Last summer, we spotlighted the ministry of Louisville’s Crescent Hill Baptist Church and CBF field personnel Annette Ellard and her husband, Steve Clark, with Karen refugees from Myanmar.
Here’s a snippet:
In 2001, when Crescent Hill Baptist Church, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner church in Louisville, Ky., sent their first mission team to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to paint a Karen youth hostel, Annette Ellard and her husband, Steve Clark, began an adventure beyond their wildest dreams.
The group of 10, which included Clark and Ellard, traveled to Thailand to begin a partnership with CBF field personnel and other ministry groups in the area, including the Karen Baptist Convention. The Karen people, who they ministered with, are an ethnic group from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, who were forced to leave their country due to extreme persecution.
….The relationships that have developed over the past seven years between Clark and Ellard, Crescent Hill Baptist Church and the Karen refugees have woven together a beautiful image of Christ’s presence at work in this Louisville community.
“The remarkable work that God is doing with the refugees from Burma here in Louisville is still growing and unfolding. We can only see from where we have come to where we are now. I think the target for God’s plan goes far beyond what is being accomplished in the present, and we are watching with eager hearts and eyes to see all the remarkable things God will unfold from the tiny mustard seed of a moment in Chiang Mai, Thailand, over a decade ago,” Clark said.
And last week, Louisville’s Wave3 news spotlighted a Crescent Hill Baptist member and refugee from Myanmar who has been accepted to attend the prestigious Centre College in Danville, Ky. Check out this excerpt of the Wave3 profile:
Eh Nay Thaw, 18, came to America as a refugee from Burma, a country in southeast Asia, also known as Myanmar. He didn’t have a typical childhood. His family’s way of life in Burma was abruptly demolished in 1997, when Burmese soldiers launched an offensive against his people.
“It’s known as the worlds longest civil war,” said Thaw. His family fled to Thailand when he was a year-and-a-half. They lived in a refugee camp for 10 years.
“Life it was really really rough there was no transportation, no technology, no electricity,” said Thaw.
In 2007 Thaw’s family found their way to Kentucky and have made Louisville home.
“That’s one of the hard parts when I came to the United States I learned English,” said Thaw. “The basic English for five years. For the education in the refugee camp was totally different from here.’
Waggener High School Principal Katy Zeitz has seen Thaw grow over the years. She said it’s no surprise to her Thaw has flourished into the student he is.
“They work their tails off,” said Principal Zeitz. “They are used to and come from a culture where there is a really serious work ethic involved in everything you do.”
For Thaw, the days at Waggener are coming to a close. He’ll soon be walking the halls at another school, Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
“I’m the first one in my family to go off to college,” said Thaw.