Projects and Initiatives
Asia Heartbeat (formerly The Asia Compassion Project) was established in early 2001 to train, assist and equip the Church in Myanmar (Burma) to more effectively develop and implement compassion-based ministries to care for the poor and the needy in their midst. Myanmar is a profoundly impoverished nation which has suffered severely under decades of political repression, economic devastation and religious persecution. As is often the case, the most vulnerable members of society, namely, the children of poverty, present with compelling needs and provide the church with great opportunities for rescue and ongoing assistance. We have therefore undertaken to make it a priority to address this "population at risk", with a special emphasis upon orphaned and abandoned children, a population which is continues to expand for the reasons mentioned above.
We believe that it is God's heart to see this nation and its people redeemed and made whole. Consistent with His word, we believe this will in part be realized as He uses "the foolish things (the lowly and despised things) of the world to shame the wise... the weak things to undo the strong "(1 Corinthians 1:27-28). This project is committed to sowing time, energy and resources into "these least ones" so that they may be strengthened and prepared for the task ahead, namely the effectual advancement of the Gospel into the nation. We are confident that this investment, coupled with persevering prayer, will help to promote significant holistic transformation in this nation filled with such great potential.
An essential mandate of our work is to insure the involvement of nationals at all levels of the ministry. To that end, our staff is largely made up of nationals, with foreign workers serving only in voluntary and consultancy roles. We believe strongly in the concept of "capacity building" with respect to our national staff and therefore make every effort to help them to develop to their fullest potential, both professionally and spiritually.
Statement of Need
During the 10 years of our organization's existence, we have developed relationships with 150 separate orphanages and child-care centers through-out Myanmar. All of the homes that we work with are under Christian oversight and are connected with the local church. We are targeting these homes for several specific reasons. First of all, the clear Biblical mandate to care for the fatherless and the widow is a core value of our organization (James 1:27; Psalm 82:3). Secondly, because these are Christian-affiliated homes, they receive no support from the Myanmar government, thus leaving most of them in states of perpetual economic hardship. We believe that the Body of Christ has a responsibility, and indeed an opportunity, to address this deficit (Gal. 6:10).
In an effort to make our assistance more strategic and purposeful, we perform on-going site evaluations and needs assessments of the homes with whom we work. While it has indeed been heartening to witness the dedication of those individuals who are committed to nurturing and providing for these children, many areas of critical need nonetheless continue to be identified. A consistent finding has been that simple interventions as well as targeted training programs tend to yield significant long-term benefits with respect to the over-all health and welfare of the children. The specific areas of on-going need as well as the necessary interventions form the basis of this proposal.