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Pray for Duane and Marcia Binkley, helping minister to Karen refugees in Thailand and the U.S.

July 20, 2011
Duane and Marcia serve Burmese ethnic Karen and Chin refugees both in the United States and Thailand. They work with the tens of thousands of refugees coming to the U.S. while continuing to work with those still remaining in refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar (Burma) border.

They write: We are excited to report that the first three Karen in Akron, Ohio completed high school and have graduated.  So many Karen youth came to the U.S. with the dream of getting an education so they can help their people.  It is a real struggle for these Karen that speak virtually no English to be thrown into the US school system.  But in spite of the challenges, some make it through and are now in a position to take advantage of new opportunities for higher education, something that would be impossible had they stayed in the refugee camps.  In the coming years, there should be increasing numbers of Karen graduating from high school.

To encourage the Karen youth in our area to remain in school and to aim for college, we helped organize a special program.  We invited Saw Kapi and some of his friends who are former refugees that have been in the US for a while to come and speak with the Karen youth in Akron.  Like the refugees in Akron, they came to the US not knowing English and not knowing American culture.  But they struggled through until they now have college degrees.  Saw Kapi works in the Admissions Department of the University of Maryland and is well versed in the US college system.  Others in the group completed college and have now started their own non-profit organization to help the Karen and others from Burma.  It is great that they can present the information in the Karen language and that they are willing to be an example to other Karen youth trying to find their way.

  • Pray for Marcia and Duane as they assist in ministry to Karen people both in the refugee camps in Thailand and those who have emigrated to the United States
  • Pray for the congregations that have reached out to help the Karen who have come to the U.S.