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Fatherhood

It was not easy growing up in Myanmar. For various reasons, there was widespread instability throughout the country. For much of my childhood, there was no work for my father and no rice for our family to eat. 

During those hardships, one of my fondest memories was going fishing with my father in the early morning hours before school. If we found the right spot in the river, we could catch enough fish to exchange them for a bowl of rice. That one bowl of rice meant that my younger brothers and sisters would not go to school hungry. I was the oldest of six siblings, therefore it was my responsibility to help my parents provide for the family.

With our poles in our hands, my father would sit next to me on the edge of the river and tell me amazing stories of riding water buffaloes in the rice fields and shooting birds with his sling shot. I believed my dad could do anything!

We had to start fishing by 4:00 AM, so by 6:00 AM I was famished! Somehow my dad always managed to pull out some dried fish and rice that he had wrapped in a banana leaf for me to eat. When I offered him half, he always muttered that he wasn’t hungry. Deep down, I knew he was sacrificing his food for me.

Not long after this, I was sent to work in Thailand and was separated from my family for more than two decades. However, it was there that I started my own family and found faith in Jesus.

Thirty-three years later, I returned home to Myanmar because I felt called by God to help my people. In the last five years, there have been positive changes in our country and opportunities for business development and agricultural progress. We have been taking small steps forward.

However, in 2021, Myanmar experienced more setbacks. Another military coup destabilized the country and suddenly, I was unsure about what the future held for my three sons.

This Father’s Day, during so much uncertainty, I still have so much to be thankful for: I am thankful that my father is still living, and that I can say to him, “Dad, thank you for sacrificing so much for me.”

Recently, I have been thinking long and hard about being a good father. Is it about having lots of money or sending your child to the best private school? I never had the luxury of graduating from high school, yet now I realize I had something even more valuable—I had a father who loved me.

PRAY

Please pray for peace and freedom in Myanmar, so that families and churches would be able to flourish. To receive the Daily Prayer Guide, go to multiply.net/dpg or to learn more about the Multiply House of Prayer, go to multiply.net/mhop.

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