Thanks Giving

We gathered Sunday morning and headed out for a wonderful breakfast – 17 people – under $2.00 per person.  We were served all kinds of wonderful things, some of which were familiar to me and others were not.  I sat back and listened to the conversations around me and could feel the anticipation of what the day would bring.  

After breakfast we headed to the Safe House to have Sunday Worship! 

Thanksgiving Sunday in Burma! 

We were welcomed with smiles, hugs and so much life.  It feels a bit awkward at times because they give us so much love and it feels so undeserving to me to be treated like this.  Who am I?  They are the brave, the strong and the steadfast in their faith – not me. 

Families come from the slums to attend Sunday service and the room was decorated with fruits and vegetables that would later be distributed to those in need.  Most, if not all the Christian churches in Burma do the same with one exception – they sell the produce when they are done with it. 

The children had prepared music that seemed like angels had come from heaven just for us.  These children sing with their entire body, mind and soul. 

These lyrics came alive! 

        Holy spirit, You are welcome here 
        Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere 
    Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for 
        To be overcome by Your presence, Lord 

After a beautiful service chairs were removed, and tables were set up to feed a wonderful meal to the people attending church.  We were asked to wait and have our meal with the Safe House because custom dictates that guests are served first then family.  WE ARE FAMILY – this warmed my heart more than I can express. 

In the afternoon we headed back to our Purple Nine Star Hotel to rest for a couple of hours while the girls prepared food for the evening and prepared gifts to hand out in the evening. 

After an evening of more worship singing, praises and gathering for games and simple fun time with the children we said goodnight to them and loaded up 2 vehicles with bags containing all the produce along with some toiletries and headed to the darker side of Burma.  The brothels. 

We visited several brothels and gave out bags of food and sat and spoke with the girls and the “Madams” – prayed with them, held them, loved them.  90% of women in Burma are subjected to this life.  There is simply no work, no opportunities, no way out.  A few find strength and determination to leave this life, but the ramifications are huge.  They live with guilt beyond our understanding – they no longer can provide for their families…. i.e. mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles… 

The drug use is ramped here, and the endless “abuse” of women is disgusting.  Women have no value – no importance.  As an example, when crossing the border, I helped with the process and when everything was done the security guard handed the visas to one of the men in our group.  Why to do tell you this?  Because I had helped with the process and none of the men in our group did, but they do not recognize me with importance, simply because I am a woman.  They went out of their way to make sure they gave the papers to a man. 

Our day felt so crazy – first we feel joy and then we feel such deep sorrow. 

I struggled to write this blog because I felt empty and numb from all the impressions over the last couple of days.  I asked my son Victor: “How do I write about everything I feel” – His answer: “Write as if you are writing to God”.  I will try over the next day or so to write a more “personal” blog of what this all feels like to me rather then what we are “doing”. 

This entire day reminded me of how much we have and the story of the Widow that gave one little penny because it was all she had. 

“The Widow’s Offering" - Luke 21:1–4 

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” 

“Thanksgiving” – 2 Corinthians 9:11 

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 

Wenche Miriam ~~~

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