My second whole day in Yangon started with a memorial service for the father-in-law of one of our hosts, TK. His wife, Susan, a charming accountant, lost his father to a brain tumor that as my sister put it, was already late-stage and late detection.

In that memorial service, I met Susan’s grandfather, 81-year-old Rev. Eric Aung Nye, Senior Pastor of the Good Shepherd Church and Fellowship in Yangon. He is a fifth-generation Pastor whose Christian ancestry dates back to the days of the first missionary to Myanmar, Adoniram Judson,  an American Congregationalist and later Baptist missionary, who served in Burma for almost forty years. One of Adoniram’s first disciple is a direct ancestor of Rev. Eric. It is not everyday that you meet a man with such a heritage. I really feel honored.

Rev. Eric Aung Nye, Sr.

Rev. Eric Aung Nye, Sr. wearing a traditional Myanmar long-yi (pronounced long-gee) which is like a malong wrapped like a skirt. Women have a different version

Rev. Eric does not look 81 for his age. The proof is in the photo that you see here. He is a very humble person. You can really tell that of him. He is very fluent in English and with the word of God. He preached in the memorial service for his son without an outline or notes but his sermon was straight on.

I did not detect any hint of sadness in his words. I know he loves his son, in fact, all his children (he has four). Probably because he knows that his son is in heaven now, enjoying the mansion that Jesus prepared for him.

Rev. Eric giving a benediction at the end of the memorial service.

Rev. Eric giving a benediction at the end of the memorial service.

After the service, we had a meal with him and I asked how he became a Christian. He told that it was not because his father was a Christian that he became a Christian. When he was a 19-years-old, he had a vision of Jesus and it became a turning point in his life. He did not elaborate on the vision but it made him sure that he needs to obey Jesus.

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Sharing a meal with Rev. Eric

After our meal, before we left, we asked for a prayer of blessing. He laid his hands on our heads and he spoke a very simple prayer but it touched me very much. I appreciated that prayer. It was like a father’s prayer for his children.