Today I spent time interviewing someone at Tearfund about his recent trip to Myanmar (also known as Burma). The problems here are real mountains, do some googling if you're not familiar with them. Yet in the face of conflict, extreme poverty and persecution I heard about some local pastors who are setting up a project called Eden. Their vision is to make a place of peace between God and man, man and man, and man and the environment. They hope to find local solutions to local problems by training volunteers to get out into the community, asking people for their greatest needs and then coming up with local solutions that can be sustainable for the long term. In a country rich with natural resources the opportunities are there and as a local pastor said 'these people are full of potential but they are stifled and depressed.' Tearfund are giving the initial legs for the project to begin by paying for the training of these first volunteers.
But all this doesn't come easy. These pastors are risking everything, their lives even, for the good of their neighbours, for a future for the place they love. Suddenly the challenges in my life don't seem so big any more. They just look like tiny puddles to be leapt over. And it's so inspiring. Though it may be counter cultural these days to do anything but look after number one how much more would my brief and precious years on earth mean if I took the same attitude as these people? As my interviewee said 'the window of opportunity may be small but we don't give up. We still have hope'. Food for thought indeed.