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Thailand Vision Trip. February 15 – 22, 2009 Karen Ministry Event. The Mission:. During a seven day period - conduct a vision trip from Minnesota to Thailand. Identify how a mission team might assist the Karen living in refugee camps within Thailand. Key observations/results:

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Thailand Vision Trip

February 15 – 22, 2009

Karen Ministry Event

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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The Mission:

  • During a seven day period - conduct a vision trip from Minnesota to Thailand.

  • Identify how a mission team might assist the Karen living in refugee camps within Thailand.

    Key observations/results:

  • 18,649 miles later, two refugee camps were visited: Mae La in west central Thailand and Tham Hin in southwestern Thailand.

  • The Karen people were so appreciative of a visitor from the US they gave gifts. People with virtually nothing were giving gifts!

  • News of Five Oaks helping the Karen in St. Paul delivered smiles half a world a way.

  • Messages were sent back to the US to alert friends and family that loved ones were alive and well in the camps.

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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Tham Hin Camp

Located west of Bangkok in the Kanchanaburi Thailand Province

  • 9,000 documented refugees living in a 16 acre parcel of land. Actual population estimates – excess of 10,000.

  • Black plastic roofing material traps the heat.

  • Temperatures are often 100+ degrees within the camp.

  • The homes are 1 meter apart by mandate – airflow is minimal straining relationships.

  • No electricity is available in Tham Hin unless provided by small diesel generators.

  • Most cannot afford a diesel generator.

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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Mae La Camp

Located northwest of Bangkok in the Tak Thailand Province

  • 35,000 documented refugees consider Mae La home.

  • Estimated head count: 60,000.

  • Cyclone Nargis displaced many in Myanmar who live illegally in Mae La.

  • Cyclone refugees do not qualify for the same food rations.

  • “Selling” or reporting a cyclone refugee as an illegal pays $83. The result - deportation.

  • Distance between houses - more than double Tham Hin.

  • Thatch roofing allows houses to ventilate heat.

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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Which Camp Needs Help?

  • Conditions between the camps could not be more pronounced.

  • One camp is permanent – the other is considered “temporary”.

  • Temporary = 12 years.

  • The temporary camp is on a dirt road that is virtually impassible in the rainy season.

  • Temporary camp can draw water three times a day for one hour – water is available 24/7 at the permanent camp.

  • The permanent camp has a college – the temporary camp has a “Post 10” school.

Mae La

Tham Hin

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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Obvious choice

Tham Hin

  • Living conditions here are difficult to say the least.

  • Cooking is done over a wood fire & thick smoke hangs heavy in the tropical heat.

  • Food rations support basic life needs only.

  • Snack funding for the nursery school was eliminated during this trip.

  • Mosquito netting is considered a luxury.

  • The black plastic roofing material is hot & lasts less than two years.

  • Homes have to be rebuilt every one to two years.

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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How Five Oaks Might Help

  • English pronunciation tutoring.

  • Bible study.

  • Promoting educational support for teenage students.

  • Make learning fun & interesting for teenagers.

  • Help parents deal with teenage issues.

  • Upgrade administration skills for the camp leaders.

  • Irrigation for farming – pump water up the mountain.

  • Dining room renovation support.

  • Secure the kitchen from animals.

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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Anticipated Mission

  • Early 2010 travel dates

  • Very comfortable accommodations at the River Kwai Hotel.

  • Two weeks in the mission field equals…

    • A lifetime of change!

    • Discover yourself!

    • Escape MN winter!

    • Get some color mid year!

      Additional mission trip details available soon.

      Is God calling you?

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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Additional information/Links

  • General Knowledge:

  • http://www.interaction.org/newswire/detail.php?id=3467

  • http://www.churchworldservice.org/PDFs/refugees/Burmesefs.pdf

  • Photo Gallery: http://www.karenkonnection.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=394

  • Support Services: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,RI,,THA,4562d8cf2,47a6eeaad,0.html

  • http://www.tbbc.org/camps/skb.htm

Tham Hin & Mae La Refugee experience


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