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January 17, 2012 | bpfna
The BPFNA requests prayers for members going to Burma/Myanmar and Thailand for a Friendship Tour from January 18 to February 3, 2012. Julie Warner leads the tour, and fellow travelers include Kay Cheves, Carol Day and Carine Donze.The purpose of the Friendship Tour is to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones by meeting with Baptist leaders and congregations in these countries. This trip is designed to inform participants about Baptists in Burma and encourage individuals to form lasting relationships, and provide Baptists in Burma with a continuing link to Baptists in North America.
While in Burma/Myanmar, the group will meet with Dr. Maung Maung Yin, vice principal of the Myanmar Institute of Theology. Dr. Yin is also facilitating the translating of our resource, Peaceteacher: Jesus' Way of Shalom, into Burmese. The tour will include visits to Yangon, Mandalay and Myitkyina in Burma/Myanmar and Bangkok and the Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand.
The Baptist connection to Burma/Myanmar spans almost 200 years with the arrival of the first Baptist missionaries, Adoniram and Ann Judson, in 1813. Through the Judsons’ work and that of later missionaries, many Burmese and ethnic groups in Burma/Myanmar—such as Karen, Chin, Kachin and Lisu—are Christian.
In 1988, the pro-democracy movement in Burma/Myanmar was crushed by the ruling military junta, and since then harsh military rule has forced many to flee across the border to Thailand and Malaysia. Christian minorities, including the Karen and Chin, have been particularly targeted. The US and other governments recently began accepting Karen from the camps in Thailand and Chin from Malaysia as refugees. Upon arrival in the US, many of these Christians have connected with American Baptist Churches (ABC). A number of BPFNA partner congregations are assisting with resettlement.
BPFNA's relationship with Baptists in Burma/Myanmar goes back some 20 years through the work of Dan Buttry as BPFNA's Gavel Peace Fund director. Now BPFNA churches are working with the growing population of mostly Karen Baptists in the US. Over the years, key relationships between other Baptists in Burma/Myanmar and North American Baptists evolved, leading to a high level of cooperation and friendship.
Interested in more news about Burma/Myanmar? Click the links provided below!
Burma Frees High-Profile Dissidents in Amnesty
Burmese Government and Ethnic Rebel Group Sign Cease-Fire
Ceasefire Talks and Ongoing Conflict Update from the Field
Pray for the BPFNA members and their travels abroad. Click here for A Litany for Burma: In A Time of Hope.
Postcards from Burma: By Julie Warner
Postcard Update 1
Postcard Update 2
Postcard Update 3