Saturday, January 09, 2010

Healing wounds...through art and story

The Experiment at Shan Town from Partners Relief & Development on Vimeo.

In November 2008, (Partner's Relief and Development) traveled to a school of 700 students in Shan Town. They asked the children to help them understand their life experiences. Though they only had acrylic paint and paper, the results were incredible. Read more: here.

As an artist and a pastor of a church that values the proclamation and activism of justice, through the medium and witness of the arts; I am thrilled to see this project. I hope we can get it to come to Spokane.

We currently have a team of people from our church in Thailand in the refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border...(Please Pray for them)...I am sure they are going to return forever changed by thier journey. As a church, we are actively involved in refugee work, primarily with the people from Burma. As a church committed to a Head, Heart and Hands gospel of Jesus Christ...we see injustice in the world as a call to compassionate action, in our own communities and around the world.

Why Burma...?

-According to Human Rights Watch, at 70,000 kids, Burma boasts the highest number of child soldiers on Earth.
-The government spends .04% on health care. In contrast to an estimated 70% of government funds expended on the military.
-Rape is used as a weapon of war (an allegation upheld by the US State Department).
-Landmines are widely used, killing more people in Burma in 2002 than any other country in the world.
-Millions of Burmese have been pressed into forced labor. The Int. Labor Organization calls this "a modern form of slavery".
-Burma is the world's 2nd largest producer of opium, only second to Afghanistan. It's SE Asia's largest producer of meth.
-Has razed more than 3,200 villages and displaced over 1.5 million people, mostly farmers.

In 1990, National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was elected Prime Minister under UN sanctioned elections. After winning 85% of the popular vote, she was imprisoned by the ruling military junta. The junta also imprisoned approximately 1,600 political reformers, including 38 elected members of parliament. Aung San Suu Kyi and others remain in custody today.

Information gathered from the following sources:
Partner's
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma
The World Fact Book on Burma
Human Rights Watch
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