This week, our nation is processing news of our election. The divisions have been deep and even vicious. As much as I am surprised/fascinated/shocked by what has happened, it pales in comparison to other news that has broken me to the core. Today we are sharing news of a little orphanage in Burma.
Jury’s Orphanage has been in existence for over 20 years. It has resided inside a refugee camp in Thailand where 50,000 refugees from war-torn Burma have fled after enduring horrific attacks by the very army that should protect its citizens. Thanks to the generosity and compassion of many sponsors, LightBridge has supported Jury’s Orphanage inside the refugee camp for 10 years.
Two years ago Ga-Bleu, the orphanage director, sensed God leading them to a new location back in Burma. We joined with Ga-Bleu in praying over this bold decision and helped support the establishment of a new home for Jury’s Orphanage inside Burma. The location chosen had not experienced attacks from the Burmese Army for over 25 years so it seemed to be an ideal location to establish a new home for Jury’s. In these two years, LightBridge has provided funds, support, care, and ongoing sponsorship as Jury’s built a new orphanage building on this property as well as began the building of a new school. As a staff, we’ve visited this new location and prayed with the people there. We had such hope! We are deeply thankful for the donors who joined with us in providing the funds for this new hope and new home.
Just a few days ago, we received tragic news. In the past few weeks, Jury’s new home has suffered six major attacks from the Burmese Army. The very army that should protect helpless children has been systematically attacking their new home as well as the village nearby. We are deeply grateful to report all children and staff were able to evacuate their newly built home and property and have made it back to the refugee camp in Thailand. With great anguish, we also report that the Burmese Army has overtaken Jury’s new property and is occupying the land and all buildings.
As I type those words, I must be honest. My blood boils. What kind of people attack a helpless orphanage seeking a new life in the jungle of Burma? What kind of people force children to evacuate their new home for fear of their very lives? What kind of people invade that very orphanage by force and settle in as if it was their’s all along? I know brutality and evil is all over the globe. But, this is happening to people we dearly love. This is happening to people we join in hoping for a future. This has happened to land we helped clear and build upon. This. This makes me sick.
So today, in the midst of the fall out of a peaceful election and transfer of power in my country, I am brought to a different perspective. I’m so thankful for an army that protects its citizens — all of them. I’m so thankful for an election process that is fair and orderly. I’m so thankful for a country that can argue, stand on principles, fight with strong words, but also submit to the laws and live at peace. I am thankful for the USA and for the privilege of living here and helping in places where such privileges don’t exist, like Burma.
One thing we've learned in our time with GaBleu and the children is how incredibly resilient their hearts are. How hopeful they are when tragedy strikes because their dependence and their trust is in Jesus. And we join them in that. We're reminded of the scripture in Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
And today, I am asking you to join me in praying over this entire situation. Will you continue to hope with us for Jury's Orphanage? Our hearts are breaking over this tragedy for Jury’s. Will you stand with us in prayer that the longing for peace in Burma, for safety for the children, that their dream of returning to their homeland WILL one day be fulfilled like a tree of life?
GaBleu didn’t have time to sit in the space of heartbreak very long. You see, her responsibility is to parent the children through this; to help them understand that although the new orphanage won’t be their new home anymore, it belonged to Jesus first anyway. Gableu is already on to the next step. She’s praying, discussing and searching for where the next location will be. She has to. For the lives and for the future of these precious children, she presses on. We press on with her!
Thank you for joining us in prayer. We believe prayer will make the difference in this difficult situation. If you’d like to help with the support for Jury’s, you can donate here: lightbridgeonline.org/the-orphan/#jurys-orphanage.