For the past 18 months the Methodist Missionary Society (Ireland) MMS(I) has been exploring the possibility of the Methodist Church in Ireland (MCI) partnering with the Methodist Church of Upper Myanmar (MCUM). This has involved dialogue and much thinking on how a mutually beneficial relationship can be shaped. How can both the MCUM and the MMCI learn and grow as a result?
The developing partnership between both churches is very much about sharing resources with each other in order to further God’s Kingdom. The resources may be experience, skills, funds or worship.
It is already clear that MCI has much to learn from its brothers and sisters in Myanmar in relation to Methodist identity, zeal for evangelism and commitment to marginalized communities.
The MCI also has blessings to share. In September 2015 MMS(I) transferred £48,000 to MCUM. The grant is being used to:
- fund indigenous missionaries in remote areas,
- provide income-generation projects for poorer churches
- set up pre-school nurseries
- provide relief to those affected by recent flooding and landslides.
The sum also contains a grant from the Irish Methodist World Development & Relief for the Wesley Hospital (formerly Clinic) which was set up in 1987 in a town called Kalay and which has attracted international Methodist volunteers and support over the years.