Ministry & Leadership - Spring 2017 - 26
26 Ministry & Leadership
COURTESY TIAL THANGA
through the sharing
py, happy to be there. RTS was like heaven to me - people were
of the eternal life that
praying for Myanmar and for my community, and my mother and
God gives us as a gift.
others were praying for my desire to fulfill the Lord's call, and by
And even in our small
God's grace that happened."
leadership developTial arrived on campus in 1987, and though he completely
failed his first class, "it made me study harder," he declares. "In
ment, through the
Myanmar we didn't have much of a chance to speak English, so I
church and through
was struggling. But people
around me were very pa"PEOPLE SOMETIMES SAY, 'YOU'RE CRAZY - WHY DID
tient and loving. The Lord
YOU COME BACK TO MYANMAR?'" - TIAL THANGA
put me in the right place."
To demonstrate this, Tial not only received a Master of Divinity
the training center,
degree, but also completed two additional advanced degrees, remany leaders have
come out of that."
turning to Myanmar with his family in 1995.
For Tial, church
That year marked the gathering of the first general assembly of
leadership developthe Reformed Presbyterian Church in Myanmar. Over the past
two decades, in order to develop leaders for the Myanmar church,
ment has also become
Tial and others launched Myanmar Reformed Theological Semia family passion, as
he is one of three RTS
nary and Discipleship Training Center, of which he is the presiWhen not leading church planting efforts
in Myanmar, Tial can sometimes be found
dent. The seminary and training center prepares church planters,
clan. His wife, Laienghelping babysit his grandson.
pastors, missionaries and teachers for their respective ministries,
having sent out about 160 alumni throughout Myanmar.
pui (Annie), received
"The Lord is at work more than we thought He would be," Tial
an RTS certificate
concludes. "He is doing great things in Myanmar. I think people
during their time stateside: "She works alongside me in the trainmore and more understand who God is and how he is able to
ing center," Tial adds. Their daughter, Eden, returned to Jackson
transform the lives of people in Christ. Some people say Myanthree years ago and earned a master's degree, and has returned
to Myanmar to serve in Christian education, orphanage work,
mar is a Buddhist country and that we Christians are in the miEnglish classes and evangelism efforts. Her husband, a Myanmar
nority, and it's hard to work and people don't change. But I have
national, graduated from Bible school in the Philippines, and they
seen God raise up all these people who know the Great Comhave a son together. "When she goes to class, we have a chance to
mission of the Lord Jesus Christ and the authority of His gospel,
babysit for a while," says the proud grandfather. Tial and Annie's
and I think it's changed the lives of people. Many come to Christ