Wednesday, July 1
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Presbytery of Missouri River Valley
After being brutalized, beaten, repeatedly raped, and forced to do slave labor, Naw Wah* became pregnant, but her child died. In the mountains of Burma, death is no stranger.
This 25-year-old Karen (kuh-RIN) woman is one of several hundred who have been forced into slavery by Burmese soldiers who roam the mountains. Women who refuse are killed. A Christian, Naw Wah suffered persecution because of her beliefs.
After soldiers pillage a Karen settlement, villagers must move to another area and build a new village. The huts that make up a village are basic—woven grasses strung between four poles. Hut floors are dirt; there is no running water, no bathrooms, and no furniture. As they move from one area to another, many slowly migrate toward the border with Thailand, where there are refugee camps.
When Naw Wah arrived at one of these camps, she was safe from the soldiers, but living conditions were primitive. Food was not easy to come by; hunger continued to haunt her. But in the camp Naw Wah learned she could move to Omaha, Nebraska, to join other Karen people who live there.
The congregation of Mount View Presbyterian Church helped her get settled; people donated furniture and clothing. Several hundred Karen people meet regularly at Mount View for religious services.
The aging congregation does not have the funds to keep its building up-to-date as it serves the Karen community. Yet it continues to help and to hope that God will move others to do the same, so that the Karen can continue to worship at Mount View and not feel the pain of displacement again.
Mount View Presbyterian Church is one of 50 congregations in the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley.
—Bryce Brasel, Mount View Presbyterian Church, Omaha, Nebraska
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless the Karen people as they attempt to escape persecution and find their way to a country where they may live in peace and with dignity. Be with those who are still living in the mountainous jungles and the refugee camps. Guide those who have found their way to safety and can worship as they please. Give them the strength they need to survive. Amen.