The Synergy and Strength of Partnership in Myanmar
Partnership is a key value to One Challenge Singapore and the OC Global Alliance’s (OCGA) ministry around the world. Through the efforts of the OCGA, we have seen the Lord reach nations in ways never before thought possible. A recent example of this is in the partnership of three OCGA Mobilization Centers to promote church growth in the nation of Myanmar.
“The recent agreement with the Myanmar Baptist Conference (MBC) is an example of a good global partnership, because it is bringing together the practical church planter coaching system developed in the Philippines, with the business for mission experience of Singapore, and the project management experience of the United States …in order to mobilize new cross-cultural missionaries from the tribal areas of Myanmar to begin new churches among the unreached people of southern Myanmar,” says Global Missions Strategist Eric S. “The partnership utilizes the strengths of a number of different cultures and worldviews to present the gospel in a culturally relevant way to a people group that has been resistant to Christianity for centuries.”
Beginning as early as 2010, the OC mobilization center in Singapore became aware of a ministry need in the country of Myanmar. “Through some marvellous providences back in 2010, quiet meetings began to take place in Singapore that kindled our interest in assisting the church in Myanmar,” says Singapore National Director/Catalyst David W. “Then on a vision trip in January 2012 through special friends and advocates, I and OC Singapore Associate, Elder David L., began discussions with church leaders.”
These discussions led to further developments, such as church planting seminars facilitated by a team from OC Philippines. Stemming from that progress, further discussions began with the 5000-church Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC) to discuss how the OCGA could assist in church planting and cross-cultural missionary training. “We have an agreement in principle that allows OCGA personnel to assist the 18 individual conventions and two directly affiliated churches that make up the whole of the MBC,” says David. “The Partnership Agreement opens the door but in a very real sense the work is just beginning. The MBC is large and very diverse with multiple ethnic groups making up the individual conferences of the main body. We hope to begin dialogue with the individual conferences to understand their context and vision to reach the majority people group.”
David said early on in the project that he and his partners knew the task would be too large for a small MC like Singapore to handle. “Having other MCs like Philippines and US in on this from the beginning is vital to the process.” says David. “It was so exciting to see the synergy of the January 2013 and February 2014 teams (US, Philippine, Singapore personnel) as we sat down with MBC leadership and listened to their vision. Each MC brought skills (discernment, connections, processing and perspectives on equipping) to the table to offer needed insight into the overall picture.”