Breaking Chains


Our school Director messaged twice. Once was on a Saturday morning when Victory Bible Academy students were playing in a new soccer tournament for teams on the Burmese border.

Another team had cursed, tripped, and hit our students during the game. Behind their actions was ethnic hostility. This is a symptom of the decades-long war where the Burmese military persecutes Christian Karen.

But our students focused on the game and played harder. One referee noticed and said, “You really represent Jesus.”  At the end of the day, Victory was voted the “Most Christ-Like Team” by the other teams!

We can truly say that their success is because of your support. Your prayers and gifts empower Victory Bible Academy to train persecuted Christians to be lights for Christ.

How does it work? How does a vision for helping the persecuted to overcome obstacles and live out their faith become reality?

It requires tackling the messy realities of life in this world, including ethnic strife.

Cha Cha is one example.

“I was born in Burma and was Buddhist,” Cha Cha said. “The fighting and hate made life terrible for everyone.” Her family left Burma when she was a child. “We heard about Jesus when we arrived in Thailand,” she said. They became believers.

“I wanted to serve God, so I chose to study at Victory Bible Academy.”

But there was one problem that made her anxious.

Cha Cha is Burman, the majority ethnic group in Burma. Most of the staff and students at Victory are ethnic Karen.

For over 70 years, the military government, which is led by Buddhist Burmans, has committed atrocities against minority tribes, including the Christian Karen people.

The violent conflict has sewn fear and mistrust into Burmans and Karen.

Cha Cha believed that “after years of battles, the Karen people only know hate for the Burmese.” Her view of them was that “they believe in a God of peace, but they seek war.”

But then she came to Victory. “I never felt hated at Victory,” she said. And something else transformed her views.

Each week students do outreaches. They fix homes and build churches, weed gardens, pray with people, and tell them about Jesus. Their final exam is a week-long mission trip in remote areas.

Cha Cha realized that they help everyone, not only the Karen, as they live what they learn. “The teachers remind students all the time that Jesus died for all,” she said.

She was not the only one whose views changed. Karen students also transformed as they broke down barriers – and broke the chains of fear and anger against people from ethnic groups who had mistreated them.

“I saw the Karen students have peace, and I have seen them grow,” she said.

Tragically, there is no end in sight for the conflict in Burma. So, students at Victory are learning the way to respond to hatred and persecution is by living the teachings of Jesus.

Cha Cha now teaches at Victory Bible Academy. Through teachers like her and with your support, God is transforming lives.

Then came our Director’s second message: Burma (aka Myanmar) announced it will forcibly conscript men and women to fight in its military. Christians and others – from all tribes – may be forced to fight and kill their people, even their own families.

Dozens of young men and women are applying now to attend Victory in June. Frankly, with Burma’s forced conscription, it is critical that we accept as many students as possible. This may require more beds, more food, even building an additional room.

But our graduates face a terrible dilemma. They leave in April – and then they may face being forced to fight in Burma’s military.

We just found a way to help our graduates from being forcibly conscripted. This legitimate path costs about $425 for each graduate.

Right now, our students are facing immense pressure. Would you pray for:

  • Protection from Burma’s attacks and from being forced to fight in its military.
  • Peace and healing. Students come to Victory with wounds from the war. Bullets and bombs leave visible scars. Trauma leaves emotional and spiritual scars.
  • Our students come from refugee camps and poor villages and have no way to pay for the life-changing training they get at Victory. For each student it is about $229 month, or $2,748 a year, to provide training, food, housing, and clothes.

Our students earned the “Most Christ-Like Team” by learning to overcome persecution. Now more young Christians want to be trained – and need to be rescued from Burma’s forced conscription.

Will you generously help them?