Monthly Archives: January 2015

Post 3 – Thoughts and Reflection of the United States by Myanmar Native Chin Chin

Chin ChinIn our final post in this series, Love For Myanmar presents conversations with Myanmar Native, Chin Chin, and her orientation with life in the United States.  She has volunteered and accompanied LFM on many mission trips helping in a variety of ways – from organizing and playing games with the children at our orphanages to serving as our interpreter with village leaders, pastors, and teachers to explaining cultural traditions and practices to team members.  She is a dear and long-time friend of LFM visiting friends and relatives in the United States and will returning to her people group in Myanmar of whom she loves.

(LFM)  Other than family, what do you miss about Myanmar?

(Chin Chin)  I miss eating rice, tea leaf salad ( tea leaf pickle) which is the main traditional food for Myanmar and drinking tea with my friends or family at the tea shop. I miss warm weather too.

(LFM)  In your opinion, what should the USA adopt, learn, copy from Myanmar that would make the USA better?

(Chin Chin)  I am not sure for this and I think it will not be easy to adopt or copy something from other country. Because these two countries have a very different background. In my opinion, Myanmar people still keep the tradition of our ancestors’ custom or culture. For an example, most parents or teachers still teach the children to give full respect to older people even though they don’t know each other. And wearing a short skirt at church, monastery, school or pagoda places is strictly forbidden until today. Sometimes it’s good to visit or live for a while in an undeveloped country like Myanmar, so that you would see and learn from reality rather than just reading a book about that country. It would be good if people don’t use credit card a lot here. It’s good for somethings but it can still make you get into debt if you aren’t aware of how to use it well. Honestly, some people are a bit fat here from eating fast food. So it would be good if they could eat the way Myanmar people eat. If possible, decrease eating fast food and increase eating healthy fresh food and vegetables. And sometimes use your energy rather than using an automatic machine. So that you would still remain healthy.

(LFM)  When you get back to Myanmar, what do you want to be sure your family and friends better understand about the USA?

(Chin Chin)  I would like to let them know about the people from here are really friendly and still stay close to God compared to other States like California.

(LFM)  As a young person, have you noticed any differences between what USA young people talk about, worry about struggle with? If so, what are some of those differences?

(Chin Chin)  It would be about education and choosing a job. We don’t have a very good education background, but USA young people do. But there are many good and bad schools or colleges to choose here so they worry and have to be careful which school or college will be the right place for them. In Myanmar, most students just go to school or college to get a degree but learn nothing. They prefer to get experience from work so they just choose to work that is available to them. When I ask some of my friends here what are they going to do after school, some are not sure for their job but some they know what they want to do. However there are a bit competitive here for jobs.

(LFM)  Is there any advice you would like to pass along to those who are thinking about coming to the USA for the first time?

(Chin Chin)  First, it would be good to prepare for the weather. It can be hotter or colder here than the place they come from. May be it can be the same weather, however, you can’t know what’s like for a place you have never been before. It’s good to be aware of it and make sure they have enough money for themselves unless they have family or relatives or friends to get help when they need something or get into trouble. And it would be a good idea if they could bring some of their favorite traditional food which they can’t find it here. In my experienced, I missed Burma food a lot at first.

Post 2 – Thoughts and Reflection of the United States by Myanmar Native Chin Chin

Chin ChinLove For Myanmar presents the second of a three-part conversation series with Myanmar Native, Chin Chin, and her orientation with life in the United States.  She has volunteered and accompanied LFM on many mission trips helping in a variety of ways – from organizing and playing games with the children at our orphanages to serving as our interpreter with village leaders, pastors, and teachers to explaining cultural traditions and practices to team members.  She is a dear and long-time friend of LFM visiting friends and relatives in the United States and will returning to her people group in Myanmar of whom she loves.

(LFM)  What differences have you experienced between Myanmar and the USA regarding;
a) churches (worship services, bible study classes)
b) media (informing citizens, entertaining citizens through television, radio)
c) music (types, variety)

(Chin Chin)  I really like the cult class at Crestview Baptist Church. I think it’s very important to know it so that we can aware of wrong doctrines or beliefs in our daily life. I don’t mind going to different churches for worship service in different places as long as we worship Him wholeheartedly and truly. Honestly I do miss Burmese church for worship service sometimes because it’s in my mother language and it’s more comfortable to understand the meaning of the song when I encounter before Him or praise and worship Him.

One thing really impressed me is about the media here. When I saw commercial about Christian charity (e.g.Salvation Army), and Christian movie on TV, I was really surprised. Because you’ll never see that on TV in Myanmar. And I like to listen to Christian songs on Spirit 1059 radio.  We don’t have a legal Christian channel yet, but we hope we will someday, so that people would hear and know about His love and grace. I like watching weather forecasting channel because they give you accurate information.

(LFM)  What do you want to be sure to experience before you return to Myanmar if at all possible, and why?

(Chin Chin)  Before I return to Myanmar, I wish I could go and see the White House in Washington D.C. I would like to see the snow and play with the snow for a little bit because I have never seen the snow in my life except in the movie like “Frozen”. And I really would like to experience the real Texan or cowgirl life style at least once. For an example, wearing clothes like a cowgirl and riding a horse in the country side, then taking a picture. I have never ridden a horse too. So that would be the most I would like to experience it which I have never done in my life for the first trip in USA.

(LFM)  Have you acquired a particular fondness for any American food, music, etc? If so, what?

(Chin Chin)  I really like cheese or chicken quesadillas, sweet tea, mash potatoes, hot sauce and hamburger (the one we used to it at church on Monday visitation night).  I like BBQ (beef) and french fries from McDonalds. And I love to see the red bird cardinal. I have never seen it before. So wherever I go out, I look for the red bird in the tree. They are just so cute in my eyes.

