VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 12/6/13)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) announces the release of the documentary DVD “A New Land, A New Hope: The Journey of Christians from Burma to the United States” in conjunction with the 200th anniversary celebration of American Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson’s 1813 arrival in Burma (now known as Myanmar).
ABHMS and the Burma Refugees Task Force produced the DVD to reflect the realities of life among Burma Diaspora communities in the United States. Approximately 100,000 Burma refugees of Chin, Karen, Kachin, Karenni and other ethnic groups from the Thai-Burma border, Malaysia and India are settled in more than 130 urban, suburban and rural U.S. areas. An estimated 40 percent of them in more than100 congregations and fellowship organizations are affiliated with American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) regions.
A collaboration of ABHMS, ABCUSA’s Office of the General Secretary, International Ministries, American Baptist Women’s Ministries and local church pastors, the task force has been responding since 2007 to the influx of Burma refugees admitted by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration via contract with various government, nongovernment and faith-based sponsoring agencies. The task force obtains grants from various ABCUSA entities to support regions and churches that provide refugee-resettlement ministries.
A delegation of ABHMS staff members will attend the Judson 200th anniversary celebration to be held Dec. 5-8 in Yangon, Myanmar. The event was arranged by the Myanmar Baptist Convention.
A 25-minute version and an 11-minute version have been created. Both can be viewed online by visiting the slideshow at www.abhms.org. A $10 donation that benefits refugee ministries is suggested for those who would like to order a personal copy of the DVD that includes both versions. To order, contact Diane Giova at email@example.com or 1-800-222-3872, 2450.
In partnership with Church World Service, American Baptists have resettled close to 110,000 refugees since 1946. As of Aug. 31, 2013, ABHMS’ office of Immigration and Refugee Services has resettled more than 1,638 refugees from such war-torn countries as Bhutan, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq and Somalia.
For information about refugee ministries and sponsorship, contact the Rev. Aundreia Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-222-3872, x2430. For information about the Burma Refugees Task Force, contact the Rev. Florence Li at email@example.com or 1-800-222-3872, x2468.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.