Long after dark on our March visit to Mae La Refugee Camp along the Thai-Burma border, we were preparing for bed after a full day. Suddenly and dramatically, we heard the loudest hallelujah chorus billowing up from under our feet. Our Karen friends were singing at the top of their lungs as they practiced the chorus for graduation. We ran down to experience it.
The chorus was beautiful and moving knowing that they live in the camp and cannot return to their homeland. Reverend Dr. Simon, pastor of the Bible school in the camp, penned this moving testimony in 2000:
Our Living Testimony
They call us a displaced people, but praise God we are not misplaced. They say they see no hope for our future, but praise God; our future is as bright as the promises of God. They say they see the life of our people as a misery, but praise God, our life is a mystery. For what they say is what they see, and what they see is temporal. But ours is the eternal. All because we put ourselves in the hands of the God we trust.
If you ever get the chance to visit Mae La Camp, I recommend it. The people there are incredible and their stories are moving. One day alone is worth the trip across the pacific. Enjoy the video below and congratulations to the graduates!