35 Years 35 Stories
I was born 3 times.
The first time was in 1984 in Myanmar when I was born as a human baby from my mother’s womb. I grew up understanding life as a war where the big eats the small, the rich ‘eat’ the poor, and the winners ‘eat’ the losers because that was what I saw daily in my community and country. I was taught to be strong unto death, which was believed to be the end of everything.
By the grace of God, I was born again at the age of 17. Through the sharing of my village pastor, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Then I knew that my life won’t end at death. When my flesh decays, my spirit will return to the Kingdom of God where there is no oppression. I was determined to bring this good news to the people who were marginalized and discriminated in society.
Soon after I graduated from a Christian College, a sudden change in my life landed me in a disheartened situation in Malaysia. Malaysia is high-tech, beautiful and prosperous. But, I was an unwelcome stranger. It was a heartbreaking experience until I discovered God’s purpose in the suffering.
God orchestrated for me to meet with His people from Malaysian Care. Because of my limited English then, I couldn’t articulate my situation in which worries, anxieties, fears and grief resided. However, they could read my eyes and the wrinkles on my face. They welcomed me, clothed me and fed me. They invited me to their table and into their lives. They treated me with respect and dignity, in a manner that Jesus taught them.
They don’t just sit back and watch injustice. They have a passion for justice and concern for people who are living with so little. They care about the social well-being of a person. They made me realize that Jesus is an advocate for the oppressed, for those who are denied life, food, shelter or education. They taught me about living a life of compassion and conviction. They showed me that Jesus wants me to do the same.
Now I am born again for social justice. I strongly believe that nothing can mute the voice of my heart that echoes the voice of Malaysian Care. Be blessed and all glory be to God!
Naing Shin came to Malaysia in 2009 as a refugee fleeing the oppression in Myanmar. He was instrumental in the set-up of Dawn Youth Centre, Malaysian Care’s first refugee youth centre and was its leader until he resettled with his family in Canada in 2013. We are privileged to have journeyed with him and the Dai Community. We wish Naing Shin, Mary (wife) and Gloria (daughter), God’s richest blessings in the country they can now call their own. May the voice of social justice continue to ring from you, our dear friend!