Category Archives: M
This past Sunday Melody Hennessee had an article published by the High Point Enterprise that took up the front page of section B. To access it, click on this link and scroll to page 8/9. Those of you who take the Sunday paper, please save us a clipping.
The story is headed “Strong in Spirit” and titled “Teens battle genetic bone disorder”. There are pictures of a couple of our First Wesleyan teens and their story.
In November, Cha Day brought his family and sister-in-law to America. His wife is the sister of Be Aye and his brother, Kyaw Eh Su has been here for about nine months. They live over on Brentwood Street.
Last fall we wrote about Ray Wah and he was featured at Compassionate Performing Arts Concert. Well now we have an update on his family story. Here is a picture of Rah Wah with is brothers and sisters. All the children are in High Point except for an older married brother who is in Australia (Htun Lah Aye). From Left to Right are Esther, Ray Wah, Naw Mu Pluo, Ma Nay Htun, and Cal Lay Ve. Rah Wah and Ma Nay Htun have been in the states for almost two years so they are helping to get the new arrival settled in. Naw Mu Pluo’s brother-in-law has been in the states for almost a year. His name is Kyaw Eh Su.
Last evening my friend Eh Le Say called to tell me he and his wife were at the hospital awaiting the arrival of their new daughter. At about 6:30 PM Sweedy Say arrived. Mother and child are healthy and safe. About a year ago Eh Le Say and his wife moved her widow sister and nephews from Austin, Texas in order to take care of them. Now in the midst of this kindness God has blessed Eh Le Say and Mu Nai with their new daughter. Follow the links to learn more about this High Point First Wesleyan family.
Ray Wah began a journey of exile when he was nine years old (June, 1984). His parents moved the family from their home state of Karen, Burma because the military dictator of the country “beat the Karen people and fought them constantly”. Ray Wah lived in the Mae La Camp on the Thailand border for 25 years. Paw Mu Paw, Ray Wah’s wife lived in the refugee camp for 10 years. They met and were married and gave birth to a son and two daughters at the camp. Their names are Sah K’lay, Bu Gay, and Byaw Ku Paw.
In 1994 under the ministry of Dr. Simon their pastor and also a refugee, Ray Wah gave his heart to the Lord and became a believer. Ray Wah worked in the refugee camp hospital as a Level III supervisor. When they left the camp in 2007 there were over 9,000 people at the Mae La Camp (one of 9 large refugee camps in Thailand). Ray Wah said that for a family their size they received 51 kilos of rice a month. They could obtain some beans, cooking oil, chile peppers and salt. They did not get any meat.
On June 23, 2007 Ray Wah and his wife were placed by World Relief in High Point, NC. He and his wife have worked hard on the enculturation process, they can understand and communicate in English, have moved into a rental home and Ray Wah has a steady job at the Providence Place nursing home in High Point. On May 23, 2008, Paw Mu Paw gave birth to another son, David. About three months ago they joined First Wesleyan Church as some of our earliest Burmese church members. Ray Wah is 36 years old and his wife is 31.
Ray Wah’s mother died in 1989 and his father died last year while they were still in the Mae Lae camp. Ray Wah has an older brother, Htun Lah Aye, and family that are settled in Australia. Ray Wah’s sister, Ma Nay Htun, lives in High Point with her family. Ray Wah has a brother named Cal Lay Ve (age 28) still in the Mae La camp with a wife and children. He has a married sister, Naw Mu Pluo who has two children in the camp and Ray Wah has a young sister, Esther (14 years) also in the camp. Ray Wah is hoping to see the rest of his family make it to North Carolina real soon.
Here is a 2009 movie about Rah Wah.
Here is 2010 update about Rah Wah’s family.
We had a flurry of new arrivals to High Point in July. One of the new families is that of Saw Bway Bo. They have been to church every Sunday since arriving. Here are the names and ages to line up with this picture. “Saw” in S’gaw Karen is a title similar to “Mister”.
Bway Bo (father)
Se Cri Mu (wife)
Bew Doe Say (son, 17 not pic)
Sa Be (dau, 15)
Se Eh Wah (dau, 12)
An Toe (son, 9)
Mu Do Htoo (son, 6)
Gay Do (son, 3)
Every time I visit Eh Le Say’s house I am amazed by the abundant variety of shrubs and fruit in their yard. Yesterday when I stopped by, Eh Le Say and I tasted figs and pears from trees in his yard. They had never tasted either, and Mu Nai decided she liked pears. At some time in the past, a home owner had also planted a variety of flowering trees and did extensive gardening. Eh Le Say, his wife, his son William, his sister-in-law and two nephews are becoming established in their new life in America.
The sister-in-law, Than Hla, has a steady job at Purdue Farms. Her oldest son, Naing Soe will start middle school this next year. Her youngest son, Sa Nay Maung Maung is becoming a avid Nintendo player.
Eh Le Say took the family on a beach trip a few weeks ago. He also just recently got a computer and is actually in regular communication with the brother of his wife, Mu Nai and Than Hla. What’s amazing is this communcation is by web cam over the internet and the brother-in-law is still in the refugee camp in Thailand.
