Friends of Burma, Inc. Newsletter Spring 2024

In this season of renewal, we pause to reflect on the blessings that have graced our journey. 

To all of you who have opened your hearts to the suffering people of Burma, we say thank you. In the past, our major emphasis has been in the area of education, and you can see this in the wish list to support two educational endeavors. But in 2023 and 2024 we have tried to meet many more humanitarian needs than in the past. 

We also give thanks to our wonderful board members who are increasingly taking on more responsibilities for helping to run Friends of Burma, which as we have repeatedly told you, is run by volunteers. Let us hope and pray for better times ahead for the wonderful country of Burma.

IDP’s praying in Lashio State after receiving rice, cooking oil, and financial assistance

Annual Meeting: A Recap

Annual Zoom Board Meeting

Pat Cordier

We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our team, board member Pat Cordier! Pat Cordier grew up in a mission family and is a long time supporter of Friends of Burma.

Amidst a gathering of representatives from Karen Baptist Theological Seminary, Kawthoolei Hope Theological Seminary, KBC Hospital, and other associations, Friends of Burma convened its annual board meeting on March 16, 2024. Access the Annual Report here. With insightful reports provided by our partners, the board put together a Wish List for various dire needs.

Touching Story from Kachin State from Anonymous

IDP’s in Waing Maw

We received 2.5 million Kyats from Friends of Burma. With it, we provided cooking essentials to 81 households (333 people) at Waing Maw Lisu Baptist Church camp, and 63 households (228 people) at Waing Maw Little Lamb Church camp in Kachin State. Thank you for aiding these families.

Call to Action: A Letter from Solomon Kwi 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I write to shed light on the dire situation facing the Karen and Karenni minority groups in Burma. Thousands of villagers are forced to flee into the jungle daily, leaving behind everything they own. They lack basic necessities like food and clothing, with humanitarian aid struggling to reach them due to tightened border security.We have connected with brave pastors and evangelists willing to risk their lives to bring aid and the Gospel to these displaced people. Last month, I visited some of these camps and witnessed the urgent need firsthand. I invite you to join me in supporting these efforts by donating to provide food, medicine, and school supplies to those in need. As 1 John 3:17 reminds us, we are called to help our brothers and sisters in need Let us act with compassion and generosity in the name of Christ.

Praying

Unloading Supplies

Internally displaced children from Karenni Camp

Humanitarian Efforts in Increased Violence Conflicts

IDP’s receiving aid in Lashio, Shan State

Families receiving aid in Sittwe, Rakhine State

Thanks to missionaries' donations, FOB has ramped up its humanitarian efforts in conflict-affected civilian communities across Rakhine State, Shan State, and Mandalay Region. USD 1000 in aid has reached 85 individuals and 8 households, providing essential food, water, medicine, mats, and pillows, regardless of religious or ethnic background. Dedicated pastors ensure unbiased distribution, with one pastor traveling an arduous eight-day journey, including biking, boating, and walking, to withdraw funds.

Sharing Love Gifts to Single Mothers

Supporting vulnerable single mothers strengthens resilient communities. A donation of $1000 in March reached 25 single mothers in southeast Burma, providing emotional support and a sense of belonging. Personal visits made a profound impact, showing they are not forgotten amid their struggles as IDPs.

Single mothers receiving love gifts

Listening to the stories of single mothers

Mother and children receiving the love gift

Spread the Word

If you are able to do so, please forward this newsletter to your friends, family, colleagues, and generous people. The people in Burma are in dire need of food, medicine, school supplies, and overall support. One of the surprise requests from people in the IDP camps is school supplies because they want to continue educating their children despite dire circumstances.

Through donors, Friends of Burma has been helping the people of Burma for forty years.


Construction is under way for new dorm for female students at KKBBSC

KHTS President, Rev. Dr. Wado

Tucked inside Thailand’s Western border near Mae Sot, Tak, is Mae La Karen Refugee Camp (Beh Klaw). Mae La is home to some 34,063* internally displaced persons from Burma. Construction is under way for new dorm for female students at KKBBSC. 

Refugees along the Thai-Burma border face urgent challenges, with increasing enrollment at schools like Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School & College (KKBBSC) and Kawtheoolei Hope Theological Seminary (KHTS). With over 86,000 refugees in nine main camps, and a 20% rise in resettlement needs reported by UNHCR, the demand for support is critical.

Despite these challenges, the visionary leaders of KKBBSC and KHTS persevere, relying on prayer, day-by-day resilience, and support from allies like you. KKBBSC has specific needs outlined in their Wish List. Join us in celebrating their 40th Anniversary by donating to Friends of Burma.

Faculty and students, KKBBSC Graduation, 2024

Wish List

  • Upper Burma Karen Baptist Association Virtual Education Program 
    • An effort to provide education to a wide area to students unable to access regular schooling. 
    • The needs are for textbooks, computers, internet charges, etc. $10,000.00
  • Agape Clinic in Hakha 
    • This clinic in Chin State is treating many patients and saving many lives. 
    • Chin State has suffered much destruction during the ongoing military and resistance activities. $2000 to help with health needs. 
  • Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School and College (KBBSC) Wish List 
    • The Principal at KKBBSC, Saw Khu Htoo reports these needs in order of urgency. 
      • New dormitory housing for female students (housing 40-45). Estimate budget is 150,000 Thai Baht (approximately 4100 US dollars). This is the most urgent need, as there is insufficient housing for female students. 
      • A new building for classes. Estimated date to begin building is mid-April 2024. Estimated budget: 350,000 Thai Baht (approximately 9,600 US dollars).
      • Chairs/tables for students in new building. Estimated budget cost: 30,000 Thai Baht (approximately 820 US dollars). 
  • Kawthoolei Hope Theologial Seminary (KHTS) Wish List
    • New faculty quarters to house 4 faculty. (Not including faculty who come to teach in person from abroad). Estimated cost: 25,000 US dollars 
    • 50 New bunk beds to accommodate additional students who live in dorms. In addition, the dining hall needs to be enlarged. Estimated cost for bunk beds and addition to dining hall: Estimated cost: 12,000 US dollars 
    • Faculty development with plans to enroll two graduates in the Master of Theology, Applied Theology, two-year program. 
    • Permanent building for SPHERE program. 
    • Faculty Development: Enrolling two graduates in a Master of Theology program, specializing in Applied Theology. Tuition cost each: 3,500 US dollars.
  •  Sponsor an Orphan 
    • 360 USD 
  • Scholarship for a BTh Student at Nyaung Leben Baptist Bible School 
    • 200 USD

Join us in aiding resilient IDP’s in Southeast Burma through Friends of Burma (FOB). As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations are tax-deductible, making every contribution count.

Less than 2% of donations go towards overhead, meaning that $98 out of $100 goes towards meeting the peoples’ needs.

Make a difference today: https://friendsofburma.org/donate/

Friends of Burma, Inc. 548 Home Ave. Ft. Wayne, IN 46807
Tel. 260-745-3658, Email: president@friendsofburma.org
Website: http://friendsofburma.org, Blog: http://blog.friendsofburma.org

E-Newsletters: http://news.friendsofburma.org

This newsletter is compiled by Naw Kanyaw Paw and Zoe Maung.
Printable PDF version of this newsletter can be downloaded from our website.


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