This post comes from Steve Clark and Annette Ellard, CBF field personnel working among Karen refugees in Louisville, Ky.
We are pleased to invite you to a very exciting event this Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Crescent Hill Baptist Church. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell will conduct a special briefing with refugees from Burma regarding recent developments there and his first-hand impressions of reform efforts following his visit to Burma this week.
In the past two months, many things have been happening that signal reform in Burma: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s historic visit in December; last week’s ceasefire between the Karen National Union and the Burma government after more that 60 years of armed conflict; the release of more than 600 prisoners, including 1988 pro-democracy eaders and other political prisoners.
We believe God is doing something amazing and that a wave of change is in process. This is an exciting moment in history for us and the people we minister among and love so dearly.
During this time, refugees from Burma in Louisville also have had an unprecedented opportunity to be a voice for change. In December, refugees at Crescent Hill Baptist Church were featured in the national news. Also, students of Hope Academy wrote letters of encouragement to Secretary of State Clinton as she traveled to Burma and received a detailed response from Derek Mitchell, the Department of State’s special representative and policy coordinator for Burma. This month, Sen. McConnell requested meetings to learn more about the refugees from Burma living in Kentucky and we and several of our friends from Burma had a chance to participate.
Now, Sen. McConnell is traveling in Burma. While there, the senator is meeting with Burmese government leaders, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic minority leaders, to see first-hand how the country is making progress toward reform.
Upon his return, Sen. McConnell will hold a Town Hall Meeting with Kentucky’s population of refugees from Burma and other concerned constituents to share his impressions of reform efforts in what has been until recently a very closed country. The senator also will take questions and hear opinions about the current situation in Burma, the future for ethnic minorities there and views about life after resettlement in Kentucky.
Following the meeting, everyone is invited to stay for lunch in the Fellowship Hall, where folks will have an opportunity to meet the Senator.
This is an unprecedented opportunity and if you live here in Kentucky, we hope you will not miss it.
Please join us for this exciting event!
Crescent Hill Baptist Church is located at 2800 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, Ky., 40206.
Feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to seeing you Saturday.
Steve Clark and Annette Ellard
CBF Global Missions Field Personnel