Since 2005, Fyl had been visiting Myanmar and delivering refurbished medical equipment for a small UK charity. That in itself was an amazing journey which included being invited to meet with the government at a time when the country was still reclusive. But in 2012 the supply of equipment from the UK dried up, and Fyl made what she thought would be her last trip. However she met a young pastor who heads up a network of 17 small churches in very poor communities around Yangon city and further afield, and the promise was made to return the next year.
Several of these communities, although very poor themselves, had taken in former street children, or youngsters whose families could no longer look after them. Pastor Suan himself lives with his wife and two (now three)children, his parents, his brothers and sisters, and 17 former street children. His father, who is a church planter, has adopted as many of the 17 children as possible. Having been brought up in a children’s home himself, as has his wife, he is determined that none of these children will be called orphans and he is a loving father to them all.
In 2014 a group of friends in the UK began supporting the 17 children in pastor Suan’s house but month by month were able to extend this support to the other very poor communities who were looking after children. Beginning with sacks of rice for basic food, the work rapidly began to cover medical needs, clothes, school books and sadly, the funerals of two children and an adult.Currently the charity is funding school tuition fees for one who has failed her school final exams, and also treatment for one beautiful little girl who was born with a sever foot defect.
From there the work greatly expanded and it was with great joy that in 2016 the little group funded the digging of wells in 6 remote villages which had no access to clean water. Damage to bamboo houses is an ongoing problem and several have had to be rebuilt. In 2017 three more wells were dug.
Devastating flooding which destroys crops and soil is common in August over vast areas of the country. In 2015 and 2016, Pastor Suan and his father travelled for more than 12 hours over long distances by car, motorbike and boat to reach these areas and, with the financial help from the UK group, provided clean water, food, clothes and seed for the next harvest. The Buddhist monks and the villagers were astonished at the help given at such personal cost.
For 122 children, the highlight of 2015 was a holiday Bible camp run by the UK team, which was a wonderful 4 days of fun and games. It was their first experience of being away from home, meeting new friends, and experiencing drama, craft and play. The team also visited two children’s prisons that house children as young as 4.In 2017 a second children’s camp was run, but this time predominantly for children from remote villages who had never left their villages before and had never been to school.
The 17 pastors were so thrilled at the success of the first children’s camp that they asked for one of their own. So in October 2016, 62 adults got together from many remote villages for the first FLM pastors’ camp. Those who couldn’t read were given their first Bible…audio and solar-powered! New friendships were formed late into each evening, amid much laughter and fun.
New projects include first aid basic training for villagers, and exploring income generation possibilities- both training and micro-finance, among the very poor and dispossessed.
In February 2016 Family Link Myanmar, a UK registered charity, was born. A long road but a very exciting journey which we invite you to join us on.