(Courtesy of Inspired Direct LLC)
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinner, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." (Ps. 1:1-2)
At 11-years-old, Su Su Thtwe knows more about walking in the counsel of the godly than most people her age do. She knows more about it, even, than some adults.
Every night, Su Su sleeps on the dusty concrete floor of a church in Myanmar. Given away by her mother, and then by her sister, she has nowhere else to go. The only things she can call her own are a little pink dress and a school uniform. But Su Su is happy. She delights in being raised in a Christian 'home.'
The youngest of six children, Su Su was born in Kywe Lan Village, Myanmar, a small village of bamboo huts, located 3 ½ hours from the nearest major city, Yangon. Her parents struggled to care for the children and an elderly relative, and when Su Su's father died, her mother gave up.
By then Su Su's older siblings had married and moved on, leaving Su Su alone. Her mother didn't want to deal with her, and asked Su Su's sister, who had two children of her own, to take her in. For almost three years, she lived with her sister in another bamboo hut nearby.
"There was never enough food," Su Su said. "One day my sister and her husband brought me to the church, and they left me without saying goodbye. My sister said people would be kind to me here."
Su Su had been brought to a small Assemblies of God church, also the site of a preschool. It is at that church that World Compassion/Terry Law Ministries is sharing the love of Christ in a country that has been closed to the Gospel for generations.
In 1969, Terry Law felt called by God to bring the Word into countries hostile to the Gospel, and since then, World Compassion/Terry Law Ministries has been working to transform people with the loving touch of Jesus Christ.
The ministry's success has come by doing "whatever it takes" to identify, empower and equip local believers and pastors, not just by meeting spiritual needs, but by meeting physical needs as well.
Over the years, they have distributed 27 million copies (in over 52 languages) of the "Story of Jesus" booklets in countries like Russia, Iraq, and Iran. In Myanmar alone, World Compassion/Terry Law Ministries has distributed 10,194 Bibles and 94,800 copies of the "Story of Jesus."
Since the ministry first began its work in Myanmar in 2005, it has provided a total of 53 tons of rice and last year, fed 5,000 people in a Christmas celebration. Whether it's providing shoes for Iraqis, church planting, or providing food for people in Myanmar, the ministry uses each outreach as a way to build relationships and to introduce the love of Christ.
One of World Compassion's partners is Pastor Tun Baw, a godly man who facilitates a Christian Bible School in Myanmar.
When Cyclone Nargis ravaged the already poverty-stricken country in 2008, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving countless others missing in his area, Pastor Tun Baw opened the church grounds to children whose parents had been washed away, putting a roof over their heads and providing as much help as a small church could. Over the years, other orphaned or abandoned children like Su Su found a place to stay there as well.
Terry Law's son, Jason, the Director of Development of World Compassion/Terry Law Ministries, came upon Pastor Tun Baw while on a ministry trip six years ago and just recently started playing an active role in the lives of these children. Though taking responsibility for orphans was a new outreach for the ministry, Law felt it must be done.
Since the beginning of the ministry's involvement at the church, it has provided the support to pay for the food of 17 children, as well as uniforms, school tuition, and medical care.
"The church has provided godly leadership and teaching to these children," Law said. "In fact, Su Su told me that the workers treat her better than her family did."
During Law's recent visit to the church, Su Su shared her favorite Bible verse: Psalm 1:1-3.
"She talked about how the counsel that she gets here is so refreshing versus the counsel and direction that she used to receive from her mom or her older sister," Law said.
Like many children, Su Su experienced utter rejection from the very people that should have loved her most – her own family.
"But now the church, that pastor who's overseeing our work here in Myanmar has scooped her up, has loved on her, showing her the love of God the Father, and Su Su is now receiving counsel of the Wise," Law continued.
Despite the good work that is happening at the church, the children do not have beds. The only shower on the property is an outside pipe, hidden behind a faded bed sheet. Their only bathroom is nothing more than a hole in the ground.
"But they are loved, they are taught His Word, and they are happy," Law said.
In 2013, World Compassion/Terry Law Ministries hopes to accomplish one very important goal: building an orphanage on the church grounds with a real bathroom, kitchen facilities and bedrooms.
The cost to build a home large enough for 60 children is estimated to be $91,000.
"When I look around at this country that is finally open to the Gospel again, I see hope," Law said. "By helping these children, we are sowing into the future of this next generation."
Su Su is filled with joy unspeakable. When asked, she says she prays for three things. First, she prays for her mother and her sister, as she has forgiven them with all her heart. Second, she prays for wisdom to learn science and to one day become a doctor. And last she prays that the home will be built, and built quickly for her and for all of the other children.