Some people minister for tradition’s sake, while others do it out of obligation or to quell religious guilt. Sangneu Sang is not one of those people. Since leaving Myanmar and coming to the U.S., via India, the 23-year-old has immersed himself in the Battle Creek Tabernacle Church where he’s heavily involved in ministering to refugee children.
“Our main goal is to teach kids, at a young age, to believe in Jesus and make our community stronger, so they can be good kids to their families and [dedicate] their knowledge towards God,” said Sang.
It was 2006 when Sang arrived in India; four years later he arrived on U.S. soil with his parents and two siblings. “It was a better place, for both education and better living experience,” he said, recalling his 8,000-mile journey to Kansas City, Missouri. He and his family then moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he completed high school and an associate degree from Kellogg Community College.
In September 2018, he finished a series of bi-weekly youth retreats. While working with the refugee children ranging in age from 8–16, Sang confessed that it tested his ability for communication and ministry at times. “Something I'd like to work on is having more leadership skills. Things sometimes didn't turn out the way we wanted, and we had to talk to our students and get them to understand.”
However, reflecting on the end of every week, Sang happily admitted that his students were able to take away what was most important. “Friday nights we had special music, and when these kids would be talking about what they learned and how they used what we taught them, it put a smile on everyone’s face.”
Sang says in the near future he hopes to attend Grand Valley University to pursue a science-related degree, such as nursing but, in the meantime, he’s faithfully applying his life’s philosophy of accessing heavenly power for help while here on earth. “I know that each day, our Savior, Jesus, is always with us. If we are having difficulty, such as family or friends who give us a challenging time, we know that with God everything is possible. In terms of our faith, it gives us strength for our daily lives.”
Photo credit: KhaiKhai Cin