Category Archives: Kachin
At our First Wesleyan Church in High Point, NC We currently have the following Burmese people groups:
Karenni (Kayah): http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/print.php?rog3=BM&peo3=12587
Pwo Karen (eastern): http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/peoples.php?peo3=15395
The Chin Fellowship group of First Wesleyan Church enjoyed a weekend of preaching and teaching that ended with their Sunday afternoon worship time. Naw Jar drove down from Rockville, Maryland and ministered the Word. Naw Jar is a Kachin man who serves with Pastor Moses at the church Frosentina and Rosen attend. It was good to have Naw Jar here.
This weekend Es Lu Lu was in High Point for a visit. She first arrived here about 4 years ago.
It was so good to see her because she is never far from our hearts in prayer and concern. She is a single Kachin lady that used to be a backpacking missionary to the Buddhist women in her country. About 6 months after she got here she began to work with sushi. First she was in a Kroger’s in Raleigh, under training by a friend from Virginia. Then she was in Bridgeton, CT. The sushi business is volatile, workers are always moving to find the right fit for them to make and sell sushi. Next Es Lu Lu was in Rock Hill, SC and now she is in Manchester, NH working out of a Fresh Market. Pray for the success of her sushi venture in New England. Pray that she might find a community of believers that love Jesus, for Christian fellowship, especially as she has to move so often. Here is her picture today. Es Lu Lu God bless you!!
Story of Knaw Bawk
Knaw Bawk [Nah Baw] grew up in a Christian home. His mother and father were believers in Jesus. His father was a Burmese soldier. His home in the Kachin province has a strong Christian presence, at one time that province was 100% Christian. This is now problematic with a junta dictatorship whose stated purpose is to have one language, one country and one religion, Buddhism.
Knaw Bawk attended elementary and high school in Myitkyina his home town (marked with an “A” on the map). During his early years, his family feared for the safety of his older sister so she sought refuge at the Australian embassy and relocated there almost 26 years ago. Knaw Bawk attended college after high school completing four years while still living in the Kachin state.
During his young years Knaw Bawk began music lessons and learned to play the piano and violin. As a young man he and his friends played music for different local and regional events and activities. Even though Knaw Bawk was young in his Christian faith, he took a stand that led flight from Myanmar. It seems their village had completed the construction of a new Buddhist temple. A village leader came to him and asked him to play the violin for a folk festival that included a dedication ceremony of the temple. Knaw Bawk refused on religious grounds. The leader came to him a second and third time. The third time she said she could no longer assure his safety. With such a not-so-veiled threat Knaw Bawk knew he had to leave.
So in 2004 he traveled with a Kachin businessman south, to the Chin province of Burma and then west to the India border trading town, called Tia. After a couple of months, he moved to New Delhi, India where he began an 8 year exile. While in New Delhi he became active in the “All Kachin Student and Youth Union”. He took a job as a journalist working with the Mizzima news organization (www.mizzima.com). He translated stories from English into Burmese for ex-patriot Burmese who lived in India and elsewhere.
Meanwhile back in Myanmar, Knaw Bawk’s mother and younger brother had to also flee the Kachin province. They were accepted as refugees in Japan. While his aging father and younger sister were able to remain in Myitkyina. At this time this sister is in a refugee camp on the border of Kachin and China and the father is at home.
A bright joy came into Knaw Bawk’s life when he met Roi Ji for the first time in 2003 in New Delhi, India. They began dating, about the same time Knaw Bawk sensed a call to ministry. He began pastoring, while still working as a journalist, and started Bible College. He graduated in 2007 and the family (for now they had a son) received news that they had been accepted as refugees to the United States.
When Knaw Bawk’s family first came to the U.S. they were settled in New York City. They stayed there 3 weeks and with the encouragement of High Point friends relocated to the Triad. They said they like High Point, the climate and atmosphere is closer to their home state and this is where they want to be. Knaw Bawk is now the preacher of our Burmese language service, he is 36 years old and works at a local factory. Their son, Samuel attends the Stanley preschool on Brentwood and Roi Ji works at High Point University.
Story of Roi Ji.
Roi Ji [Reggie] left the Kachin state of Myanmar at age 26. She has two brothers and two sisters. She grew up in Burma, received her elementary, high school and college education before fleeing the country.
After college Roi Ji got a job with World Concern (NGO). The task of her team was to educate villagers regarding HIV. They would travel to different towns and talk about the prevention of this disease. During such discussions they would encourage women to oppose sexual harassment, promiscuity and teach them to avoid rape where they could be endangered with HIV.
