Zau Bawk, a Kachin refugee from Burma, arrived to Seattle a little over a year ago. The Kachin are a group of ethnic minorities who have experienced much persecution in their home country of Burma. Before October 2012, Zau Bawk spent many years in a refugee camp in Malaysia. We invited him to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. Here are some of his thoughts and memories.
Zau Bawk remembers his first Christmas celebration:
I was 11 years old in 1995. I was then in a missionary boarding house. On Christmas night of that year we celebrated the ceremony by worshiping, singing songs, playing social games and exchanging presents. To exchange the present we drew the poll and exchanged the presents between the two persons whose numbers matched each other’s. The present I prepared for the night was a very cheap small picture. But I came across with a senior girl, whose present was worth more than ten times than mine. Inside the box was a full set of stationery and some more chocolates. As a young kid, I just thought myself I was so lucky. Even some of my friends envied me. From that moment whenever Christmas comes I would just long for something big to receive rather than thinking to give. But I never received a present again that could please my desire. I’ve only learned three years ago that I should change my mindset. That was the first Christmas I remembered well and also was the beginning of a turning point in my life.
Zau Bawk looks forward to Christmas 2013:
I can’t wait to see my Christmas baby who is soon to be born in December. She will be the most precious gift I’ll ever receive from God during Christmas time.
At the moment, my two years old son is quite young to understand everything I tell him. But I surely would love to introduce our savior Jesus Christ to my children and tell them about what Christmas actually means. That is also the best teaching way to be a man of value when they grow up. I just can’t wait to tell them about the 12 symbols of Christmas and other Christmas stories.
Philippians 2:5-11 is the most significant to me about Christmas. In this passage we don’t see the usual scenario of Christmas. But we can see a different viewpoint that gives the real meaning of Christmas. The meaning of Christmas for me is to find the lost, to feed the hungry, to heal the broken, and to bring Christ to all.
Finally, we asked Zau Bawk if there is anything he would like to share with you, the friends of World Relief Seattle:
There are many things to say my heartfelt thanks to many people some I have already met but some I’ve never known. It is really difficult to mention in brief.
Our world today is wounded because of some selfish and greedy people. There are wars and conflicts around the world. As a result, many people have become refugees and IDPs. Many lost their love ones. But the United States is leading the world in saving refugees by bringing them to its own country. To accomplish this mission I am well aware that the government can’t do it alone. Many individual contributors are needed and many humanitarian agencies are required. As a human being, I do understand it is not an easy task to invite strangers to our home and feed them for we don’t know how they will behave. But I do want to say that I really admired you all your citizens’ courage to accept the diversity in this country.
Last of all, I would like to invite you especially to all believers, “Let’s keep healing the wounded world as followers of Jesus Christ, for he himself had set examples in healing many people.
I wish you all to have a Merry Christmas as the joyful time is approaching. May God bless you all.