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Burmese refugee

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Salaries keep rising out of poverty, thanks to sponsors!

It is a well known adage that if you give a man a fish, you’ll have to give him another tomorrow, but if you teach him to fish you won’t. By following the “teach them to fish,” strategy, or rather, “teach them English,” we have found a steady flow of refugees earning much better salaries in Delhi!

The photo illustrated the cause for celebration this has been. They are also praying for the Switched On sponsors to be blessed.

Hot off the press, here are some refugees whose pay is moving above the poverty line:

40 year old is working at Wireless CD-Company in this year after studying in our Centre. And earned, 5000 Rupees per month.

ANDREW- Working at Coffee Cafe, In District Centre as waiter, and earns 3000 Rupees per month. Who previously only 1500 rupees 50 per day.

THANG- 23 years old is working at Steel Factory in Janak Puri, after studying English for 7 months in our Centre. And do earn 4500 Rupees per month, who previously earned only 2500 per month. Now gets better job and life.

NGUN- 21 years old, Deborah is working at Jowti Showroom at District Centre and gets salary up to 5700 Rupees per month. Who previously only earned 3000 Rupees in Jeans Company? Now enjoyed in English with customers.

BAWI- 20 years old is working at Korean Restaurant in Goargoan City, as waitress and earns 7000 Rupees per month in this year, where she supports her family with that income, God blessed her.

ESTHER- 20 year’s girl is still working as English teacher in Middle School and gets increases of salary up to 7000 Rupees per month. Who previously gets below 5000 rupees per month? She started a new life with that income and thanks to sponsors.

VAN- 23 years old is working at Coffee Cafe in District Centre as waiter and earns 3000 Rupees per month.

MAUNG- 32 years old is working at Africa Embassy as Security Guard and earns 7500 Rupees per month. Who previously don’t speak English language now started using English in Embassy as Gate keeper. Moreover, supporting his family in number 5 people with that income.

Latest update from Burmese

The Burmese students we are supporting sent another deeply moving email, inserted in full below.  Considering the temperatures of 50 degrees in the day, being too hot at night to sleep, the illnesses, cramped conditions, and persecution for being a minority – I feel humbled that they are encouraged by our support “especially in times of trouble.”

Some children in the Burmese refugee community

Dear sponsors, how are you doing? We are being well founded here in Delhi. We also would like to share with you that how greatly we do improved in English speaking, we could speaks and understand each other when we had gather for group-class discussion. we do hopefully speak fluently in future as we do continues to study everyday. Above all we do thanks to God who is so gracious to us and chosen you guys to supports us, no matter how we are weak and being isolated in alien country. We do keep praying for you and always remember you in our hard-time and joy-time because we love you and you are always in our heart especially in times of trouble. And also we do thank you for your sporsorship thus far.

Your Faithfully
All Students

Burmese say Big “Thank You!” to Sponsors

The Burmese refugees just sent a thank you note to sponsors for their continued support, which is always great to receive. 🙂

They explained that they are able to speak to each other in broken English and want to learn more. They would also like to continue to teach other Burmese refugees in Delhi, to help their job prospects too (desperately needed).

The refugees also expressed that they are praying for their sponsors and wish them well. They asked for prayers from us too.

Life is very difficult for them in Delhi at the moment as temperatures are due to rise to 50C, and they cannot afford the luxury of air conditioning!

Delhi Burmese children enjoying a lesson

Medical Team from Woking UK Treat Burmese Refugees

A medical team from the Coign Church Working visited the Burmese refugees we support in Delhi towards the end of last year, led by Tim Brown.  Here is a brief report on the surprising needs they uncovered.

Medical Team Visits Burmese Refugees in Delhi

The team carried out a clinic for a Burmese refugee church, which also invited other people from their community to be seen by the doctors. They were expecting to be there from about
3 to 6pm but finally left at about 10 having seen about 65 patients. It was
a mixture of things – they carried out pregnancy checks on about a dozen
ladies, gave a lot of vaccinations for kids and also saw lots who were sick
with ‘fever’. There were also a small number who seemed to be seriously ill
with what may have been TB.  The team arranged more tests to be done in local
hospitals for them.

Burmese Christians face the pressure to convert to Buddhism

A Christian from Chin Province

This morning we had the joy of speaking to pass to David in Delhi.  We asked him about the difficulties faced by the children of the Burmese refugees who have come to Delhi.  He told us that these children have had to leave behind the support of their extended families back in Burma and that it is difficult for them to get the education that they need to be able to find jobs that pay a living wage.  To return to Burma, however, would mean returning to the persecution that Christians still face in that country.  In the Chin province of Burma, education and well paid jobs are withheld from Christians unless they renounce their faith and convert to Buddhism.  Free education is provided by the Na Ta La schools, which are run by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and place Christian children under great pressure to convert to Buddhism.  Rachel Fleming of the Chin Human Rights Organisation recently described the pressures faced by Burmese Christians.

