Growing up in a society where Christianity was belittled and the freedom to practice ones’ religion was restricted. I thought I lived a perfect and peaceful life. In reality, I grew up behind barbed wire fences in a refugee camp near the border between Burma and Thailand. Most residents were ethnic minority Karen and Karenni from eastern Burma, having fled armed conflicts, property destruction and seizures, and appalling human rights abuses by the Burmese militia. Families lived in constant fear of the militia pillaging and burning their villages and killing anyone suspected of having a connection with rebel forces. For many children like myself, born and raised in these refugee camps, the fences, isolation, and restrictions were our reality. 

As a child, I was raised in a Christian family and I’ve always been exposed to it. Every Sunday I would attend church with my family. Although I attended church every Sunday, I did not obtain anything. My parents, called themselves Christian, however their actions didn’t allied with their beliefs. I was constantly fueled with word’s of God but I never accepted him as my Savior. In 2009, my family and I came to the United States for a better life and opportunities. Calvary Baptist Church has been a blessing upon our family. They’ve provided us the opportunity we deserved. They provided us ESL class, so that we could learn better English, homework assist class, and VBS for younger children. In 2014, due to the church activities for the children and young adults, that’s how I accepted Christ as my Savior. Going to Exalt and Vertical Generation helped me to understand who God really is and it also helped me get closer to Him. 

I am currently involved with my Karenni Youth group, New Start, organizing to form a better and Christ-like body. My position in the group is to get younger teens to be involved in the group. I am determined and committed to improve our youth and the community. I believe God has calling me to be a leader to my peers and be a good influence to them. For now, I am committed to help my youth to grow stronger in Christ and grow together as one. A couple of my friends and I are planning to have Bible study every week and invite more youth as the study group grows. In the near future I would love to go back to Thailand (with New Start) or any rural places to do God’s mission.