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CFI Board Trip 2011


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Highlights from Christian Freedom International's board trip this past Sept. to the Thai/Burma border. They visit CFI's Karenni Bible School; CFI's Vocational School; and CFI's Freedom Clinic inside Burma.

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CFI Board Trip 2011

  1. 1. Hope In ADark PlaceChristian Freedom International Board Mission Trip September 2011
  2. 2. Adoniram JudsonJudson spenthis entire life on the missionary field of Burma
  3. 3. Although Judson only converted one manthroughout his life in Burma, that lone believer helped launch the spread of Christianity throughout the ethnic Burmese tribes.
  4. 4. Today thousands of Karen and Karenni profess the name of Jesus.
  5. 5. For more than six decades, the Burmese junta has been trying to exterminate this gentle and godly people. But for more than six decades, the ruling Burmese junta has been doing everything in its power to exterminate this gentle and godly people. 
  6. 6. Christian Freedom InternationalFor the past 20 years, underthe leadership of CFI presidentJim Jacobson, CFI has heededGod’s call to minister topersecuted Karen Christians. Throughout this generation,CFI staff and donors havedeveloped and supportedprojects that have saved thelives of thousands ofpersecuted Christians,including those from otherethnic tribes like the Chin andKarenni.  6
  7. 7. “To the Golden Shore..” “I was looking forward to the 29 hour flight to SE Asia.” 7
  9. 9. “My Heart was full. I prayed for the monks, for the blightedland that was so steeped in idolatry and false gods.”
  10. 10. “My Heart was full. I prayed for the monks, for the blightedland that was so steeped in idolatry and false gods.”
  11. 11. It was astonishing to think that in thisPagan land, the Body of Christ wasAlive and Growing, even in it’sDarkest regions.
  12. 12. Over the next two days, I picked up the rest of my party from the Bangkokairport...CFI board member, Will Buehler and his daughter Megan.Wendy Wright, who recently left an executive postion with ConcernedWomen for America.Along with, CFI board members Jeff Plummer and Matt Buckley, and Matt’sfriend Rich Gutowski.Tomorrow, we would meet Jim Jacobson in Chiang Mai, and our adventure toJudson’s people would begin.
  13. 13. After some rest and visiting with Jim,his wife Karen, and their family. Jiminformed us that we would be taking asmall 12-passenger plane to the thenorther part of Thailand, near KarenniState in Burma, and CFI’s Bible schoolthere.
  14. 14. “quite a trip...a nicehour flight to the Thai/ Burma border”
  15. 15. The drive to theBible School is arough one,complete with ariver crossing!
  16. 16. “The CFI KarenniBible School, a littlechurch on the hillwith the cross ofChrist atop, was aglorious sight tosee. What abeautiful andinspiring moment itwas for all of us.”
  17. 17. Two Worlds Come Together
  18. 18. CFI Karenni Bible School firstbegan construction in 2006.Campus expansion continuesto this day.
  19. 19. Worship With The Karenni Bible School Students
  20. 20. Song and Worship, are a veryimportant part of the Karenni andKaren way of life.
  21. 21. “Requiering of us a song | Now how shall we sing the lordssong in a strange land”
  22. 22. “When the wicked | Carried us awayin captivity …”
  23. 23. “Let the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart |be acceptable in thy sight here tonight”
  24. 24. We took a short tourof the campus, byHtoo Lar Par andHser Gay, CFI’smanager’s of theschool. I wasamazed at theimprovements, lasttime I was there,only a few bamboo
  25. 25. Many studentsshared their storyand testimony. Allof this was done inEnglish-whichamazed me.Their testimoniesinspired us all.
  26. 26. A group of elementary refugee students who had walked at least an hour from the refugee camp to be with us, sang with gusto a song that inspired all of us:“I’m so glad I belong to Jesus, I’m so glad I belong toJesus, I’m so glad I belong to Jesus, Hallelujah, Praisethe Lord!”They sang it over and over until the roof rafters rang,their faces a reflection of the joy in their hearts.
