How Myanmar Stole A piece of my heart

Dave and I made it through our first three months in Myanmar! I can hardly believe it. I really shouldn't say we just made it because during those three months God has blessed us abundantly in the Golden Land of Myanmar. We are now in Thailand but the last week or so I have really started reflecting on my time in Myanmar and the tremendous impact that place is having on my life. 

When I first arrived in Myanmar I had some serious culture shock. It was dirty, moldy, the traffic was crazy, the markets were grimy, the buildings were packed so close together, I couldn't speak their language and I was just honestly overwhelmed by it all. It took a few weeks for the extreme shock to wear off, but it did, and things became familiar and somewhat normal. 

Even though life felt a bit routinish here I still was a bit dumbfounded when people would tell me that Myanmar held a charm that would grow on me. I never could figure out how this dirty place had charm. There was also a missionary here who traveled outside of Myanmar and when he arrived back here I heard him say: "It is so good to be home!" My internal thought was "How in the world can you call this place home?"

But then something started to change inside of me. Slowly but surely my eyes were opened to all those things I had heard about.

I had some of the teachers over for a Valentine's Day party and one of the them asked me what my favorite thing about Myanmar was. I initially told her I loved the fresh fruit and flowers (because I really do!) but then for the next few days I really pondered about that question. What was it that I really loved about this country?

Over the last three months Dave and I have been doing a lot of things - sight seeing, giving physicals at the medical clinic, teaching Bible classes, interacting with kids on the playground, purchasing produce from the locals, seeing art galleries, seeing someone paint a picture in the market and so much more. All these things have one thing in common - people!

It's the people here that have won me over! You just can't help but love them. How they are rising above their circumstances, how they work so hard but yet show such graciousness and how they have welcomed Dave and I into their country with open arms has all won us over.

Now that I think about it every place I have lived or spent time in, it has always been the people that have left lasting impressions.  

The great thing about this is that people are everywhere! Every place I live and every place you live God places people in our lives to build community. He gives us people to encourage and love and gives people to encourage and love us.  

Are the markets here still dirty? Yep! Do I have my hard days where I just want to tell someone how ridiculous the way things run in Myanmar are? Sure do! But I do know that at the end of the day I am blessed. I'm blessed with community and I hope you are too! 

What is community like for you where you live? 
Are you being intentional right where you are? 
What do you love the most about the people and culture around you?


  1. Joy, thanks for the kind words! I believe God can use anyone, anywhere! Even a corner office. God did really neat things in my life when I lived in Oklahoma when I didn't know anyone. I really believe He puts us at the right place at the right time for a perfect purpose. Sometimes it is easier to see than others but He is still always working.

  2. How special!!!! I love how the Lord is using you to expand His kingdom! I love how quickly you have adjusted too! God is so faithful!

  3. Thanks!

    The adjustment felt like a long time when I was going through it but looking back a few weeks is not that long. It is funny how our emotions make things feel like forever.

  4. I have such respect and love for the people of the countries I've been privileged to live in--I agree completely with you that they are what make life without many modern conveniences a very desirable life, indeed. I wouldn't trade where I am for anything.

  5. I think you described it perfectly! I'm glad you are living in a place where you feel the same way.