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January 30, 2012 | bpfna
The following is written by Julie Warner, leader of the Friendship Tour to Burma & Thailand. This is Julie's second report.
Missed Julie's first postcard? Find it here!
Click here for a Burma/Thailand Friendship Tour itenerary
We just arrived in Bagan after three incredible days in Mandalay. One of the highlights of the entire trip was a boat ride on the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Mingun and Inwa, two historical sites near Mandalay. We organized a meeting of Baptist leaders from Mandalay on the boat, so we had a day of fellowship and sightseeing together. The Baptist leaders are from all ethnic groups - Karen, Kachin, Chin, Lisu, Burmese. Our group chatted with them about the work of their churches, and they had the opportunity to interact with each other in a way that they would not normally have. Our guide, and my friend who organized the boat trip, said that the Baptist leaders were all so happy to have this opportunity to be together that they were asking her how they could organize such an event in the near future for themselves.
What began as a way for us to meet most of the Baptist leaders of Mandalay in one place, turned into a way for them to connect with each other as well.
I had a moving conversation with several Kachin Baptist pastors who are pretty overwhelmed by the recently renewed conflict in Kachin State. They discussed the situation of people fleeing villages due to the fighting and the dissolution of Baptist churches in the area due to people fleeing to safer areas. I could really see the sadness and frustration these pastors were feeling over the situation.
Read the following for more about the situation in Burma.
Burma Army Continues Attacks...
Two Women and One Man Killed...in Kachin State