  27. 27. Jim took us to visit aKarenni long neckvillage, as well asshow us the refugeecamp where most ofthe Karenni dwell.We we’re not able toenter the camp,because of ThaiMilitary restrictions.
  28. 28. The Karenni Longnecks have long lived in exile. CFI Bible School studentshave been witnessing to them with the recently translated New Testament.
  29. 29. A Special Night of Worship For the PersecutedChurch
  30. 30. The Break TheChains Concert wasa very unique event.Streamed live overthe internet, theKarenni Bible Schoolstudents were ableto enjoy, andworship with thecrowd in SSM, MI,near CFI’sheadquarters.
  31. 31. Pastor Andrew Toogood, also from Ireland, shared a message of hope, and Christ’s eternal love for His believers suffering the most.A worship band from Ireland, whomhad visited Burma with CFI a fewyears earlier, poured theirheart inworship and prayer for persecutedbelievers.
  32. 32. Students, childrenfrom the refugeecamp, as well as ourparty jumped in joyin the name ofJesus!
  33. 33. The CFI staff in Michigan was able to patch us intothe concert, via cell phone. Jeff Plummer from ourgroup, cheered on the band, told the Michigancrowd how grateful the Karenni refugees were forthe concert.
  34. 34. “Our time with the studentsat the Karenni Bible Schoolwas a blessing to us all. ”
  35. 35. It was sad to leavethe Bible School andwonderful Karennipeople, but we hadmore to see whatGod was doing inthe nation ofThailand andBurma.
  36. 36. After a 5 hour driveacross Thailand, wearrived at the CFIVocational School,near the Burmaborder in Mae SotThailand.
  37. 37. The students, bothKaren and Karenni, arefrom the refugee campsacross Thailand.They put on apresentation for us thatnight.
  38. 38. It was amazing to see such joy on childrenwho have witnessed so many awful things.Tomorrow we would head into Burma.
  39. 39. We headed south through the Thailand farmland and windingmountains. We had to ride in pickup beds toaccommodate all ten of us. Along the way to Freedom Clinic 5, wepassed a large refugee camp.
  40. 40. Ompium Refugee Camp: one of the Largest in Thailand
  41. 41. Several of the adopted Jacobson children grew up here
  42. 42. CFI runs a Freedom House Orphanage inside,but the Thai military would not let us in to visit.
  43. 43. CFI Freedom Clinic 5: in the heart of burma
  44. 44. Our Team Brought in Food and Other Supplies We Have toTravel by “Karen Humvees” to Make it to the Village
  45. 45. “Karen Humvees” “it was certainly a desolate part of the world”
  46. 46. There are at least 446,000 IDP (InternallyDisplaced Persons) in Burma. CFI’s Freedom Clinicoffer free medical aid to many of these poor souls.
  47. 47. Medics treat anything from Malaria to LandMind Wounds
  48. 48. we prayed for themedics andthe villagers
  49. 49. CFI IDP SCHOOL
  50. 50. “a small band of KarenNational Union soldiers joined us, all armed with automatic weapons”
  51. 51. “they had not seen each other for almost 10 years” “The leader, Col.Nerda, greeted Jim warmly and gave him a firm handshake.”
  52. 52. “the Karen truly fight for God and Country”
  53. 53. “Before we left, we talked with the Colonel, about the struggles his people had endured for over 62 years. He said, “we must now rely on God.” ”
  54. 54. “We left our friends with some sorrow, and yet a sense ofaccomplishment. We had liftedtheir spirits, prayed with them, and left with medical supplies and the knowledge that we were behind them in their struggle. ”
  55. 55. As a Board, Before we left, CFI Passed theFollowing:RESOLVED that the CFI Board of Directors continueto support the Karen National Union in their 62-year fight for democracy and freedom, with prayer,medial clinics, schools, Bibles and other essentialsfor living, and that the publicizing the currentplight of these brave Karen people should remaina priority.  
  56. 56. Please Remember our Persecuted Karen and Karenni Brothers and Sisters.
  57. 57. Please Pray forthe Country of Burma
  58. 58. For Further Information V i s i tw w w . c h r i s t i a n f r e e d o m . o r