Sunday, April 19, 2009

Perdue Farms Incorporated and PBBC

On April 18th, Saturday, Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church organized a meeting between Marta Velez, HR Representative of Perdue Farms Incorporated in Georgetown, DE, and the community of refugees from Burma. More than 15 showed up at the meeting and four refugees from Albany, NY, traveled to Philadelphia especially for this event.

The meeting went very well with Marta introducing herself and Perdue to the attendees and explaining, with the aid of audio visual, the nature of work applicants will be performing at the plant.

A lot of interest was demonstrated from the part of the refugees. After the explanation, questions and answers, they immediately filled up application forms. About 8 persons completed their applications which were submitted to Marta. There are still some more applications to be completed and sent later.

After the applications are processed, Perdue will arrange a trip for these applicants to visit Perdue plant, explore Georgetown, and have lunch there during the following week just to give the applicants a taste of what they will be experiencing if they take up the jobs offered.

If any applicant who is hired, decided to relocate to Georgetown, Perdue will help pay the expenses for relocation, they will be accommodated in a hotel for 30 days before finding their own place to live. They will also be given one meal a day at the plant. An allowance of $400 will be disbursed to each person hired for expenses to help them settle in. This will be deducted in small installments from their paychecks. The company will also help them find proper accommodation.

Even though we at the Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church would like to see many of our members in our Church every week and to stay in Philadelphia, we have to consider their wellbeing and livelihood. Since there are no guarantees of promising jobs in the area, we had to take the opportunity extended by Perdue.

We hope that this will be the first group of people from Burma to start a community in Georgetown, Delaware.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God Sends Guests to PBBC

We had an unexpected blessing in the person of Rev. Pawlu from Sitarpu (Myitkyina), Kachin State, to share a very inspiring message that prepared us to celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday, March, 29. The scripture he chose was from 1 .Cor. 11: 25-26, and Matt. 26:29 , with the topic “In remembrance of Me”. At the last supper while observing the Passover with his disciples, Christ said to them to do this as often as they could in order to remember Him. To remember what he had done, His ministry, His crucifixion on the cross for us, who are sinners. Why did Jesus want us to do this? As human beings, we have the tendency to forget if we do not see each other often, or do things frequently. Therefore, so that we would not forget Him, Christ established this ordinance for us. He wanted us to obey Him and focus on Him. He sacrificed Himself in the place of animals to connect men with God; not only for forgiveness of sins but also for men to have a new and fulfilled life that nobody could take away. Christ did this through grace. Eucharist is celebrated in gratefulness to God for His grace. We are to do this till He comes again because it signifies our hope to see Christ in the future, which is our testimony to the world. It is important that we prepare ourselves during the week we decide to participate in the Holy Communion by examining ourselves, and thanking Him for freeing us from the curse of sin through enduring pain for us. He bore the pain to banish the pain we have. Participating in the Eucharist can also heal us spiritually as well as physically.

On the same Sunday, Rev. Maran Yaw, Pastor Emeritus of Calvary Burmese Baptist Church, Washington D.C. administered the Holy Communion. Our heartfelt thanks to both Sayagyis who traveled from Maryland to lead the Communion Service.

On March 5, Palm Sunday, Thra Samson, Rev. Than Than Htay, Thramu Lah Bwe Htoo, Sayama Cing Lum Piang, and Sayama Nar Law Bo from OMSC, Connecticut, visited our church and led the worship service.

Thra Samson gave a message on Palm Sunday, reminding us that the multitude that shouted “hosanna” when Jesus entered Jerusalem were the same who shouted “crucify Him”. We, as human beings are fickle minded and tend to go with the flow according to what goes on around us. Unless we focus on Jesus who suffered for our sins, we are likely to stray from Him, and would be no better than those who crucified Him. In these hard times, instead of dwelling on our misfortunes, inconveniences, and difficulties to make ends meet, it is important to know that Jesus is with us because He is alive. We serve a living God.

PBBC has been blessed with other guest speakers. We had Saya Peter Zin from Boston visiting us in April, and from Burma, Rev. Dr. Hsar Mu Htaw and Dr. Gabriel on the first Sunday of May. Rev Dr. Hsa Mu Htaw led the meditation and Holy Communion, while Dr. Gabriel said a special prayer for us.

These guests came and had fellowship with us without prior arrangement showing that God loves us by sending guest Ministers to share His message.