In the last year dealing with COVID-19, widespread displacement and political instability have created a strain on Myanmar. But in a country where hope may seem elusive, Haggai leaders like Uk Ling Thang shine the light of Christ.

“I served the Lord with a clear calling, but I did not have a clear vision until I came to the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE). The HLE is where I received a vision from the Lord of reaching and transforming all nations through the Gospel.”

As founder and president of Cornerstone Baptist Mission Myanmar (CBMM) and senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Uk Ling Thang is dedicated to addressing both physical and Gospel poverty.

In 2014, Thang received a calling to plant a new church among the unreached people of Shwepyithar Township in Yangon. Thang says Shwepyithar is one of the most unreached towns in Yangon (which is the largest city in Myanmar), and that many Christian ministers don’t want to live there due to frequent flooding, difficulty in transportation, and poverty. When God called Thang to go there, a friend tried to discourage him from it, concerned for his health and safety. Thang responded, “I must go… I know I may be sick, poor, and despised to live there. But I also know the One who calls me can give me strength to endure all these things.”

There were only eight people in his first meeting in Shwepyithar. But after one month of sharing the Gospel, the congregation grew to 30. Thirty grew to 60, and today their services regularly draw more than 200 members.

“From a small beginning to great impact, our ministry continues to go, share, and equip, making disciples of all nations. The Lord strengthened me to be able to plant a new church that is planting churches in the most unreached area… We reached the most remote village with the Gospel and bring Christian leaders to Yangon for equipping them and helping them to do the same.”

Uk Ling Thang

God used the HLE to create a key shift in Thang’s perspective. Instead of singlehandedly shouldering the burden of sharing the Gospel to his community, he returned to his home church and equipped those around him to preach the Good News. After his equipping, Thang also shared the Gospel with more than 5,000 people in 2017 and 10,000 people in 2018. Many Christian leaders in Myanmar are now equipped to share Christ in remote areas cut off from the rest of the country.

Uk prays with a man from Shwepyithar Township in Yangon.

Through CBMM, Thang ministers to hungry and vulnerable residents by providing food and other emergency assistance. Since its founding, CBMM has trained over 450 Christian leaders to share the Gospel and is represented in seven states and seven divisions of Myanmar.

“Our goal is not just to meet the physical or emotional needs, but it is to share the truth that will set them free forever.”