Buddhism is ingrained in Myanmar’s culture and history, making up approximately 90 percent of the population. Every city or village has a monastery, where Buddhist monks make their home, and shrines or pagodas are highly visible throughout the country. For an outsider looking in, it may seem nearly impossible to find Christians in a Buddhist nation, yet alone any who feel comfortable telling others about their beliefs.
Thang Pau has no such hesitation, however. A second-generation Adventist, Pau has been sharing his faith publicly for nearly 20 years. His great-grandfather was among the first Christian converts in northwestern Myanmar. Sixty years later, Pau’s father converted to Adventism, after learning about the faith from a local pastor who encouraged him to study at an Adventist high school, where he later was baptized.
In a Buddhist nation like Myanmar, finding Adventist radio or television programs is rather difficult, especially in rural villages. One of the few Christian broadcasts available is Voice of Hope Myanmar, an AWR affiliate. Pau grew up listening to VOH Myanmar, as one of the announcers was a family friend. He enjoyed listening to the broadcasts and appreciated the unique programs.
As someone who has always loved music, Pau knew he wanted to use this passion to serve the Lord. When VOH Myanmar was looking for a volunteer who had some expertise in music, he saw this as an opportunity to finally use his talent to work for the Lord. Despite it being an unpaid position, he says, “I was happy to be a volunteer, because I could use my talent for the One who loves me so much and died for me on the cross.” Less than a year after he began volunteering, more funds became available and Pau was hired as the assistant technician; years later, he became the studio director, technician, and web administrator.
Pau worked for VOH Myanmar for 19 years, and throughout that time he saw countless ways in which the radio ministry gave hope to hundreds of people. He describes how VOH Myanmar has even penetrated through prison walls in neighboring Thailand. “Radio,” Pau explains, “has no borders, no limits. It penetrates through cultural differences.”
In addition to sharing his faith while working for VOH Myanmar, Pau decided to use his tech-savvy skills to share the gospel by starting a blog. He adds, “As the world is changing rapidly, we must go in line with the world.” He blogs about health education and VOH Myanmar’s broadcasts, and also writes sermons. According to the World Bank, only one percent of Myanmar’s population uses the Internet, lagging behind neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Even though Internet penetration is low, Pau hopes that “whoever has a chance to see the blog will get something from it.”
Pau recently accepted a new position at Yangon Adventist Seminary, where he is now the computer teacher, technician, and web administrator. Throughout his tenure at VOH Myanmar, his favorite role was being a technician, as it allowed him to use his knowledge in creating and recording music.