The U.S. to take in Burmese refugees, Christians are needed

By October 18, 2005

USA (MNN) — Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Burmese are internally displaced or refugees. The United Nations is being asked to investigate human rights abuse and ethnic cleansing allegations. Many of the refugees are children, currently undocumented and living in the mountains of Malaysia.

Bethany Christian Services’ Dana Anderson says Malaysia wants them out and the U-S has given their approval to resettle them in the United States. “Bethany Christian Services has a refugee foster care program in which we help minors, who are under the age of 18, who do not have a parent or guardian to care for them. What we do is we place them into foster homes.”

Anderson says they’re looking for Christians families who will be able to share their faith with these young people. “We’re looking for families, in the West Michigan areas primarily, to open their homes to become licensed foster parents to take in these children. These children are going to be between the ages of 14 and 16, so it’s not a long-term commitment, but we do ask our families to be willing to have these children in their homes anywhere from two to three years.”

Bethany helped place Sudanese children five years ago and Bosnian children before that. Anderson is hoping by placing these young people in Christian families, they’ll respond as the Sudanese did. “The statistics that we’re seeing for these children are just amazing in terms of 98 percent of them are going to college and, you’re right, most of them are believers. These children have done amazingly well and we just have high hopes for the Burmese children that are coming, too.”

However, even if you don’t live in West Michigan doesn’t mean you can’t help, says Anderson. “The situation right now is not good for these children who are coming out of Burma. And so we’re asking people to pray for these children. And also, just the awareness. If the awareness is raised, that’s a goal, too. There are refugee children all around the world.”

These refugee children will be coming to West Michigan some time next year. Click on the link above to get more information.

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