What, Me, Reaching…Buddhists?
Dale Teal is a financial advisor in Minneapolis and has been a Bethany Donor for some years. Dale’s faith is in action every week through teaching in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), hosting a small group in his local church, and through living out Kingdom values in his workplace. He loves to travel and has done three overseas trips: twice to Asia and once to Africa. Dale says, “These trips help keep my vision for missions alive and growing.”
In December Dale accompanied Bethany’s Executive VP, Tim Freeman, to Myanmar. This was Dale’s first trip to a Buddhist country. For 10 days, Dale, Tim, and two other American friends worked with vibrant in-country partners for the engagement of unreached peoples there. One of our key partners, Bishop Chin, has a missionary training school to help prepare and launch new missionaries into the harvest field. Bishop Chin has a focused desire to impact several unreached people groups in the country and welcomed our visit with open arms.
Dale had no plans to just come along “for the ride.” He was prepared to actively share his faith as opportunities arose. Opportunities did arise and in spades!
Two of the days were spent helping Bishop Chin with Christmas evangelism programs. It is not easy to do open-air preaching in this Buddhist country. In fact, it was forbidden for years. Recently, the government has allowed Christians to share their faith in selected public meetings, but primarily this is only allowed at Christmas. Hundreds of Buddhists turned out in curiosity to hear the Gospel. Dale shared his faith through a translator both times.
The American was quite a “draw” for the event and Dale connected very well! He kept it simple and relatable and showed how Christ transformed his life. After he spoke, Bishop Chin shared the Gospel extensively in Burmese, and as a result, several people came forward to receive Christ during the two evenings we held these meetings. Our local partners will ensure that those who have newly come to Christ will be discipled!
At the end of the trip, Dale expressed his desire to do it again! These trips are a balance of ministry and fellowship with local leaders and believers. We also experience the magnificent scenery and the amazing hospitality of the local people. When we come alongside partners like Bishop Chin, fulfilling the Great Commission becomes a reality. Raising up workers to bring the Gospel to those who have never heard is the first step in completing the Matthew 28 Great Commission Mandate – make disciples of all nations!
Myanmar Country Facts
- Continent: Asia
- Population: 54,773,000
- Unreached People Groups: 49 (Less than 2% Evangelical Christian)
- % Evangelical Christian: 5.09%
- Largest Religion: Buddhism
This article is from the Spring 2018 Issue of coMission Magazine.