A couple of weeks ago Mu Mu arrived in America. She is the sister of Lah Nay Paw. Since she has moved in with that family Klo Say has moved the whole family to a neighboring larger apartment. We count it a privilege to have you as a part of First Wesleyan Church and an attendee of the ESL class.
This week I met Alen Makitan. He is a student at Chapel Hill and is serving this summer as an intern at World Relief in High Point. Alen said that when he interviewed with Mark at World Relief he told Mark that he was originally from Bosnia and arrived with his family as a small child.
Alen had to go back to his mother to find out how he got to America. She told him that they came through World Relief of High Point about 16 years ago. Now Alen a Bosnian refugee is helping to resettle Burmese refugees. Thank you Alen for being willing to serve.
I have and will be sharing this story with the parents of young children arriving these days from Burma. In 15-20 years we will see many fine young people contributing to America, a country of emigrees!
I met Sang Sawm Saturday. He is a Chin man who has been in the U.S. about two years. His wife, Nan Lian Khup’s sister, arrived about 3 months ago. The couple have been making sushi in Memphis and Charleston, SC. Saturday he bought a ticket to L.A. (Los Angeles) where he will be trained by a Burmese man about how to open his own sushi business. After this week he and his wife will move to the high mountains of New Mexico (Santa Fe) to open two sushi shops.
There are others in our church family who are involved in sushi enterprises. Zar Ni and his wife have been in America 5 years. They have two sushi contracts in the Triad area and are doing so well that Zar Ni recently quit his supervisory position at Mannington Flooring, to work full time with his wife in their sushi business.
A couple of months ago, Maung Maung Oo and Wai Lu Do (pictured below) moved to Columbia, SC to work with sushi. Saya Kapu has a flourishing Sushi business in Greensboro, and Muh Gaw Htoo works with Sushi in Wilmington, NC. Biak also mention some Chin friends that were working with sushi near Hartford, CT. The spirit of the entrepreneur is once again evident in the recent arrivals on our shore. Their hard work and earnest desire to make it are paying off as they make sushi.
Zar Ni tells me that close to 80% of the Sushi consumed in America is made buy Burmese. But evidently a man of Japanese descent owns a large company (AFC) that offers franchises to those who want to start a sushi business in their city.
On June 10, we had a new arrival to our town, no it was not a refugee, it was Dr. Rob Brown our new Wesleyan Christian Academy Head of School. Dr. Brown moved here from Bear, Delaware where he had been serving at a large Christian school. A group of Burmese volunteers joined me as we assisted him on move-in day with cleaning and arranging his home for his family.
Exciting things are happening among the Burmese folks who attend First Wesleyan Church of High Point. Sang Awi, La Zwang and Sai Pu have begun working the night shift at the Rockingham chicken packing plant. Eh K’lu along with my Laos neighbor, Kit are working on their GED’s at Guilford Technical Community College. Several of our couples are expecting babies: Biak and Ap Ar; Kyeh Leh [Chay Lay] and Ku Ku; Eh Le Say and Mu Nai. Nyein and Sharon are house shopping, learning all the ins and outs of making this important decision.
Aung Mo and Eh K’lu are now licensed drivers with their own cars. Two Christian Burmese cell groups are meeting each Saturday night. Thah Way who broke his leg a few weeks ago has had both his long time deformed legs straightened and was sent home in two leg casts from Baptist hospital.
I believe God is anointing a people among our Burmese to not only adjust to life together but to become a strong witness of God’s love and provision for all people. Pray for the Burmese of High Point and the world.
My big riding lawn mower went into the shop last week for much needed service and repair. Since it will take them three weeks to get to my machine, yesterday we had a lawn mowing party. I bought a used mower in Asheboro in the morning, recruited Van Zel, borrowed Peng Len’s mower and picked up Savy and Eh K’lu along with their mower to get after our acre of lawn. Well in 1 and 1/2 hour with 3 lawn mowers and a weed eater we knocked out the job.
Subsequently Savy and I took three yard machines over to Eh Le Say’s and joined by him we got after his lawn. Eh Le Say’s nephew, Naing Soe even got to begin learning how to use the line trimmer. Pictured above are Mu Nai, her husband Eh Le Say holding their son William Say, SayNay Maung Maung, Naing Soe with their mother Than Hla on the right.
As I write this post Tha Way is spending the night in the hospital. This young man is 14 years old and has never walked. He went to the emergency room today for a broken femur. When they X-rayed him they found that he also had had 2-3 recent fractures in the last few weeks. The Baptist Hospital staff is going to splint his femur but also evaluate his case to see what else needs to be done. Please pray for him and his mother Ma Aye Kye.
This family arrived in the United States about a year ago. When they arrived, we found the brave mother, Ma Aye Kye had fled her homeland years earlier at the death of her husband. It is our understanding she witnessed her spouse being shot by the junta military. She has three children, two with brittle bones disease. They lived in a rural area of Burma and never had medical treatment to reset fractures the children received over the years. Consequently the children live with a high threshhold for pain and have adapted to their multiple contusions.