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Ryan Center conference draws pastor from Myanmar

Kyaw Zin Htwe in Barefoots Joe prior to this weekend's Ryan Center conference. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
Kyaw Zin Htwe in Barefoots Joe prior to this weekend's Ryan Center conference. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

JACKSON, Tenn.April 12, 2013 – Kyaw Zin Htwe sat at a computer in Yangon, Myanmar, looking for a Bible conference to attend.

He discovered this weekend’s conference at Union University – “Read, Pray, Sing: The Psalms as an Entryway to the Scriptures,” hosted by the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies. He knew nothing about Union, but he registered, made the necessary travel plans and arrived in Jackson April 11 to attend the event.

“I think God showed me this conference so I can understand Psalms more,” he said.

A pastor in Yangon, Htwe also runs a broader ministry. He is in the process of translating a book about the Psalms into Burmese, and his ministry is also involved in composing worship songs. The Ryan Center conference seemed like a perfect fit to help him in both projects.

Htwe is no stranger to the United States, as he’s visited several times to teach and preach in Burmese churches. Even on this visit, he has plans to speak at Burmese churches in Michigan, Indiana, New York, Oklahoma and California.

He grew up in a home with a Christian father and a Buddhist mother. Htwe became a Christian after regularly attending church with his dad, hearing the Bible preached and hearing his father’s consistent testimony of how God had worked in his life.

Eventually, his mother and four siblings also became Christians.

“My whole family is now serving the Lord together,” Htwe said.

Ray Van Neste, director of the Ryan Center, said Htwe will be the first person from Myanmar to attend the biennial conference. Htwe contacted him about the conference even before the event was widely announced.

“It wasn’t even easy to find,” Van Neste said.


Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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