Perfect Love Casts Out Fear in Karenni.
17 June 2022
Karenni State, Burma
On 13 June 2022, we launched our first Karenni GLC program of this mission, among new Karen, Karenni, Wa, Shan, Pa-Oh, Arakan, Mon, Padaung, and Burmese Rangers. Heavy mortaring in the area from which the villagers had fled eight months before could be heard in the pre-dawn hours and then sporadically up to the time we arrived at the IDP camp. When Dave met with the camp leaders about a program with the children they were resistant, not wanting to have any large group activity that could be seen by a drone and become a target for an attack. He agreed we’d just visit house to house in small groups.
When our team arrived at the site, a beautiful pine covered mountainside, the kids were already waiting and parents were nervous but willing to visit outside. Actually, all of us (Rangers) were a bit nervous as well, feeling the proximity and uncertainty of the situation. I suggested we get started right away while it was quiet and peaceful, not knowing how long it would last, and they dutifully jumped into the program. I opened with prayer, and, as we shared dances, skits and songs the tension melted into warm smiles and gratitude for a reprieve from the oppression of worry as entertainment and encouragement provided a salve to the ache of anxiety.
In God’s amazing equation of love, the villagers’ joy multiplied our team’s exuberance. The Rangers were comical, animated, and engaged while the kids and adults were howling with laughter. (Someday I’ll understand the Burmese language and enjoy to the same extent). At the end, the adults were so active in their games it looked like someone might get hurt. We finished with open-mic songs and dances from both the Rangers and the villagers. Walking back to our trucks, several Rangers, in surprised voices, told me, “This is so great! I love making people happy. Everyone started off so afraid and we helped them laugh a lot. They asked us if we were tired and I said I will never be tired making you happy.”
It really seemed that we viscerally felt God’s perfect love casting out fear. I thank God for His presence – for both our team and the IDP families – adding so much more to the program and day than any could have expected.
Thanks and God bless you,
Karen, family and FBR