Exclusive Interview: Chinese Pastor in Myanmar Says Gospel Detoxification Centers Have Helped Thousands to Get Rid of Drugs, Know Jesus

A gospel-centered detoxification center in Myanmar
A gospel-centered detoxification center in Myanmar (photo: Provided by Pastor Duan)
By Christian LauApril 5th, 2021

On February 1, 2021, the political events in Myanmar caught the world’s attention, causing many people to refocus on the situation of this country.

In the past, Myanmar might have been known only because of the name Golden Triangle. As is known to all, the Golden Triangle is located in the junction of Burma, Laos and Thailand, which has been rich in opium and other drugs for a long time. It is the world’s main drug-producing area, and that is why the Golden Triangle is also famous in the world.

In such a drug-infested environment, many people in Myanmar are exposed to drugs at a very young age, and it may be difficult for them to escape the cycle of drugs throughout their lives. Pastor Duan, a Chinese pastor born and raised in Myanmar, shared that he had more than 30 friends who passed away due to drugs. He himself got into drugs when he was a teenager and even lost hope of survival on the streets in Taiwan.

When he cried out to God: “Is there a true God in the heaven? God, please help me. I want to be a good man”, God sent his angels to help with his detoxification, life and learning, and let him have the opportunity to do an internship in a Gospel Detoxification Center. Then he used the methods he had learned and the Gospel of Christ to help the people of Burma who were suffering from the scourge of drugs.

Now, this pastor has been serving in a Gospel Detoxification Center in Myanmar for 25 years. “There are about 11 Gospel Detoxification Centers run by Chinese in Myanmar,” he shared. “There are thousands of drug addicts who have been baptized and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior in the Gospel Detoxification Centers.”

The following is the Pastor’s own testimony:

My grandfather became a believer when he came to Burma. His parents and him were all deacons in the church. My family members have been Christians for five generations now. I was addicted to drugs when I was a teenager because of the drug abuse in Myanmar. It has been more than 20 years since I came back to Myanmar as a missionary after I went to Taiwan for further education, drug rehabilitation and theology study.

At that time, I suffered a lot in Taiwan. When I was studying and working in Taiwan, I was forced to live on the streets. I even had no job and slept on the roadside. Thank God for giving me the opportunity to change through a pastor who introduced me to the Gospel Detoxification Center. Then I was moved to know that this was the true and living God that my grandfather and my parents believed in. Before that, I worshipped idols, practiced abstinence from meat, practiced Taoism, and did fortune-telling. Everything.

After I was born again and saved, I wept and repented, willing to serve God. I went to a drug rehabilitation center in Thailand for an internship, to learn to serve people who are recovering from drug addiction; I also went to Burma and other churches to witness. In order to better serve, I went to a seminary in Taiwan to improve myself. I was sent to Burma in 1996 and have been serving there for almost 25 years now. My wife is also a preacher. She works in an orphanage. Our workplaces are about 30 kilometers apart.

Since I was born and brought up in Myanmar, I would like to bring the spirit of Gospel Drug Rehabilitation to Myanmar, so that it can be carried forward and help more people in need. Because Myanmar is the second largest drug base in the world, a lot of people take drugs here, and a lot of people also die because of drugs. I alone have more than 30 friends that have died of drugs. I would love to give back to society and help them.

There are about 20 brothers at the Gospel Detoxification Center where I work, and there are about 10 acres of land in a very quiet part of the country. My job is to help people get rid of drugs, get back to life, and use my experience to help drug addicts, and I have helped thousands of drug addicts, one of whom was just baptized the day before yesterday. There are now about 11 Gospel Detoxification Centers in the area run by Chinese.

The Gospel Detoxification Center I’m in is both a training center and a small church, and there are many lecturers who come here to preach. We have two church meetings in the morning. After that, it’s work time. We have Bible reading and recitation in the afternoon, worship and evening prayer in the evening, and Sunday worship and so on.

We help addicts to have a second chance through our faith, confidence and love. We have been there, and we do all these with love in our hearts. These addicts will live here for a year and receive the Gospel physically and spiritually. Now there is a new drug addict having the recurrence of drug addiction, and we are taking care of him in his room. We will massage him, shower him, and take care of him 24 hours a day. In a week or ten days he would be well enough to be moved to the big room to live with other brothers.

The brothers can work in the garden to grow their own vegetables, raise chickens, pigs, ducks, dogs and white rabbits. We sing two thank-you songs before eating in the dining room. We also have a pitcher pump, which is used to generate electricity and pump water.

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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