Deported to Myanmar
Updated: Dec 31, 2018
Cha is the son of refugees from Myanmar, formerly called Burma. Cha’s family is Karen, a minority ethnic group with long-standing conflict with the majority Burmese government. Consequently, Cha’s family fled to a refugee camp in Thailand, where Cha was born. His family fled to the United States sometime before Cha turned 10. I (Scott) mentored Cha when he was between the ages of 12 – 15, but then, unfortunately, Cha got involved with a bad crowd. At the age of 17, Cha beat up and robbed another teen in retaliation of that teen beating up one of Cha’s friends.
Because of his crime, Cha served prison time and did 250 hours of community service. All the while, Cha has accepted Christ, was baptized, growing in his faith, got a job, through the help of many others God brought into his life. Cha’s life was turning around. Unfortunately, Cha’s redemption and life change did not matter in the eyes of the law. Cha was a non-citizen who committed a felony. He was both unable to get US citizenship and he was also subject to deportation.
In early July this year, the Trump administration put sanctions on Myanmar for not receiving deportations. As soon as Myanmar agreed to receive deportations, Cha was picked up for deportation. Although steps were taken to get Cha a stay of deportation, the law does not consider the life change of an individual. The law only sees a non-citizen who committed a felony. Consequently, Cha was deported to Myanmar in August.
I have spoken to Cha a couple times and interacted with him several times on Messenger. He seems to be doing well; although he has some adjusting to do. Cha speaks Karen, not Burmese, so he is required to learn Burmese. Also, the week before his deportation, his first child was born. He struggles being away from family and community here in the States. Cha has been in the care of pastors and believers in Myanmar and recently got connected to pastors and distant relatives in the Karen community. We are thankful for God’s grace and safety in Cha’s life. Our prayer is that Cha will continue to grow in his faith and become a positive influence for the Kingdom of God in Myanmar. We believe God is leading us to support Cha long-term; we will continue to do so as God leads and provides.
The mission of The Refuge is for families to experience abundant life in a growing relationship with Jesus. This is why we do what we do. We trust you are experiencing the goodness of God’s Presence.
Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.
Scott, Tiffany, Abby, Micah and Nathan