In less than two days, we’ll be boarding a jet bound for Yangon, Burma. We’ll be spending almost three weeks in that mysterious country (it’s between Thailand and India, and has been largely isolated from the world, a pariah of sorts, until the past few years). The purpose of our trip is to explore our faith (you have to get out of your comfort zone to challenge your faith); to be a bridge between our Burma family in Aurora and our extended Burma family still living there (you’ll recall the “unreachable” feeling many refugees feel); and to bring a message of peace, unity, hope, and love to our fellow humans living in Burma.
We plan to have lots of stories and updates upon our return. Stay tuned. But here’s what we’ve been up to (in photos) the past few months:
A night at the ballpark with some friends from Iraq, Malawi and Rwanda. Tickets supplied by Denver Rescue Mission.
DW Speaking at a celebration remembering the fallen heroes of the Karen people.
Multi-ethnic, multi-faith bowling night. Mostly first-timers bowling. DW 1st prize; AW 2nd. Friendships formed between Sudan, Djibouti, Mali, Burma, and USA. What you don’t see is the Sudanese food we had prior to bowling. Yum!
One-day seminar on peacemaking in your local community by the Global Immersion Project. They define peacemaking as “the holistic repair of relationship,” which we consider right in line with our own mission. It was a refreshing day “away” to sharpen ourselves.
Some of our friends from Djibouti like spicy food and think they can handle the hottest of the hot. So they wanted to treat us to spicy chicken wings one night. Mohamed (in the middle) handled the hottest wings without skipping a beat, Dirie and Alicia ate them while choking and sweating, and Derek was just too ‘chicken’.
Harvesting is the funnest part about fall. The kids go wild digging for potatoes. We just stand there and reap the benefits of their labor. Another garden season brought to a close.
Three carloads from Aurora to Red Rocks State Park and Amphitheater. Lots of dizzy, dehydrated S.E. Asians. (It’s not that high.)
Baby dedication of Alextair (Alicia’s boyfriend). Great friends, beautiful family.
Youth dance group preparing to perform at the annual Karen Wrist-tying ceremony.
Ethiopian cooking lessons.
Our dear friend lost his brother in Burma to poor health. His two-bedroom apartment was packed with over 50 people to remember their fallen friend and brother.
We took some of our youth friends from Aurora to Curtis Park (near downtown Denver) to join a VBS put on by some of our friends. We thought we’d take them one or two nights during the week. They LOVED it and kept begging us to take them back every night (so we did).
Praying to God with Muslim friends at the Mosque.
Lots of cheese and one cool brother on a visit to Madison, WI.
Most Saturday mornings we host the Burma Youth Federation, a group of Burma refugee youth from different ethnicities and religions, coming together to grow as communicators and leaders. They will be empowered to bring positive change in their communities. We now have representatives from 5 different ethnic groups and 3 religions. An awesome group of budding leaders!
Alicia’s Bday BBQs are becoming the event of the summer in Original Aurora. So rich in friendship, family, love, diversity, and food.
A couple great visits from our family, including camping in the backyard.
And that’s pretty much summer in a nutshell: Rich in relationship and blessing. To Burma, now.