Category Archives: O-P
Oh Oh arrived in High Point around September 27, 2012. His parents and 2 brothers and 1 sister are still awaiting their UN refugee cards in the Thai border refugee camp. Oh Oh has a Christian heritage with a grandmother who was a believer and their family lived in a village of believers.
In 2006 the family decided they couldn’t stay in their village, it was not safe. The parents were afraid soldiers would return and harm their family as they had done others. So they made the two day trip on foot, to the Thai border. The youngest sibling was just 10 years old. At the border they crossed the river by boat and sought refuge in a camp in 2006.
While Oh Oh was in high school in the refugee camp he was doing poorly in his studies (reading) and he prayed and said Lord if you will help me to graduate from high school I will go to Bible school. The Lord intervened and Oh Oh enrolled in the Karen Baptist Bible School that was inside the refugee camp. He did two years of studies in the school. He has been a blessing to our church helping with the preaching duties. He also has some talent with music. Below is a picture of he and Pastor One Kiss just before Oh Oh preached this morning.
Last weekend Saw Ler Paw, his daughter and I went to Greensboro visit a Karenni family because of concern about their situation. We were delighted to meet the father Phrai I Reh and found that although he has chronic aches in his joints, he does have mobility and is getting about for shopping and ESL training. After our visit with Su Meh (who works with Saw Ler Paw in Rockingham) and Phrai I, we also met several other Karenni families in nearby apartments. When we asked these other families if they were going to church regularly they said not very often.
A few years ago Kay and I planted a thornless blackberry bush in our garden. This year the bush began dying out. However while Peng Len Thakbal and I were working in the garden plot we found a shoot from an existing bush that had leaned over and rooted itself in the soil. We clipped that shoot and Peng Len took it home to start his own bush (Peng Len is now sharing from the abundance of his garden with others).
Now for some scripture: Except a grain fall into the ground and die it will not bear fruit. I have sent you that you might bear much fruit.
Certainly the fruit of salvation is a primary meaning in this passage but there is also another level of meaning that has to do with taking care of new arrivals in our land. When we give of ourselves to others, God will make us stronger. I can testify to this, in my 4 years of working with Burmese arrivals I have found my spiritual life has become stronger.
The other day at Peng Len’s house he spotted a tobacco worm crawling across the lawn and asked me about it. I said it was a kind of caterpillar that could do great damage to his garden. If you squeeze it, it will discharge a stream of juice that looks like tobacco chew.
He told me about a Burmese story in which a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful woman. I in term told about our American story involving kissing a frog.
About a week ago, Lae Lo Thaw’s sister, Poe Sei [Po Say] arrived from a Thailand refugee camp housing Burmese refugees. She is staying in Lae Lo Thaw’s home.
Sunday, Zu Zu took some pictures of the new Karen worship service for me. July Paw has been serving as the keyboardist, a variety of people have sung, prayed, testified and read Scripture. One Kiss is the preacher. Below is a picture of July Paw and even Zu Zu was involved in singing a special number.
Nay Lay and his family arrived in High Point a month or so ago. He is the son-in-law of widow Pywae Mae. Dah Mu Poe is the wife, August Paw is the oldest daughter and Joe Pa Paw is the other daughter.
Toe Reh – father
Nway Meh – mother
Pray Meh – daughter
Naw Shar Ro-daughter
Naw Shar Too-daughter
Taw Reh – son
The naming convention in this culture is to have Reh in the male names and Meh in the female names.
Below is a picture of the father, he is in the middle, looking toward his right. Toe Reh speaks Burmese and Karenni. This was the first ESL class he attended.
The Burmese teaching team at First Wesleyan Church were honored with gifts of Karen (Burmese) clothes from the Pa Klay and Gree family. Here is a picture of the workers posing with the clothes. On the right is Roger Richardson, then Gree, Marcia Jobe and John McMurphy. Roger teaches beginner ESL, Marcia advanced ESL and John teaches a Bible study for English speaking Burmese.
Today is Christmas day, we started with a brunch with my son and his family, then we joined a Burmese Christmas party at the Thakbals where I preached a short message. The day continued with falling snow and a quiet night at home with Kay. Here are some pictures of the Christmas party. The pictures of various Chin families are posed with either Kay and I or along with Pastor Inthava and Pat.
Be sure and click on the pictures link to enjoy all that happened today!
Dr. Thuam Cin Khai ministered in High Point this weekend. He told about the Burmese Bible school he leads in Syracuse, NY. They have already graduated students who are now pastor Burmese congregations in America. You can contact the school via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a jpeg of their brochure. At the bottom of the page is Dr. Khai talking while being translated by Karen pastor One Kiss of High Point, NC.