has graduated 60 men with ThM degrees. Most of these graduates are serving in ministry around the country.
These brothers and sisters are serving on the front line under very difficult circumstances. Their faithful perseverance in the face of grief, political turmoil, lack of basic conveniences like internet, electricity and clean drinking water is a testimony to their determination and God’s faithfulness.
How to Partner with Clarks Summit Alumni in Myanmar
- Partner with Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
- Partner with Sangpi’s English Classes
- Partner with Lydia’s Hope International School
- Parther with Kimpi’s Church Strengthening Outreach
- Contact https://cmcmissions.org/ to partner with Dr. Kim