“Clouds hover over the wreckage that once was Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible College – a theological school in Mae La Refugee Camp that has provided education for thousands of refugees from Burma, and inspiration for many more people around the world. A steady rain bounces off the piles of ash that only days ago were hundreds of textbooks and photos of smiling students on their graduation day. Charred posts now tower over a snarl of steel and tin that once served as a shelter for students, staff and guests since the school’s opening in June of 1990.”
Fire Refines Faith
Painstakingly evolving from the labor and contributions of many, the school had assembled a wonderful ministry resource. Many would have lost hope after years of struggle, loss and displacement, but these guys built a powerful vision for the present and for the future. They discovered purpose in the face of despair. While their buildings have been destroyed, their vision persists.
You can read the full version of this sad event on the Free Burma Rangers Site.
It tells of the irrepressible faith of Dr. Simon and his vision to make a lasting difference in the lives of those disturbed by the civil war in Burma. Founding this school was a total step of faith which has since positively affected the lives of thousands of people. Inside Burma and wherever the displaced people have settled, there are graduates from this Bible School.
Graduates Ready to Launch
Who would not be devastated at such a loss? And yet the vision goes beyond buildings and physical property. Despite the loss of the 22 years of work contained in the school and his home, Rev. Simon remains positive. “We have lost everything. But, we have everything – because we still have God.”
So here’s the dilemma:”Fueled by faith, Rev. Simon continues to lead his teachers and students forward, with every intention of keeping the school going. With an extensive network of friends, churches and organizations supporting the school, and the presence of a good God, Dr. Simon is not concerned about whether he will be able to rebuild. His dilemma right now is to decide whether it is time to return the school to beloved Kawthoolei (Karen State
), or keep the school at its present location in Mae La. Right now, he is, like so many other citizens of Burma, uncertain of whether the political changes taking place in the country are truly sustainable enough for people to safely dwell in Karen State. Despite ceasefires being signed with many different ethnic groups, many states, including Karen State, still experience attacks from the Burma Army.”
We can pray with them ”as they seek to discern God’s plan for their future. Rev. Simon is asking for prayer as to how and where to rebuild. Please join us as you feel led to pray for and help him in that decision.”
Explore the Free Burma Rangers web-site to gain a broader view of the work they do. These people have suffered terribly and yet they won’t give up on their vision. They could have been destroyed by hatred and bitterness but instead they have tenaciously clung to the vision of reconstruction their nation, preparing themselves for the day when they will be able to return to their homeland and start over. What a day that will be.