Yeshe Lin plays outside while his baby sister takes a nap. Though seven-year-old Yeshe Lin should be in school, nothing has been normal ever since the military took over the government in Myanmar in early 2021.
Down the road, a familiar face comes into view. Yeshe Lin calls out to his parents that Papa has come to visit and runs to greet him. It is always a great day when Papa visits.
Papa carries a large sack in one arm and a bag in the other. Yeshe Lin knows what that means: tonight, they will have food to eat. The lentil meal is Yeshe Lin’s favorite.
Reverend Saw Reagan—known as “Papa” to the kids—has been visiting Yeshe Lin’s family and delivering food for less than a year. Yeshe Lin lives with his parents, his six-month-old sister, his aunt, and his grandparents. The family lives half a mile from Saw Reagan’s church in Yangon, the largest and most populous city in Myanmar.
Their home is a bamboo tent with sheet metal and tarp forming the outer walls and roof. The space is small and doesn’t provide much protection from the weather. To further complicate their situation, the family doesn’t own the land where the house sits, and they live in constant fear that their landlord will tell them to leave. There is no formal contract to protect them from eviction.
Had the schools not been closed during Myanmar’s political upheaval, Yeshe Lin would have been in first grade. He looks forward to the day when he can go back to school.
In addition to the schools being closed, the combination of Covid and the military coup have made it extremely hard for Yeshe Lin’s father and grandfather to find work. They work whatever jobs they manage to find, but their income is barely enough to buy food, not to mention clothing or medicine.
Since Reverend Saw Reagan began visiting Yeshe Lin’s family, he has noticed a change in the family. Yeshe Lin’s mother, aunt, and grandparents all come from a Christian background, and Saw Reagan has been helping them to understand what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. Several members of the family have gotten involved in various church activities. Yeshe Lin’s father comes from a Buddhist background, and Saw Reagan continues to share the gospel and pray for his heart to soften to the message of hope.
Yeshe Lin’s family recently shared their gratitude to God for providing Food Paks through the generosity of people who give to Children’s Hunger Fund. Though employment and housing continues to be a struggle, they remain hopeful that God will provide what they need. Our in-country partner recently shared with us, “As the Myanmar economy shrank about 18% in 2021 (according to the World Bank), people are hurting more than ever. Many people have lost jobs, and new jobs are hard to find. So the ability for churches to continue helping to provide this kind of sustenance is a big blessing. As an organization, we’ve been so encouraged by CHF’s continued generosity. Of course, with the political challenges in Myanmar, transferring funds is also becoming difficult. Pray with us that God continues to keep a pathway open.”