What’s Still Going on in Burma

Kate Berkey

January 14, 2022

This week we received news from our translator that we can’t move forward with translating our book into the tribal language of Karen. If you’re just showing up to the party and already feel confused by this sentence, let me explain. 

In 2018, I moved to Thailand to co-author a Christian discipleship book with one of my dear friends and ministry partners. The book is specifically for women and came from the motto of this small, beautiful training center on the border of Thailand and Burma. It’s a place called Braverly, and their motto is simply, “Live brave. Dream bravely. Influence bravery.” For all my grammar geeks out there, yes, we know it’s grammatically incorrect. Just bear with us.

This book took years to uncover and write because we longed to create something we thought was meaningful. We wanted to step prayerfully into this project, led by the Holy Spirit, because without Him, we’re nothing. Without Him, we tend to speak shallow words rooted in shallow hope. So for the better part of two years, we sought the Lord and wrote using our personal stories and Scripture to understand what it looks like to live brave, dream bravely, and influence bravery because of who the Father is and who He says we are.

It’s been a labor of love.
It’s been a labor of blood, sweat, and tears.
Lots of tears.

Translating the Book

Our goal has always been to publish this book in the U.S., Thailand, and Burma, but to do that, we had to find a trustworthy and experienced translator to translate the book into Thai, Burmese, and the tribal language our team most encounters on the border: Karen. Late in 2021, we found this translator, and they have been an absolute joy to work with. But also in 2021, Burma (Myanmar) has become a place of violence, genocide, oppression, and war—experiences the people of Burma are unfortunately very used to.

In case you missed it, here’s a blog post I wrote in early 2021 about the things happening in Burma. Unfortunately, these things are still true, and conditions in Burma have only gotten worse as the military takes more power and land and lives.

My friends on the border of Thailand and Burma tell me of the explosions they hear from just beyond the border. They recount a story of a home in Thailand being destroyed by a Burmese missile gone array. But more than that, they tell me stories of families fleeing for their lives in the jungles of Burma. Here, men and women run from a military that should protect them, protect their homes, protect their freedoms. Instead, they live in fear, trying desperately to stay head of the bullets that could end their lives.

A Pause in Karen Translation

Electricity and Wi-Fi and cell phone service are shotty right now, and so it was no surprise when our translator sent us the message about our Karen translation. So we have paused this language translation for the foreseeable future, but it’s not the end of the story. This is not the end of the road.

Atrocities are happening all over the world—Burma, Afghanistan, North Korea, etc. And still people build the Kingdom of God. Still, people cling to hope, cling to the Father. The strongest armies cannot stop the Lord.

The situation in Burma is desperate and dire. Honestly, probably the furthest thing from this translator’s mind is our little book, and I get that. So, would you join me in praying for this individual and their family? Would you join me in praying for Burma, for the people scattered across the country living in fear of their own people. Let’s pray for the church in Burma, for the pastors and Christians who are being persecuted day after day. May this country find peace and redemption and justice in the Lord.

More Information

If you want to learn more about what’s happening in Burma, check out the following resources:
Free Burma Rangers Field Reports

Aljazeera News:
“Fleeing violence in Myanmar, thousands camp along Thai border river”
“Christmas eve killings reinforce views of ‘evil’ Myanmar military”

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