The Karenni Bible School in Mae Hong Son, Thailand is located just outside of Nai Soi Refugee Camp (1) in Northern Thailand. The school was founded in 2000. The students are from Myanmar, Thai- Karen and from the refugee’s camp in Thailand, most of them coming from Karenni State and a few from neighboring Shan and Karen States. The students experience hardships to come to this school as it takes a long time, sometimes weeks, to travel through the jungle and mountainous terrain. They do not have proper identity cards and cannot travel easily throughout Myanmar or Thailand. Most of them leave their families knowing that they will not return until they have finished at the school but with such a desire to learn more about God that fuels their ambition. They have great hope in the Bible School as they know it will not only impact their lives but allow them to impact many more when they are sent back out into Burma.
Going into the 2013-2014 school year we have about 68 students, and we currently have seven teachers, five Karenni and two foreign teachers at the school.
The school offers a 4 year program (Licentiate of theology) to students who have completed their high school studies and who have exhibited a desire and ambition to learn more about the Gospel. Most of the students plan to enter the mission field or become pastors inside of Myanmar after they graduate. The program is designed to give them a thorough understanding of the Bible and also to build their abilities to defend the Christian faith.
In their travels throughout Myanmar, the students will encounter many people of the Animist and Buddhist faith. Both of these religions, especially the Buddhist religion, are difficult to convert to Christianity and it is important that the students are well equipped before they reach their field.
I believe it is much more effective when non-believers encounter a missionary who belongs to the same people-group as themselves, it is a more effective way of spreading the Gospel. They are more likely to understand the Word of God when it is told to them in their own language and more likely to believe someone who has had similar life experiences as they have. The Karenni Bible School is producing God’s servant who will spread the Gospel to their own people in Myanmar.
The teachers and the students posing for the camera.
The teachers and staff of Karenni Baptist Association Bible School. Standing from left to right, Ephriam, Htoo Lar Paw, Hser Gay (Staff), Thaw Rein Htein (former teacher), Back row stading from left to right, Khien Maw Htein, Luther, Mu Thaw (former teacher).