Roi Nu Maran, pastor at Waiheke Island Baptist Church, is from Myanmar and is Kachin. She calls us to pray for a prominent Baptist leader in Myanmar and the people of her country. 

I had the privilege of meeting with Pastor Samson in 2015 when he visited New Zealand. On behalf of the New Zealand Kachin family, I humbly request that you pray. You will be joining us in prayer not only for Rev. Samson but also to seek and build a peaceful resolution for the citizens of Myanmar. 

Rev. Dr Samsom Hkalam (2nd right in the picture above) is a former Chairman of the Kachin National Consultative Assembly, a platform for the Kachin people of Myanmar to assemble and hold intercommunity dialogue. He is also a former President of the Kachin Baptist Convention in Myanmar and currently holds an advisor role with them. 

Rev. Samson was arrested on December 5, 2022, at Mandalay Airport in Myanmar on his way to Bangkok for hospital treatment for his pneumonia and high blood pressure. While in prison, he does not have access to regular medical treatment and nutritious food, which worsens his health condition. 

Myanmar military charged him with unlawful association and breaking the country’s counterterrorism laws for meeting with the Kachin armed forces and praying with the leaders of Myanmar’s National Unity Government in exile. He was also involved in a Zoom prayer meeting with Kachin Christians, where he called upon the young people to build ‘the nation in Christ’. Because of these charges, he now faces a prison sentence of six years. 

I conclude with the wonderful words of Jeremiah the prophet; ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV). 

More on this story here on the Human Rights Watch website.

Photo: Supplied by the Kachin Baptist Church in Myanmar, via Roi Nu Maran 

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