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When Everything Goes Wrong

It was over two years ago that God gave us a vision for the Beautiful Butterfly Project, a vision to teach young Buddhist women in Myanmar how to sew. Making marketable goods would not only provide them with a sustainable income, but also provide us with a platform for sharing the Gospel. As we prepared to launch this program in Yangon, we were full of faith.

Then everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

The pandemic forced us, along with so many global workers, to leave the mission field. Then a military coup took place, making a return to Myanmar impossible for the foreseeable future. It was discouraging.

When we were finally able to return to Southeast Asia, we settled in Mae Sot in western Thailand. Bordering Myanmar, Mae Sot had a large population of refugees fleeing military oppression, internal displacement camps, and extreme poverty. Seeing so many young Buddhist women in need of help and hope, we realized that we could bring both by launching the Beautiful Butterfly project in this city. Again, everything went wrong. The national pastor leading us was hospitalized. The shipment of cloth from Canada ended up at the wrong port. Our sewing instructor quit. I wondered; did we even hear from God at all? Then one of the young Myanmar women told us earnestly, “Please don’t give up.” We prayed even more earnestly for the vision that God gave us to reach these young women.
And everything that could go well, did go well.

Within days we met a sewing teacher, fluent in Thai and with great influence in the community. Not only did she introduce us to many Buddhist women eager to learn to sew, but she brought six of them to church! When we began our classes I saw right away how open these women were to the Gospel.

“God created the world,” I told them, “and he created you!” Contemplating this, one girl said, “Then I must be special!” Yes, I told her, you are. In that moment I felt so grateful that we had not given up when everything was going wrong.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised … we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. - Hebrews 10:36, 39

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