The ABCUSA Mission Summit in Portland was a wonderful time to see old friends, meet new friends, and connect with partners in ministry. One of the significant times of connection for Central was a consultation with Karen, Chin, KaChin, and other Diaspora Burmese leaders. Two years ago after the Mission Summit in Overland Park, KS, Central hosted a conversation about ways to assist these communities in Theological Education. This meeting in Portland was a follow-up to that conversation.
Rev. Saw Ler Hto, Pastor of Calvary Burmese Church in D.C. and staff member of American Baptist Home Missions Society, helped facilitate the conversation. Marlene Po, the new Director of the FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities program, was introduced and shared about this certificate program. Information was shared about Central’s recently revised Master of Divinity program and the way it can be accessed wherever a student has internet connection. Also new opportunities with the Doctor of Ministry program were discussed.
President Marshall announced new scholarship opportunities for learners from these communities. Central is committed to finding ways to make this education accessible and affordable to the Burmese diaspora groups. Central has been blessed by our work with these groups and feels a special call to serve them. Now that the MDiv can be more easily accessed and with the special scholarship opportunity that is available, we hope more students will be able to take advantage of the resources we can offer.
We heard about ongoing concerns and challenges in these communities as they work to serve each other and to be more connected in ABCUSA life. We pray more and more will see the real life-giving blessing these communities already provide in so many places.