Leaving a Legacy: Ms. Emerald’s Story
Posted March 7, 2018 by Prairie Wife - 2 comments
For those other than the rare outsider who happens to visit Myanmar (formerly Burma), one of the most isolated countries in the world, it may be hard to imagine the real hardships.
The population numbers 53 million, with approximately 7 million from the Karen tribal group.
Ms. Emerald grew up in an orphanage in Northern Burma started by her grandmother for the Karen people. When the Japanese killed her grandmother and parents in WWII she felt called by the Lord to continue caring for the children. She never lost her vision, and today at 86 years of age, she ministers to 147 orphans in the same orphanage that her grandmother started over 100 years ago.
Over the past 40 years, the Burmese government has been slaughtering the Karen and burning their villages to the ground. You can find a video about this tragedy at the end of the post.
Many children have witnessed their parents being killed, mothers brutally attacked by soldiers, and have been forced to flee their burned-out villages. They have walked through landmines, traversed mountains, braved jungles, and crossed rivers to show up at her door with no place to go. Ms. Emerald knew the Lord was calling her to help them. She said, “How can I turn them away when God has brought them to my doorstep? I must take them in.”
God has been faithful to meet their needs these many years. The YMCA faithfully provides five bags of rice per month, and the Lord has been faithful to provide the balance of the two hundred pounds of rice per day needed to feed so many children.
This orphanage is not an institution but rather a Christian home for children. A home with a mother that loves them dearly, where each child has responsibilities, whether cleaning the toilets or helping in the kitchen and where older kids help the younger kids. Each child attends school whether in the preschool on the property or local schools.
Last year we celebrated Christmas with Ms. Emerald and the children at the orphanage. There was joy in our hearts as we sang carols and witnessed the children being taught about the love of Jesus Christ. The well-behaved children played and laughed and were very grateful for their Christmas presents: mosquito nets, blankets, hygiene items, toys, and candy.
Ms. Emerald’s mind is sharp and clear, even at 86. Her love and devotion to Jesus Christ is evident in her commitment to these precious children who grow up in the admonition of the Lord. She was radiant as she told us of the dreams of several young people who desire to attend Bible School and prepare for ministry. One young man even wants to be a doctor! Ms. Emerald is committed to seeing these children become all that God wants them to be, helping them with continuing education and teaching them English to better prepare them for the future in a country that is emerging from 50 years of military oppression.
Vision Beyond Borders has known Ms. Emerald for over twelve years and can testify that she is a godly woman who is a modern-day hero of the faith. Humility and grace shine through her! We want to leave a legacy for Ms. Emerald and provide a future for her orphanage, a home where orphans can come and be welcomed with open arms.
Right now, the future of the orphanage is in jeopardy because Ms. Emerald was swindled out of half of her land.
This means that upon her death, 147 children will be homeless.
Vision Beyond Borders would like to purchase land and build an orphanage to ensure these young people will continue to have a place to call home.
Our plans include purchasing two to three acres of land in a smaller town where the kids can live in a more rural surrounding with room for a garden and livestock to help provide for their food. We want to have more room to exercise and play as currently, they have a tiny area to play with no room for expansion. We also hope to set up a small technical training area where the children can learn how to sew, a carpentry shop to teach the children how to build, and a computer center. All these skills can be utilized in running the orphanage and prepare them with skills for livelihood.
A Burmese couple has been working with the orphanage for years and is being raised and trained to continue the work of Ms. Emerald, to provide a safe, clean environment where the children can thrive and be instructed in the ways of the Lord. The vision and heart of this orphanage will continue because we know God’s heart is for the downcast and oppressed and that He wishes for all to know Jesus.
Children without the protection of the orphanage would fall prey to many modern-day ills.
Trafficking of children is increasing in Burma. Young boys are being lured away by drugs while girls are taken to surrounding countries to be used for sex. They are often sold to Chinese men as young brides to give birth to children. After a few years, the girls are then resold into sex slavery. We are very concerned about the future generations of Burmese youth.
Would you prayerfully consider a donation to help us purchase land and build an orphanage so that these precious children of God won’t lose their homes with the genuine possibility of being back on the street and subject to traffickers?
Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
God Bless You, and thank you.
“Pure religion and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” ( James 1:27 NLT)