The Burmese Diaspora Aboard and Among Us

Malaysia/Myanmar American Baptist Discovery Mission Trip
January 6-23, 2019
Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri; ABC/Wisconsin Regional Executive Minister

#AsiaJan2019 Day 5 Journal Post – Saturday 1/12
“FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: LONGSUFFERING”

This morning our group went to the Myanmar Institute of Theology for another meeting that was just full of educational
information that was both head-spinning and heart-wrenching. While I can’t say too much I’ll just say how complex the process of peace-making is. I know that sounds obvious. But it’s sobering to hear about real examples of the complex web of history, economics, politics, and geography and the equally complex resulting impact on human welfare: identity, belonging, addiction, disease, etc.

These are things we see, if we are open to it, in our own country—and I cannot help but think of the parallels: far-reaching strategies and decisions driven by economic interests for select populations; drugs as weapons of manipulation; mentalities of “tribal” superiority; exclusive decision-making tables; and on and on…But a part of this web of systems are the human stories. Again, there are
parallels…yet…the peoples of and from this land have their own stories, and their stories are worthy to be heard as that—lived experiences of particular humans who yearn for real, not representative or allegorical, lives.

Longsuffering…a characteristic of one who claims acceptance of the love of Christ and the submission to the Holy Spirit. Contrary to the instant culture we have been shaped by, the path of peace-making has taken and will still take longsuffering. It is the collaborative
work of multiple generations. This is sobering yet still calls for action today.

After our morning meeting we drove several hours through lush countryside to Karen state where we find home for the next couple of nights. Good team debriefing at dinner. Our team is made up of staff from three national entities (OGS, IM, ABHMS), four region execs, two IM missionaries based in Asia, and global ambassador (GS-Emeritus) sharing this experience from diverse geographical, theological, racial, ethnic, ministryemphasis, generational, ideological perspectives—and with all different personalities. What a gift of the Spirit’s work among us—-unifying us around a recognition of injustice and a call for compassion and companionship. God grants us the capacity to do this. To BE this.

Let it be so in many more areas of our joint lives together.

Abcwi….rootedness…collaboration…growth

To read all of Marie’s daily reflection posts while on the trip click here: #AsiaJan2019Journals
To view an online photo album of this trip, go to: abcwisconsin.shutterfly.com and enter in the
password abcofwi.

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