Arrests in Burma Continue

The US Campaign for Burma blog (see link below) lists the growing number of people in Burma being arrested for simple things like blogging, using a computer, doing a comedy routine, speaking for justice-and facing prison sentences of up to 65 years for it.  

More hidden from view, is the ongoing military oppression and human rights abuses going on in the ethnic areas of Burma.  (For current documentation and pictures, see the Free Burma Rangers site, and the Karen Human Rights Group site).  

Each Sunday afternoon when we go down to Kent to church with our refugee friends from Burma, I am reminded that this is people’s stories being shown on these sites above.  This is not a news item.  These people I try to converse with in spite of language barriers are people who fled those kind of injustices and are trying to make a new life for their children in a country where they hope for all the same things for their kids we do for ours.   Everyone comes with a story and a history and a dream.  

One of the most powerful moments for me, in visiting a refugee camp the 1st time, was when we were leaving, and an older gentleman shook my hand and said, “Please do not forget us.”  Several years later, we were in another camp, and through an interpreter, we asked the headman what he would like the people to in America to know.  He said that they pray for us, that we will not forget them, and that we will use our freedom to speak for theirs.

God help us never to forget those around the world longing for the same thing.

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