Edward grew up in Falam – a small village of about 20 houses in the north west of Myanmar. He is the eldest son of a chief man. He went to school in a larger village, about three days walk from home. As a teenager, Edward came to learn about Jesus through missionaries and became the first of his village to become a Christian. Edward moved to Yangon to study the bible at BDS (now Myanmar Institute of Theology). On completing his Bachelor of Theology, he returned to his home as the first of the Falam tribe to hold a Christian Seminary degree. Edward then worked as a bible instructor and went on to be general secretary of the Zomi Baptist Convention and later, the general secretary of the Falam Baptist Association. In 1978, Edward moved with his wife and children to Yangon.
Edwards love for literature and his desire to make Christ known throughout his country led him to translate many works from English into his native tongue. Edward has translated over 400 hymns. He created the first translation of the New Testament in the Falam Chin language. He has since translated many other books into Falam.
The First Mission
In 1984 Edward and a fellow preacher started a mission amongst the Asho Chin people in Magway division – a mountainous area in central Myanmar that had recently opened up after several decades of communist rule. There was a specific need there for general education, and though they were forbidden to mention the name Jesus, they established a small private primary school to provide for the community need. Coming to realise the goodwill being shown to them, the local people eventually allowed them to preach about Christ.
Today, there have been more than 800 people baptized in this area through this ministry, with 5 bible school graduates and a number of trained evangelists. There is now a boarding house in Magway division, caring and providing for children from poor families that cannot afford to house and educate them.
Bible School and Outreach
Realising the importance of training people to share the gospel, Edward also began a small bible school in Yangon where young men and women learn how to read, live and teach the word of God.
Several graduates from the bible school are now working as evangelists and pastors in Yangon and other areas around Myanmar. Ministries were established in Kalemyo, a town in the Chin state nearby Falam, and in a remote area in southern Chin state, where there is no written language but very old cultural traditions.
The Next Generation
Edward’s son Lincoln was called to follow in his father’s footsteps. Lincoln was fortunate enough to be offered an education in the USA at Cincinnati Bible College. His wife Leah and their four children now live in Yangon, where he runs the bible school, and coordinates the other ministries.
Thanks be to God, many ministries are now established throughout Myanmar.
For many years, the minisitries have been chiefly supported by Myanmar Christian Services, an organisation based in the USA. Their support has been invaluable in providing the resources that Edward and Lincoln needed to allow God to carry out His work. This support came to an end in 2004 with the unfortunate passing of their main contributor. Having survived for some time without any regular financial support or income, in mid 2005 some friends from overseas met with Lincoln to talk about providing some support. Consequently, Hope Myanmar Partnership has been established. Our challenge now is to find new supporters for this wonderful ministry program. We trust that God, in his sovereignty and wisdom, has wonderful plans for his kingdom in Myanmar. We look forward to being used by Him.