OK, I know it's no longer Burma, but Myanmar doesn't roll off the tongue for the title as easily...
[This photo was taken at a church in NYC when I was there in July, 2009. The church was dedicated and family-connected to Adoniram Judson, a pioneer missionary to Burma from 1812 to 1850. The church's foundation stones represent Burmese writing. AND after seeing theirs up the street on signs and their ESL homework, I will say it's very accurate.]
You should get a laugh out of this.
I was listening to a tape this morning for the first time, which I was supposed to listen to when it was handed to me, September 10, 2007, in Seattle while being prayed over by my spiritual authorities out there, Fr. John and his wife, Holly. [OOPS! I'm usually not so sloppy or disobedient when the Lord lays something on me to listen to... blew it that time.]
The speaker, a woman connected to AGLOW, shared about prayer walking in many nations and as I listened I buzzed inside and thought... "I've wanted to do that for soooo long...and I'm HERE, in the U.S., in Om-a-ha." [And, yes, as some of you know, I have prayer walked in Uganda, U.K., Costa Rica, Morocco, Canada.... but, that hardly breaks the surface of my desires.]
And then the Lord bopped me on my head.
I have become involved with the Bhutanese refugees that live in the apartment complex up the street from us ... and in the past several months have also met their family/friends in other parts of town, Dave and I recognizable by about 100 of them. [They only know me as "Jo...n" -- my name is hard to pronounce for most of them-- or "Granma" or "Mom". I struggle a lot more with their names and pronunciations and am not so good at keeping faces and names in place; after 7 months, I am at the 20-30 person name-range with them.]
I also have become part of an ESL class -- and intend to increase my class times to three times a week. The classes meet in that complex and are Burmese Karen tribal members, and very slowly I'm becoming acquainted with them. The problem is that although many of the Bhutanese, especially young-ish ones, speak British English, because of their British-oriented schools in the refugee camp in Nepal, almost none of the Karens speak any English because they were in a refugee camp in Thailand -- and they struggle big time with our phonics/ sounds.
SO, the Lord nailed me with... I can just walk 1-1/2 blocks to the complex, and then walk through all the buildings-- about a dozen-- both front and back entrances when possible, walk up and down the stairs, [which can also be obstacle courses, with bikes, bags, and piles of shoes!] and pray-- and reach out as often as possible. Gives me exercise -- which in the middle of winter I really need -- and takes me through two nations that have been on my heart for years -- and are now in my back yard -- or, more accurately, my side yard. And I will meet more and more of them face to face.
I'm so excited, I can hardly wait to get up there today!!!