History and Background
Indigenous missionary partners living and working in the Shan State in Myanmar have engaged a people group called the “Yinn.” This group goes by many names and research available on UPG websites is a bit confusing, so we are relying on the personal outreach done by our national partner missionary Suan, living in the area. Suan told us there are about 26 Yin Net villages and 9 Yin Chia villages, with a population of around 12,000.
Unusual Customs Keep Them Separated from Society
Suan discovered a Yinn group walking for two miles to collect water at a lake. That's because the Yinn never live near water. They believe it brings bad luck. Even when they walk to the lake in the evening, they do not completely bathe—but only wash their arms and legs. No bathing after dark is allowed, and if they must go out after dark, they must put a hairpin in their hair to ward off evil spirits that roam in the night. Because of this, they are denied access to local healthcare because of their body odor.
Also, most of the Yinn are illiterate.
The Yinn call themselves “Buddhists” but they are also animists, worshiping spirits and “nats.”
The Yinn people practice a form of divination using the blood of a dead chicken. They believe they can predict the future by the so-called "chicken prediction." This involves killing a number of chickens while the village Shamans (religious leaders) “read” the omens and warnings based on how the blood flows. These ceremonies are held at "lucky" times and attended by the whole community.
Our partner national missionary has been able to make many contacts in this community. He met a man who was fluent in Burmese and Yinn. This man translated "The Ancient Path" (a Gospel booklet) from Burmese into an oral version for the Yinn.
Suan has developed an evangelism strategy, using the recorded Yinn version of "The Ancient Path." He also believes that additional national missionaries who can offer basic medical help to the Yinn people would be a way to show the love of Christ to this needy unreached people group.
Here is how you can pray for and support the pioneer missionary work among the Yinn people:
Prayer Requests for the Yinn People
1. Pray for at least five additional national missionaries to be committed to live among the 20 villages of the Yinn people.
2. Pray that these missionaries would receive $500 each to complete six months of basic medical training.
3. Pray for God to provide a place to live in the villages. There are no “rental” houses so this would require a major breakthrough.
4. Since almost everyone cannot read, pray that we would be able to distribute "The Ancient Path" and Gospel messages in audio format.
5. Pray that our national missionaries will be able to share the Gospel through the sewing school they're opening.
6. These national missionaries will most certainly encounter spiritual opposition and even physical threats from the local Shaman. Pray for their courage and boldness.