WHO ARE THE KAREN?
The Karen people are indigenous to southeastern Burma (Myanmar) and western Thailand. The majority of the Karen live in Burma. There is a Karen state in Burma which is located along the western border of Thailand. Due to long-standing political violence and instability at the hands of the military totalitarian government in Burma, however, hundreds of thousands of Karen have sought asylum and refugee protection in Thailand. The U.S. State Department has identified Karen refugees for resettlement in the United States with large numbers being resettled in North Carolina, including Guilford County. While the Karen are traditionally animists or Buddhists, the Karen first came into contact with Christianity in the early 19th century through the efforts of Adoniram Judson, a Baptist missionary, and today a large percentage of the Karen are Christians.
ABOUT KAREN BIBLE STUDY...
Most of the Karen ministry Bible study occurs on Sunday mornings. At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings upstairs in the FABC Education Building, we have ESL Sunday school for adults where English lessons are combined with Bible study. The Karen children attend the FABC Children’s Sunday School. During the worship time we have Karen Kids Church and Karen preschool. In the near future we are looking to develop regular Bible study times in Karen homes during the week.
ABOUT KAREN WORSHIP SERVICES...
FABC’s involvement with the Karen refugees in Greensboro began in 2007 with the co-sponsorship of a newly arriving Karen family through one of the resettlement agencies. In 2008 it was decided that the timing and opportunity was right to begin a church plant among this newly arriving refugee community. So in January 2009 the Friendly Avenue Karen Church started led by resident retired IMB missionaries and a missionary church planter. The worship services are held in Karen and English every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. upstairs in the FABC Education Building. This church plant however is truly a church-wide effort as the FABC community at large is very involved through ESL Sunday School, Karen Kids Church and Sunday School, transportation and bus ministry, WMU, service projects, refugee assistance, and many other important but often unseen ways.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To learn more about the Karen Church Plant or ways to get involved with this ministry please contact Bryan Presson.