Connection 4th Quarter 2018 4nd-Quarter-2018-KYTN-Connection-Website - Page 12

Southeastern Region Karen Youth Fellowship Worship O n Sabbath, August 12, over 100 youth from the Southeast region, which covers nine states, attended the annual Karen Youth Fellowship Worship at the Louisville Korean church in Louisville, Kentucky. Pastor Jimmy Shwe, Karen Church Planting Consultant from the North American Division (NAD), explained that during the 2010 General Conference session, the NAD voted to form the Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministries. In the last eight years, this ministry has flourished and expanded greatly. The Karen people had been in one of the world’s longest civil wars, which started in 1949, when the British Empire gave Burma, today Myanmar, their independence. It has been an ethnic cleansing genocide that has forced several hundred thousand to flee to the jungles and then, from 1985 until today, to Thailand. Refugees were received in one of the seven different refugee camps at the Thailand-Burmese border. In 2005, the United Nations began to advocate on behalf of this group before the World Nations. Today, over 160,000 refugees from Myanmar are in the United States. Pastor Shwe estimates that about 2,000 Karen Seventh-day Adventist live in North America. In the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference, there are three Karen congregations with over 200 members in attendance. The Karen Youth Fellowship Worship weekend was a blessing. The youth and their sponsors praised God from Friday night until Sabbath evening. They listened to the word and connected with each other. The group came from six of the nine states, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Tennessee, which belong to the Southeast region of Karen ministries. The Karen youth hope to meet again next year. The Kentucky-Tennessee Conference is thrilled to have been invited to be part of such a great event and prays that the Lord continues blessing this ministry in North America and beyond. BY NELSON SILVA Associate Youth Director 12 Connection Connection