More than 100 participants attended the first Myanmar Southern District Nazarene Youth International Conference. The event was held at Shalom Nazarene Church in Nat-Gyi-Chaung village, an area where only 5 percent of residents are Christians.
Event participants came from the Yangon zone, Karen zone, and Mon zone of the Southern District. The conference, held 29 March to 1 April, focused on Proverbs 3:6 — Seek His Will in All You Do.
“We started with a worship service on Friday morning, followed by different training sessions led by District Superintendent Rama and District NYI President Biaka,” Hlutea said “Every night, we had worship times that we enjoyed so much. Our praise and worship, group prayer, and listening to the Word of God help us grow in our spiritual life. We also had games and sports and fellowship time.”
The Shalom church members were excited to support the conference and even joined the participants for Sunday morning worship.
“There were about 150 people present [at the Sunday service],” Hlutea said. “About half of the [conference participants] wept with passion as a response to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and they offered their lives for the Lord. It was like the Pentecost day.”
The next day, they went to the tomb of Ann Judson — the wife of the first Baptist missionary in Myanmar, Adoniram Judson — to learn some of the Christian history in Myanmar. After that, they went to Sat-Se beach to baptize two young boys and to spread the Gospel.
“We distributed about 900 gospel books called Light of the World to people at the beach,” Hlutea said. “We also shared about 1,000 books at the Tan-Phyu-Zayet town on the main road and the markets.”
Hlutea described the evangelistic outreach as an important part of the conference.
“I believe that our gathering was not just for the convention, fellowship, and retreat, but also to testify and share the gospel to the community,” Hlutea said. “For some of the youth members, this is just their first outreach experience, but they were active. We have to continue to pray for the young people and the people who have received the good news.”
Across the district, half of the youth members grew up in other faiths. Since they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and joined the church, they are going through a program designed to help new members live a Christian life in their current cultural context.
“Most of our youth members are surrounded by unbelievers in our jobs, schools, and environment,” Hlutea said. “While it is a challenge for us to gather and encourage our youth through our youth ministry, we continue to trust that the Lord is at work in our lives to help us grow and mature spiritually and be his light to our communities.”
The district leadership team plans to continue encouraging and supporting new Christian youth through conferences, training programs, and community development for years to come.