A Note from Our Director
No, we’re not moving out of Basswood....but thanks to the generosity of Sandy Brawner of Quilt Country, Chin Refugee Ministry is consolidating our furniture and clothing ministry to her warehouse.
We are also “moving” our organization to meet the newer needs of the Chin community. From the beginning, we had as a platform for service the 3 E’s: Establish, Equip, Engage
. By necessity, our focus and resources were spent primarily on Establish
, as newcomer refugees flooded into our area, who needed the very basics – furniture, clothing, food, emergency rent and medical assistance.
We still have newcomers trickling in, and for the next 3 years we will continue to have newcomers until the United States closes down its Burmese resettlement program. These newcomers will need the basics, as well. Many in the Chin community are now financially stable enough to help their own people, but they still struggle with American systems.
Moving forward, we are concentrating on Equipping
– which means a focus on family mentoring, school buddies and building adoption.
More of our resources are now going toward Equipping
, by paying young Chin adults to translate for us as we help the Chin navigate American systems which, in turn, helps them attend community college. We are emphasizing our family mentoring program and working to establish training so that Americans can understand the equipping needs of the Chin. We are also working to equip the Chin youth to succeed in school, in conjunction with helping parents participate in their child’s education.
Finally, we seek continually to build relationships within the Chin community and to learn from them - that’s the Engagement
piece of what we do.
In some ways, it’s a more difficult path because Equipping
takes personal commitment on the sides of both Americans and Chin. The rewards are well worth it, as we explore what it means to be brothers and sisters in Christ.
Director, Chin Refugee Ministry
Housing in Chin State
According to Wikipedia, in pre-industrial societies, single family housing was relatively unknown phenomenon. That is still true for Chin State, where children live with their parents until they marry, at which point they move in with the husband’s parents. Chin grandparents help raise the children, and the middle generation cares for the aging parents.
Being forced to leave their country has greatly disrupted this tradition for the Chin people. One of the most difficult adjustments the older Chin students have to face is the “loss” of their grandparents, who they had to leave behind. The Chin “middle generation” strive to send money home to their aging parents, as well as, support their children here in the United States.
A primary motivation for the Chin to obtain U.S. Citizenship is to be able to travel safely back to Burma and see their parents before they perish.