Reaching the Karen

“My people need me to go back and help them,” says Jasmine Moo, a sophomore at Hartland College. by Rachel Perry

Jasmine Paw Ner Moo grew up in a Karen refugee camp in Thailand, but after eight years in the United States she felt called to return. This past December, her dream came true when six students and faculty from Hartland joined her on a mission trip to three locations on the Thailand/Myanmar border where she grew up.

Wai Ler Moo School

“Does God have a wife?” "Where does God get His power?" “There is only one God, so why are there so many religions?” Students submitted 50 such questions for a Q&A panel at the end of our week of prayer. Most of the students at Wai Ler Moo are Buddhist and have not yet accepted Christ. Joining missionaries from Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism, we focused especially on Bible prophecy and personal preparedness for end-time events.

Nicole with some of the students who were baptized at Wai Ler Moo School in Burma

“I saw light bulbs turning on in the students’ minds,” says Nicole. “They were so excited about learning new things and getting to know Jesus in a way they didn’t know before. That was so precious.”

Public decisions for Christ mean a lot in this part of the world, where converts potentially face much persecution from their Buddhist families; even so, by God’s grace, 18 students were baptized at the end of the week. We pray that God will continue to strengthen their faith.

Sunshine Orchard Children’s Home and Learning Center

“Before, I thought childbirth was just an unimportant event that happens every day,” Poojah, a Sunshine Orchard student, confesses, “but now I will always look at pregnancy and birth as a gift from God to be guarded with extreme diligence.”

In addition to presenting a week of prayer for the entire school, we taught intensive courses for the Medical and Bible Outreach Training (MBT) students. The training included Bible, music, dental health, massage, and midwifery. Students especially enjoyed the birth attendant course, in which they learned about prenatal health, pregnancy problems and danger signs, preparing for labor and delivery, giving birth, and caring for mother and child after birth. The students then practiced their examination and education skills on real patients in local villages.

“Out of our nine students, five have dedicated their next year to be medical missionaries,” writes MBT program director, Lorna Dreher. “Others are planning to be teachers and health workers. Thank you for coming and teaching us!”

SDA church members in Ta Ya Day VillageTa Ya Day Village

“My parents were missionaries in this village many years ago,” Jasmine relates. Unfortunately, no more missionaries have come since her parents left in 2004. Jasmine and two other team members spent a couple days in Ta Ya Day, visiting and encouraging the believers.

The team was surprised to find a great need for health education in this little village. “They have a problem with dehydration; they don’t like to drink water,” reports Katherine. “We taught them about the eight laws of health— especially water.”

The Karen Mission Trip impacted the team, as well.

“This trip totally changed my life,” states Jasmine. Previously a health major at Hartland, she felt led to change her major after the Karen Mission Trip. “When I taught math at Wai Ler Moo and Sunshine Orchard, I realized that maybe God is calling me to be a teacher. I asked my team members to pray for me, and I asked the Lord, ‘Please send me an answer.’ And He sent me the answer. I know He is calling me. I really love teaching, and I want to go back. My heart is there. After my schooling, I will go back.”

“This trip helped me figure out what I want to do in life,” Nicole shares. “I really want to work with underprivileged people— people that, if you don’t go to them, the message won’t go to them.”

“I am forever thankful to the Lord for this privilege,” declares Dr. Cherie Lou Fernandez, midwifery instructor. “If God wills it, I will be going back to serve again. I hope to make this an extension of Hartland's midwifery program.”

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