Graduation, Baptism, People and Monkey Operations in Burma
January 1, 2017
Karen State, Eastern Burma
17 new Ranger teams, and 6 Advanced Ranger teams graduated at the Free Burma Rangers’ Tah U Wah Camp, in Karen State, Burma on 28 December 2016. The teams trained are from different ethnic groups in Burma; Arakan, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Lahu, and both Northern and Southern Shan teams. Armed with their new skills and camaraderie, they have now-recently departed on relief missions aimed at responding to those in need throughout the country. With new attacks by the Burma Army simmering in Kachin and Shan State(s) in Northern Burma, the entrance of these new aid workers comes none to soon for a country in need of unity and help.
Graduation was also a special day as one of our volunteers, Ferrin Peterson, became the first foreigner to be baptized at the camp. Ferrin has been helping us with our horses and mules in between vet school and asked to be baptized in the river that runs through the camp. A mixed ethnic choir sang Holy, Holy, Holy as she entered the water, and Pastor Edmund and I baptized her. As she came out of the water Sahale sang, “Jesus set me Free” in Arabic. It was a beautiful scene of people and nature shown all in God’s glory.
During this training we were helped by many other visitors including Dr. Bob Arnold, who helped our chief JSMK medic Toh perform a successful eye operation for a Karen villager; and ethnic medic Eliya, who came just in time to do a dental procedure on our children’s pet monkey, Kid. Another blessing we want to thank you all for is the recovery of our little filly Grace, who almost died back in April. Her picture is below and she is healthy and happy!
The new Rangers completed a three month training program. They began by carrying loads to supply the camp, but then quickly moved to weeks of intensive training in swimming, land-navigation and Good Life Club/chaplaincy/spiritual development. The training included instruction in: Ethnic Unity, Leadership Principles, Map Reading and Drawing, Compass Reading, Land Navigation, GPS (Global Positioning System) Use, Landmine Removal, Swimming and Lifesaving, Solar Power and Battery Management, Human Rights Violations Recording and Reporting, Operation Order Writing, SALUTE Reporting, General Reporting, Counseling, Video and Photography, Medical Training, Three Field Training Exercises, Physical Training, Rope Bridge Building, Poncho Raft, Rappelling, and Good Life Club Training. The new Rangers are now using their skills to serve those in need. Thank you for being in this with us and God bless you,
Dave and all the Free Burma Rangers