Myanmar hosts mission partners’ meeting

‘Christian missions began with an explosion of joy. Christian mission in its most basic form is communicating this joy. Mission is a task marked by tremendous joy as we seek to proclaim God’s message.’

With these words, Bishop Philip Lok of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia opened the first day of the Mekong Mission Forum, 16-19 May, in Yangon, Myanmar.

Held annually, the forum brings together Lutheran representatives from countries bordering the Mekong River – Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar – together with their churches’ international partners and supporters. The LCA, which partners with churches in Cambodia and Thailand, was represented by Mission Director Rev Neville Otto and Project Officer Glenice Hartwich.

‘The Mekong Mission Forum is a huge encouragement for all of us who are privileged to attend’, Glenice said. ‘It’s a reminder of the amazing and exciting gospel work we Lutheran in Australia and New Zealand are involved in. We’re partners with fellow Lutherans in some of the fastest-growing Christian missions in the world!’

During the four-day conference the fifty participants heard reports from established and emerging Lutheran churches in the Mekong countries.

Among them is the Mara Evangelical Church, which was registered in 1984 and already has 25,000 members. The Mara people come from the isolated Chin state (Myanmar) and Mizoram state (India), where there are no roads. The two Mara representatives took five days to get to the forum.

‘Being face to face with people like this reminds you just how important the gospel is, that they carry it on foot to some of the remotest places on earth, amid much hardship’, Glenice said.

‘It’s so encouraging to see how God is calling people from all the nations, and that he is raising up disciples who are following him to the ends of the earth.

For the LCA to be involved in this mission, to be partnering with people like this, is both humbling and exhilarating. We are so honoured to be part of it.’

Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to

Read more stories about our partner churches in Myanmar at

Read more stories about our partner church in Cambodia at

Read more stories about our partner churches in Thailand at