Touching the Karen

meeting-with-karen-villagers_0Our recent trip to Thailand has been exciting, humbling, stretching and life changing. Our group spent several days in Chiang Mai where we observed multitudes enslaved in spiritual darkness of Buddhism. Perhaps the highlight of my time in Thailand was traveling a few days with a brother named Wright Dee. He lives in Chiang Mai and is from the tribal group called the Karen. Most Karen live in the mountains of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) and were evangelized years ago by Adoniram Judson. Wright Dee has a deep burden for his people and longs to see them live for Christ. Despite being 65 years old, he spends (and risks) his life taking the gospel to remote Karen villages. With his limited resources, he brings aid to Christian hostels for school children. It was our privilege to see faces light up as this brother drove his 4×4 pickup into their village. Their “Apostle Paul” was here! They rolled out the “red carpet” for us. They cannot offer the comforts of beds and baths. We slept on straw mats and ate rice with a few toppings as we sat cross-legged on the floor. Each stop included a worship service. Our hearts were deeply moved as we worshiped together. Wright Dee interpreted as we shared the gospel. He commented that his people must hear this message. We wondered what we have to offer these dear people? Is our message unique? We believe it is the simple gospel of faith and obedience to Christ. Yet, Wright Dee was determined to take us to places he had been warned not to go because roads are unsafe due to heavy rains. Yet, off we went, through the water, up and down the hills, through the mud, constant in prayer, for hours! Again, we arrived in another village, keenly sensing God’s hand pushing our truck up the hills and holding us from sliding off the slippery road and over steep edges. Another village was in sight! Oh the reward of seeing beaming faces again!

I am excited as I envision IGo students and staff having the privilege of ministering in these villages, especially the children’s hostels. What an opportunity! In fact, it has been LIFE CHANGING!

By James Weaver, IGo Boardmember (I Witness News/Summer 2006)

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