An interview with a pioneer missionary


Recently, Alpha Relief had the opportunity to sit down with several frontline undercover missionaries in our network. One young man, who we'll call "Joshua" to protect his identity, shared about his journey from an animist, opium-farming background, to faith in Christ and his passion to reach his village with the gospel.


Alpha Relief: Joshua, let's begin by learning your story. Where did you grow up?

Joshua: I am from a Lishu tribe in Shan State, Myanmar. My family was animist. About 98% of my people worship these idols, and nature. We were migrant farmers, moving around to grow opium.


AR: Is opium poppy a common crop?

Shan State

Shan State

Joshua: After Afghanistan, Shan State is the largest producer of opium in the world. It is a very mountainous region, with the right climate. Also, it is close to China, Thailand, and Laos which makes distribution very easy.


AR: How did you come to faith in Christ?

Joshua: Though my family was animist, I was sent to a Catholic boarding school for my education. There, I learned some about the Bible and Christ, but afterward I rejoined my family. Then, when I was 18 a missionary came to our village and shared the gospel. I became a Christian.


AR: You then attended the missionary training school which Alpha Relief supports.

Joshua's Bible college classroom

Joshua's Bible college classroom

Joshua: Yes. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. But I prayed about what God's plan for my life was, and I realized I needed to teach my own people about Christ. So I attended the training school for four years, and then went back to my village to share the gospel.


AR: How is that going?

Joshua: It is difficult but also very rewarding. Most rewarding is when we have Christmas outreaches, because people are open and curious. Also, I love when people invite me into their homes and I'm able to share with them about Jesus. There are 74 families in my village, and now 15 have become Christian.


AR: What are the challenges?

Joshua: We need some extra funds to buy Bibles and gospel tracts and cover ministry expenses. I raise a few pigs and plant some crops to help cover my expenses. Also, there are many medical needs in the village because there is no hospital or doctor. Many people are very open to Christ when we can provide them medical care.


AR: Thank you, Joshua, for sharing about your passion and calling.

Joshua: Thank you to all the generous Alpha Relief supporters who enable me to preach the gospel!

Indigenous pioneer missionaries like Joshua live and work on only $70 per month. They do what they can to make ends meet, often making personal sacrifices to reach the lost around them. Click donate to support undercover missionaries and Bible distribution at the front lines of the gospel.