“On the pretext of providing free education, the Na Ta La schools force the poor Chin children to convert to Buddhism.  It’s part of the government’s vision for nation-building, which is predicated on the slogan ‘To be a patriotic Burmese citizen is to be a Buddhist.’ ”

Please pray that religious freedom will come to Burma so that Christian refugees can return to their homes and families.  Please also pray that Switched On will be able to support our friends in Delhi in providing a good education for their children.

Christmas Greetings from Thankful People!

To all Switched On Supporters and well-wishers,

Here’s a Christmas greeting just received from our precious Burmese refugee friends:

Dear all sponsors.

We do want to wish all of you,,,,,,,,,,Happy Sweet December!
Immanuel is with us.
Let’s us keep each one in our prayers.
A new blessing on you.

God Bless you all.

Yours faithfully students.

 

BURMESE CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT, HAND PAINTED SEASCAPE (Source eBay)

 

Despite reforms, Chin Christians continue to face persecution

Since March 2011 the government of President Thein Sein has been pursuing a programme of democratic reform in Burma, which has included the election of Aung San Suu Kyi and 43 other members of the National League for Democracy to the Burmese Parliament.

Despite these positive developments, a recent report by the Chin Human Rights Organisation, as well as accounts from our friends in the Burmese refugee community, speak of the persecution still faced by Chin Christians in Burma.

Buddhism continues to be treated as the de facto state religion and Christians are placed under great pressure to convert.  Young men and women are threatened with military conscription unless they convert, government jobs are withheld from Christians and regulations make it difficult to construct or maintain buildings for church use.

The people of Chin state continue to need our support as they face on-going hardships.

Picture off Chin refugees talking to Richard

Chin refugees tell their stories to Richard

After-Effects on a Switched On Trainer, Two Years Later…

After visiting rural India to help out on one of the Switched On projects in a smallish town, my wife and I left inspired and full of joy over the way God is working among different people groups in India through education.

Two years have passed since, and I am still in regular contact with some of the students who attended the English courses we were running. My wife was pregnant with our son whilst we were in India, so all of the students knew the baby was coming but never got to see him. Being able to introduce him to the students over skype was fun for all of us and was really special in the sense that they were so genuinely excited and happy for us.

Luke and Baby

It has been great for me to be able to learn about life in India first hand and to have those connections now by which I can discuss different things with the students and pray that God makes them firmly established in good soil. Now that my wife and I are supporting the work financially it is also a great blessing to have a real link to the project we are supporting as it allows us to see for ourselves the great things that are happening and exactly who we are giving to.

by Luke Barnes

Just heard 20 year old Ngun has a job thanks to your help!

Happy picture

Switched On’s support for the Burmese to learn English so they can get jobs continues to bear fruit, as in the life of one young woman.  Read this message from the precious Burmese refugee community in Delhi that came to me today:

We really exited to tell you about one of our students who got better job after learning English from our center. She is 20 years old by name Ngun Hlei Par, she is being one of the students and study really really hard. And now, the Lord is blessing to her and got a better job at “Cotton Company”

So a big thank you to all who give in money and prayer to help!

Richard

Joy-filled visit to the Burmese refugees, by Tim Brown

Once you have negotiated the journey to Vikaspuri through the teeming Delhi traffic, a visit to our Burmese friends is always an experience to enjoy. To get to their hall, you enter a dark staircase in the corner of an Indian clothes shop and climb steep stairs up to the third floor. The welcome is wonderful – they always seem to have smiles on their faces, despite the fact that they live in conditions of grinding poverty – even by Indian standards.

I have been going over to visit for nearly a year now, teaching English classes on Thursday afternoons and going on occasional Sunday afternoons to preach in their worship meetings. On a Thursday afternoon, there is a real buzz about the place. I will be teaching the older students – which means everyone from 12 to 64. In other corners, there will be small groups of young children learning the English alphabet or numbers. The way they are usually taught is simply by copying down what is written on the board, so I try to mix it up a bit by including some games, some exercises and a bit of fun. I have only been seeing them fir a couple of hours a week, others are spending a lot more time there, but the standard of English is definitely improving, especially among those about 15 to 18 years old, so there is great hope that these may be able to get good jobs which will help to support the community.

At Christmas, we had a party for the English classes with drinks, cake and party games. They loved the games, especially Musical Chairs which they played with such enthusiasm that we managed to break six chairs.

On Sundays, they gather around 50 or 60 to worship together. Again, it is a real joy to be there as there is such a sense of their joy and their love for Jesus. Worship consists of Than Sum (also known as James) leading on the guitar and singing a mixture of songs in English and Chin (their native language). They are always hungry for the word, although the tiny children they put on the front row can be a bit off-putting for a preacher when they start climbing up your legs.

Tim Brown