One village they visited had a large military base nearby. The commandant of the village built a local bar complete with music videos, free-flowing liquor and beautiful women. While visiting that village Roi Ji spoke out against the sexual harassment and even rape associated with this bar. The next day the NGO team moved on to another village with their training sessions, but the villagers burned the bar to the ground.
Government military investigators went to Roi Ji’s home and to her World Concern leaders making inquiries about her. Her supervisor at World Concern said, we are non-partisan, we can’t help you, you need to leave. Roi Ji had to flee her home country. She traveled through Tia to New Delhi to start life as a exile from Burma.
While in New Delhi she took a position as the leader of the “Burmese Women of New Delhi”. Then she met Knaw Bawk and their story continues together.
I invite you to meet this highly educated couple, they understand English at 90-95%, Knaw Bawk has a lot of insight and wisdom and Roi Ji’s British accent is delightful.
Yesterday there was a birthday party in the Burmese fashion celebrating one year for Plan Seng Ing Tang Bau. Community families were invited, food was prepared, singing was heard (click here to enjoy part of one song) and the Bible was preached. Congratulations are in order for La Zawng and Mun Ra Marip and their daughter, a Kachin family in High Point.
One of the prayer burdens of our local Burmese people is for the Burmese Kachin state in the Himalayan region. The Burmese military is driving citizens from their home and some are fleeing to the Chinese border. People are leaving because of religious persecution, rape, enslavement and other duress. But this is a problem for some 30,000 refugees, China is a friend of the oppressive government and they are telling these folks to go back home. They won’t provide refuge.
But Australians, Europeans, Japanese and Americans have said, yes we will provide refugee, come to our cities and towns, like High Point and we will help you to get a new start.
My Kachin neighbors ask for your prayers for their people. There has been a recent uptick in violence in this once totally Christian provice of Burma. Here are some links for you to review:
Yesterday I was visiting with my Kachin friends Knaw Bawk and RoiJi [Reggie]. They arrived in America less than a year ago. They came by way of New Delhi from the Kachin province of Burma. Knaw Bawk is a Bible college graduate. Knaw Bawk and his wife read and speak English. Knaw Bawk plays the violin and helps with the preaching in the Burmese language service.
They mentioned to me the missionary who gave the Kachin people, their alphabet and Bible. His name was Dr. Ola Hanson. Dr. Hanson was an American Baptist missionary assigned to the Kachin province about 100 years ago. He was born in Sweden and then his family immigrated to the US settling in Oakland, Nebraska. He received his training at what is now Bethel Seminary (Minnesota).
He wrote a book about the Kachin people which is available in electronic form at this link. A thumbnail sketch about him is on Wikipedia at this link. Below is a picture, taken around 1900 AD, of Hanson with his wife.
Thank the Lord for missionaries like the Hanson’s that gave the best years of their life to reach Burmese people through preaching, translating the Bible and making hymns available to the church that emerged in the Kachin province of Burma. Here is a link to a video of the Hanson Memorial Chapel located in the Kachin state of Myanmar.
I am going to add this link to a Kachin blog, it seems to give general news about events in Burma but since I don’t know the Kachin language I can’t vet it as well as I would like. It does have a substantial English section.
The Triad area of North Carolina has about 10 Kachin residents that I know about at this time, all but one of them attend First Wesleyan Church.
The US Dept of State has provide a profile of various people groups. For those who seek to know more about the Burmese, here is the link to a downloadable pdf.
It happened in the village of Mateipi in the Chin province (state) of Burma. The Christians had erected a concrete cross on the top of the mountain in testimony to their faith in God and His importance in their lives. But in 2005 the Burmese military came in and began to tear down all vestiges of Christianity. Because of the isolation of these villages a number of things took place that were harmful to the people.
When the military decided to dynamite the cross, the Christians elders called people to prayer. Eventually the charge was placed but because of fear a single soldier was conscripted to fire the dynamite. The soldier was injured by the blast and eventually died. And the once vital free Chin province suffered another setback.
However the faith of the Christians, now being tested by the government was not destroyed by a blasting cap. God has brought some of them to America (High Point), others are worshipping more secretly now, and God’s kingdom will come to pass on earth as it is in heaven!
The folks that attend our church are from the Chin state on the left and the Karen state on the right side of the map.
India, China, Lao and Thailand border Burma.
There are many Christians in these states and the Kachin state is nearly 100% Christian.