The Elephant-Proof Church
What do you do when the world's largest land mammal loses its temper and goes on a rampage to destroy everything in its path? You pray!
What do you do when the world’s largest land mammal loses its temper and goes on a rampage to destroy everything in its path? You pray!
Recently, people in a village in southern Myanmar found themselves in the middle of an angry elephant attack, so they gathered together and did just that.
This village is the home of a Global Mission pioneer named Aye Aye. He grew up in the village, and for years, he and his family were the only Seventh-day Adventists in the region. As a boy, he longed to go away to school, but his parents didn’t have the money to send him.
“My parents taught me to talk to God about everything,” says Aye Aye, “so I asked Him to help me get an education. I was so grateful when He provided a way for me to study.”
Before Aye Aye left home, he committed his life to Jesus and promised to serve Him when he completed his education.
A Dream Come True
After Aye Aye graduated, he was excited to return to his village where he had dreamed of starting and nurturing a new congregation of believers. He began by visiting people in their homes and holding a children’s Bible study.
It wasn’t long before others in the village were curious about what the children were learning. Aye Aye shared the gospel with them as well, and now most of the villagers have accepted Jesus.
A Dangerous Time
In Myanmar, there are two major seasons: rainy and dry. During the rainy season, villagers plant and harvest crops from morning to night.
Once the dry season hits, the jungle starts to lose its green lusciousness and animals begin to wander closer to the villages to find food. It can be a very dangerous time of year.
One day, an elephant walked into Aye Aye’s village, searching for food. The villagers shouted at the large animal and chased it into the jungle. They had just sat down to eat their evening meal when two angry elephants came tearing into their village.
“These elephants weren’t the least bit afraid of us,” says church member Daw Tin Htay. “I had to run away and climb a tree to hide. I stayed there all night!”
The rest of the villagers ran to the church, where they gathered together to pray. Many of their homes had been destroyed by elephants in the past, but no elephant had ever touched the church. They had faith that God would protect them there.
“The elephants ran all over the village,” says Aye Aye. “They even came right up to the church, but they didn’t try to harm anyone hiding inside it. We knew God was watching over us.”
Now when the villagers share the Advent message with those living nearby, they tell the story of a God who is mightier than the angriest elephant.
Please pray for Aye Aye and his group of new believers as they work to plant more churches in Myanmar.