International Ministries

Faith, Hope, and Love Among Karen Christians --- by Jacquie Cooke

January 30, 2013 Journal
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Psalms 121:1-2. I lift my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Traveling through towns, villages and down the roads of Thailand one sees temples and Buddha everywhere, often on the high ground or hilltop. I am reminded that our God is higher and more powerful than any idol; he is the creator of heaven and earth! 

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The Karen Christians we have been visiting know this well. Having been persecuted and confined to refugee camps for decades they live a life of faith that should be an encouragement to Christians everywhere. They are not paralyzed by hate and self pity but focus on preparing to take the gospel into the world when they are released from the camps. Their hope is in the Lord; and they wait patiently for resettlement or repatriation. 

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The bible tells us that 3 things are permanent - faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. In the Karen communities we visited their love of God is palpable during worship services where incredibly beautiful voices make a joyful noise onto the Lord. Their love of one another is evidenced in care for orphans and the education of their youth. Generous warm hospitality to us provide witness to their love of others. Without leaving the camps they live out a faith day by day that witnesses to all who visit, in turn they simply ask the world not forget them.
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