VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/6/16)—In continuing an ongoing partnership between American Baptist Women’s Ministries and women’s ministries of ethnic groups in Myanmar (Burma) here in the United States and in Myanmar, American Baptist Women’s Ministries and the Kachin Baptist Women’s Department of Kachin Baptist Convention, Myanmar, are hosting a women’s leadership exchange in 2016.
In April, 2016, Rev. Sandra DeMott Hasenauer, associate executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries, and Hkadin Lahtaw Lee, member of Lake Avenue Baptist Church in Rochester, New York, and ethnically Kachin, were keynote speakers at the Kachin Baptist Women’s Conference in Namti, Kachin State, Myanmar. Hasenauer and Lee brought greetings from American Baptist Women’s Ministries and American Baptist Churches USA, as well as from Kachin Baptists in the United States. Additionally, they led a time of biblical reflection and Rev. Hasenauer preached. There were over 6,000 Kachin Baptist women at this event, including many who have been displaced from their homes and are living in temporary camps due to continued military action and conflicts with drug traffickers. Hasenauer and Lee had visited several Kachin IDP camps in 2014 and were reunited during this conference with one of the women they met during that visit. The woman gave her thanks to American Baptist women, and American Baptist Churches USA, for their advocacy and asked for continued prayers for the Kachin people.
In July, 2016, two women in leadership in the Kachin Baptist Women’s Department of the Kachin Baptist Convention will attend “3D: Dwelling, Discovering, Discipling / Dedicando, Descubriendo, Discipulando,” the national event for women and girls in Washington, D.C., sponsored by American Baptist Women’s Ministries. Zahkung Ja Ing, director of the Kachin Baptist Women’s Department, and Lahtaw Ja Nu, advisor of the Kachin Baptist Women’s Department, will bring greetings and speak on Thursday evening, July 22, and facilitate a table conversation with participants on Friday, July 23. Additionally, they will participate in the conference and the after-event, “How, Then, Shall We Lead? Leadership Capacity Development,” led by Rev. Sandra Hasenauer.
AB Women’s Ministries Executive Director Virginia Holmstrom noted the significance of this leadership exchange. “During a mission encounter to Myanmar in December 2013, American Baptist women had a remarkable prayer meeting with Kachin Baptist women who had traveled to Yangon for the Judson Anniversary celebrations. We Americans listened to the tragic stories of our Kachin sisters who described fleeing for their lives when military soldiers set their homes, villages, and churches aflame.” The meeting resulted in continued communications, support, and advocacy for the Kachin IDPs in Burma. The invitation from Kachin Baptist Women’s Department to American Baptist women to be speakers at their event in April 2016, and the subsequent visit by Kachin Baptist leaders from Myanmar to participate in our national 3D event this month in D.C. is an historic exchange and sharing of leadership between these two national women’s ministry entities.”
Referencing the American Baptist Churches Board of General Ministries’ vote last month to recognize Kachin Baptist Churches USA as an Associated Ministry Organization of ABCUSA, Holmstrom said, “We look forward to reaching out and building relationships with our newest ABC sisters in these Kachin Baptist congregations!”
For more information, contact Virginia Holmstrom, 1-800-ABC-3USA x2284.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God. To give to the Women and Girls Mission Fund and support women and girls globally, visit www.abwministries.org/donate.
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.