KNOXVILLE — This week Myanmar Hope Christian Mission founder, Dr. Palal Khongsai visited Johnson University Tennessee.
The story behind MyHope is what connects Palal and his wife Kikim Khongsai to the mission and purpose of the organization.
Palal and Kikim lived under an oppressive military dictatorship in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
Khongsai said he was accustomed to his people being oppressed by poverty, hunger, fear and brutal leaders. He knew that he needed to attain more education to help his people and bring hope to Myanmar.
Palal Khongsai’s distant relative, Dr. T Lunkim, founder and president of Trulock Theological Seminary in Imphal, India, saw Palal’s potential and helped start the process to get Khongsai to America to obtain a doctoral degree.
In December 2006, Dr. Lunkim was speaking to a group of believers at West Side
Church in Springfield, Illinois. While there he moved the hearts of members Chuck and MaryAnn to sponsor Khongsai.
At the time he had a pending scholarship offer from Cincinnati Christian University, but he did not have a sponsor.
Chuck and MaryAnn agreed to help sponsor Khongsai if they could manage to set up the same scholarship at Lincoln Christian University.
“I came here [the U.S.] in 2007 for my studies at Lincoln Christian University and I went back in 2009,” Khongsai said. “I now oversee 20 churches in Myanmar and I also lead educational school for children.”
After several weeks of discussions about the needs of the Myanmar people and Khongsai’s Christian life, it was decided that a new organization was needed. This developed into the beginning stages of Myanmar Hope Christian Mission.
Khongsai said MyHope is committed to bringing the eternal hope of Jesus Christ to the people of Myanmar by addressing their spiritual, physical, educational and emotional needs.
“In Yangon we have 50 children we help by providing food, clothes and we send them to school,” Khongsai said. “Everyday we lead them in prayer and Bible study and teach them life skills.”
In addition to meeting educational needs, MyHope helps to develop the church leaders in Myanmar and also has assisted in building churches.
“For the churches, I teach the pastors and elders how to lead the church, study the Bible and prepare sermons,” he said.”We have built seven churches in Northwest Myanmar and now we are going to build two more churches.”
In 2015 Myanmar experienced a massive flood that resulted in several casualties and placed the people of Myanmar in a tough predicament. During this time MyHope provided food and water to the people.
“The flood destroyed 101 houses in my wife’s village so we provided rice, curry and we also gave them clean water,” Khongsai said.
More recently, Khongsai mentioned the financial relief from International Disaster Emergency Service.
“Recently, on March 17 a fire burned seven houses in Myanmar so we requested funds from IDES to rebuild the houses for the fire victims,” he said. “This summer we will dig 8 wells and those funds will come from IDES as well.”
To learn more about MyHope Christian Mission visit their website here.