Post 1 – Thoughts and Reflection of the United States by Myanmar Native Chin Chin

Over the next three posts Love For Myanmar presents Myanmar Native, Chin Chin, and her orientation with life in the United States.  She has volunteered and accompanied LFM on many mission trips helping in a variety of ways – from organizing and playing games with the children at our orphanages to serving as our interpreter with village leaders, pastors, and teachers to explaining cultural traditions and practices to team members.  She is a dear and long-time friend of LFM visiting friends and relatives in the United States and will returning to her people group in Myanmar of whom she loves.
Chin Chin
(LFM) What have been surprises to you about the USA? In other words, in what ways has your experience with living in USA differed from what you expected?

(Chin Chin) First of all I would like to start with how quiet the neighborhood is. For a few days, it was a bit strange for me being in a quiet place like this because Yangon (Rangoon), the place where I came from, is very busy and crowded everywhere. One day, Mrs. Sherry took me to Target during the first week of my arrival. I was so surprised because it was very quiet compared to grocery stores in Yangon, quieter than I thought. There was only about 5 or 7 shoppers at Target on that day. And the other thing is about the meaning of neighborhood. In Myanmar (Burma), if you say we are neighbors, then your house and your friend’s house is very close or right next to each other. But here, it can be close or far. So when Brother Chase told me about the neighborhood, I thought of it in Myanmar concept. When I got here, it’s a bit different from what I thought. It’s like you can’t go anywhere without car. Even when you go to the market here, you drive a car there, but we just walk to the market in Myanmar. And here people drive 70 miles per hour on the freeway but people drive 30 miles per hour in Myanmar. It’s really surprising to ride a car here because I don’t feel I am moving here. I mean if you ride a car or bus in Yangon, you will be like riding a small roller coaster. I still like both though.

(LFM) What have you enjoyed about the USA?

(Chin Chin) I like all the automated things and it is very systematic. For example, when you buy food or something, you just use the card with machine. We don’t have that kind of good system yet. I think it will come someday. And I really like the dishwasher and washing machine. We can get the washing machine in Yangon though. I am not sure about the dishwasher. It’s my very first time to see dishwasher here. It’s very comfortable and it takes less time to use it. So dishwasher and washing machine will be the first two things I would like to get for my mother. And also I do enjoy shopping for Christmas presents here, especially Hobby Lobby is my favorite place to see things and buy. It’s really impressive  how serious people are about Thanksgiving and Christmas here. I love  having meals and spending time together with friends and family on those days. It was really wonderful and meaningful and also inspired me a lot. One of the fun things to do is go to the places and see all the lights. Especially seeing the lights which are based on the radio music. I’ve never seen those kind of lights. I wish we could have it in Myanmar too. And one last thing I enjoyed about is seeing the people with different costume on the Halloween day. Everything is very new for me. I am very happy to be here for all those holidays that I always wanted to experience and see how do people in America celebrate them.

(LFM) What has disappointed you about the USA?

(Chin Chin) I like most things but using seat belt really annoyed me at first. I understand that it’s for safety and it’s the law here. But I came from a place where we never use seat belt. The road in Yangon is smaller than here and people there just drive without seat belt even though it’s not safe. But here people drive a car with seat belt even though they have better road or car. So in my thought, people from Myanmar risk their life in driving without seat belt more than people here in USA. I am used to using the seat belt here now.

 

Love For Myanmar will present Post 2 – A Continuation with Chin Chin in the coming week.

Keeping Families Together

It’s just three words–Keeping Families Together–that brings to mind a simple notion that, in a developing country such as Myanmar, is beset with an extraordinary set of interrelated challenges. We wanted a byline, a concise statement descriptive of LFM’s overall mission. In its most straightforward form it can be condensed to one equation: strong families=strong communities=strong country.
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Trip after trip into Myanmar, we encountered parents heartbroken from their decisions to send their children to far away cities in hopes of better lives, and the equally humbling sadness of children separated from their parents and families for reasons not yet understood. Perhaps you know how it feels to think you have been abandoned. Perhaps you know what it is like to be disconnected from the love and security of your family. We wanted to develop our ministry and its programs around the belief that children prosper best–physically, socially, spiritually–when they can remain with their caring, nurturing families.
However, it is difficult to care and nurture when you are parents faced with the seemingly never-ending challenge of every day survival. There’s seldom enough food, only the clothes on your backs, a shaking bamboo hut, minimal job prospects, and sickness always in your midst. Hopelessness casts a long shadow over many families in Myanmar.
At LFM, we realized that we have no right to share the Gospel with a hungry person, a person rightfully preoccupied with trying to survive each day. So, our programs are designed to first address the humanitarian needs of the people with whom we come into contact, and secondly, to share with them about the greatest story ever recorded.
“Keeping Families Together” is about fighting poverty, providing relevant education, creating jobs, and empowering people–poor people–to believe they can take back their dignity and build a promising future. From our perspective, their promising future rests upon the strength of the country’s families. Each family is a culture unto itself with different values and unique ways of realizing its dreams. But, when you can “keep families together” long enough, provide them with realistic hope, we are convinced they will begin to think beyond themselves as individual families, they become concerned with one another collectively…as a community, a village.
Visit LFM’s web site at loveformyanmar.org, and discover how each of our programs are connected to the conviction of “keeping families together”, to helping forge true communities, villages which share a common vision. Programs that fill stomachs and open hearts. Programs that protect the abandoned and seek the lost. Programs that restore dignity and erase despair. Programs that educate the curious and ignore oppression.
It all starts with the family where an individual’s character, potential, and spirit are discovered and nurtured for the benefit of all. If we can just “keep families together” long enough.