With more than 722,000 followers on Facebook alone, CHRISTINA MARY AUNG is a household name in Myanmar who shot to fame through her time on The X Factor Myanmar. Having embarked on the journey to become a full-time worship leader, we caught up with the bubbly 26-year-old between her modules at Tung Ling Bible School for her story and reflections on provision and wholehearted worship.
What led you to begin serving in full-time ministry?
My dream has always been to be a singer because I love to sing.
I have been a singer for four to five years, I’ve released albums and worked hard to try and be famous.
But after God called and convicted me, I didn’t want to entertain people anymore.
Instead, I wanted to sing for God only.
All of my perspectives and focuses became centred around God, and I made up my mind to be in full-time ministry.
Still, though God had called me to serve in full-time ministry, I was stubborn at first. I didn’t want to say yes.
In Myanmar, most of the pastors are poor, and I didn’t want to experience that.
Compared to that, making money as a singer is easy.
Simply going for one show and singing two to three songs lets me earn a lot of money — and I didn’t want to lose that.
When I was growing up, my family always fought over money. This gave me a mindset of needing to earn a lot of money so that I didn’t have to fight over it too. It became my life’s desire.
So I kept asking God, “If I quit this job, who will provide for me?”
Thus it was really difficult to enter full-time ministry because we don’t get an exact salary every month.
But God spoke to me several times through visions to call me to enter full-time ministry.
And He has been showing me that He will provide for me, so now I am ready to enter full-time ministry.
How did God change your heart to trust that He will provide?
Before leaving Myanmar for Singapore, I was given some allowance. When I first arrived here, I had nothing so I spent a part of it on necessities.
At that time, I needed to register at the ROM (Registry of Marriages) for my marriage which costs $380 for foreigners.
So on that Saturday, I was left with $20 for my living expenses. However, that coming Monday, we had to give $20 to Tung Ling Bible School.
So over that weekend, I kept praying to God: “Okay Lord, even if I don’t have money, I will still keep holding Your hand.
“I’m not going to beg anyone for money, neither do I want anyone to know that I’m out of money. I’ll keep waiting for You.”
So I continued to hope and on that Sunday, I led worship as usual.
After service, someone came to me and gave me a small sum of money, saying that God spoke to them and told them to give me money. Hallelujah!
I remembered then, that my friend had needed money on Friday. So I decided to give her a portion of the money I had received, and was left with $10.
So I held onto it, and continued to pray: “Lord, only this amount is left, but I have enough. This is enough for me. I will still count my blessings.”
To cut a long story short, I have found that God has always provided me with neither too much nor too little.
Indeed, I was able to pay for my wedding expenses that cost over a thousand dollars and also get through every day.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve experienced such providence.
Most of my life, I had been the one earning my own money, which I used and kept for myself. I took pride in not needing to ask for money from my parents.
So this was a miracle from God.
In your faith and ministry, what brings you the most joy?
Worship. Despite all my struggles, I never stopped worshipping God or leading worship in church.
Worship is the only time I experience peace and relief — it’s my resting place.
The aim is not to be worship leaders, but to be worshippers. I believe that should be the goal as God grows me to be a true worshipper, to worship Him no matter my circumstances.
When I first encountered God, it was through worship.
At that time, my Christian cousin invited me over to her house. I love to sing, so we opened the hymn book and just sang together. We didn’t have music. There was no guitar, no musicians, no stage.
We just opened the hymn book and sang — and I fell in love with it.
The next morning, I asked to worship with my cousin again. My soul hungered for it, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t even know it was worship, I just thought it was singing.
But from that moment, my life changed. I know that God chose me to be a worship leader ever since that day.
How do you view worship?
Worship is making yourself a living sacrifice.
I made myself a living sacrifice to God. Everything I do and say, even when I serve — everything is worship.
Even when I sweep and mop the floor, I just tell God, “I love You. Because I love You, I do this for You, not for people.”
The Bible says: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Many Christians think worship is just singing songs, and some worship leaders seem to just be singing a song when they lead worship.
But people have told me that when I lead worship, they can feel that I sing from within my heart.
Maybe this is because I always want every word that I sing to be a good fragrance to God.
You must first be a living sacrifice to God, then your worship posture will follow — and it will be pleasing to God.
Where is God leading you next?
I feel really scared. It’s quite difficult for me, because I don’t like new things.
At Tung Ling, Pastor James prophesied that God would send me to a place where no one wants to go and plant a church.
Honestly, I don’t want to go. But I’ll try to say: “Yes, and Amen.” It’s a big struggle, so I’m still preparing my heart.
Ultimately, I know that wherever God says I should go, I will obey whether I like it or not. This is because all of my life belongs to Him.
It is human nature to love to remain at comfortable places.
Even though I want to serve God passionately, I find I still try to remain in my comfort zone.
But God is breaking that in me, so I’m telling Him: “Send me wherever You want to.
“Whatever You want to do, I will be ready.”
If you could speak to your younger self, what would you say to her?
I would say: “Just look up.”
When I was in the midst of my struggles, I didn’t have enough faith to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
It took me until now, at 26, to be strengthened in my faith and decide to give my 100% to Him.
If I had looked up to God for every struggle I went through… it would have been easier to go through all of it.
What is something you want to say to those struggling in their faith now?
I want to share two things. The first is, God is enough. What He did on the cross to pay for our sins, is enough for us. Jesus Christ is enough for us.
The second is the Bible verse, Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
If we don’t taste, we’ll never know that God is good.
It is in the midst of difficulties and struggles, that we can clearly see His hands and provision that pull us up and out of our struggles.
- What can you learn from Christina’s posture of surrender and worship?
- How can you apply that in your daily life?
- What is your calling? Consider your talents and gifts, and take time to ask the Lord what you’ve been called to.