By Ron Orr
May I introduce you to La Wom.
La Wom is of the Kachin people in Myanmar. Kachin people are found mostly in the very north provinces of Myanmar. They are a small percentage of the total population and experience conflict with the dominant Burmese political and military powers. Most of the Kachin in Canada arrived as refugees.
La Wom came to Canada several years ago. He has had the opportunity to complete an M Div from Providence in Manitoba. He came to Edmonton seeking work to earn the money to return home to Myanmar to minister to his own people – but sometimes the Lord directs in unexpected ways.
While there, he connected with some Myanmar people who were meeting for fellowship but without a pastor. They asked him to be their pastor. He consulted with his Elders back home and they confirmed that because there are virtually no Kachin speaking pastors in Canada he should accept this call. This is La Wom’s first pastoral ministry since graduating and in a new country for his people. Their services as spoken in Kachin.
I first met La Wom when he emailed asking if we could meet and talk about Baptist churches. He had met one of our pastors elsewhere and been directed to contact me.
We met in a restaurant, with one of his members as well. Since of the Kachin are Baptists because of evangelism in Myanmar in 1800’s by Baptist missionaries, La Wom and his church were interested in connecting with a Baptist denomination here.
Since that first meeting we have been building a relationship. I visited their fellowship for a cultural Christmas celebration. We were also glad to have La Wom at our recent Alberta Pastors’ Retreat. In addition to meeting many of our pastors, he was able to play his first game of floor hockey.
I have been very encouraged to have Pastor Geri Redekop of Braemar Baptist, Edmonton, volunteer to mentor and walk with La Wom through some of the details of licencing and affiliation. This process is just beginning.
Please pray for both men and this congregation of Kachin people.
We look forward to an ongoing and deepening relationship in the future.