When Elder Zingmuan first volunteered to serve in remote Mru communities in Bangladesh he knew he would face challenging circumstances. He did not speak the same language. There were no other Christians in the area, and he knew none of the Mru people living there.
“I [left behind] many friends and relatives, worldly wealth, desire and everything which could hinder me from the ministry,” Elder Zingmuan says. “I raised my hand to serve the Mru Community…and I started my journey to explore what is a ministry.”
Despite all these challenges, Elder Zingmuan’s faith helped him see this as an opportunity to be thankful for. He said, “[What is] lost in the world is gain[ed] for eternity.”
The Mru people are a vulnerable minority group in Bangladesh. For many years they faced violent persecution, the effects of which are still felt today. In his first year, Elder Zingmuan and his family travelled to almost every community in the area, getting to know the people and learning their language.
When preachers like Elder Zingmuan learned the Mru language, people could hear the word of God for the first time in their own language! The Mru language is spoken, and a written alphabet wasn’t developed until the 1980s — during the time that Elder Zingmuan was serving there. Bandarban Hills Churches of Christ (BHCOC) started working on Mru songbooks and Bibles, but the ministry was struck by setbacks.
Elder Zingmuan says, “Due to severe famine and political war, I and my wife left the place where we served. The circumstances had compelled us to move away, and that village was moved and all of them were scattered; none of them remain in one place. I could not continue my desire to serve the Lord among the Mru for almost 33 years.”
Once again faced with incredible challenges, Elder Zingmuan thanked God for the opportunity he had. “I took opportunity to reassign the leftover task for the Lord,” he shared.
Translation is a long and difficult process, especially for an emerging written language. Thanks in part to Elder Zingmuan’s hard work, the Bible and songbooks are being published!
When he first came to serve the Mru communities, Elder Zingmuan pushed on despite knowing it would be hard; he is thankful to God for the opportunity. Something he could not have seen coming was the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of our people, and two of the older people have lost their life,” he says. “[But] we received three times relief of medicine and food for the Mru communities [compared to a normal year].”
Elder Zingmuan continues to serve God in the Bandarban Hills even though he faces challenging times. Despite the difficulties, he has worked with faith and thankfulness to God in his heart. The seeds he has planted have started to grow. Now he looks to the future as BHCOC plan further publications and a church building. He is thankful to God for what he sees.
“As I am getting older and older (72 years), my mind and vision are still renewing day by day. I have laid the strong foundation, empowering the leaders who could take my responsibility to promote the ministries.”
We thank God for people like Elder Zingmuan who face challenges with steadfast faith. And he thanks God for supporters like you, who generously give to help people like him build faith communities, despite the difficulty.
When you give to Walk For Hope, you are helping people like Elder Zingmuan face these challenges with hope. You strengthen his work of sharing the good news. You are giving people like him one more thing be thankful for.