ABHMS to co-sponsor Karen Baptist Youth Conference in
Twenty-four youth accepted Christ and were baptized at the Karen Baptist Youth Conference in summer 2010.
Youth and young adults, ages 15-30, are invited to the Karen Baptist Youth Conference to be co-sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) July 21-24, 2011, at Houghton (N.Y.) College. The theme—“Be a good example”—derives from I Timothy 4:11-12.
“By attending the conference, youth will gain a deeper understanding of their own history, culture and American Baptist faith. By understanding, they will gain pride about who they are so that they can become good examples,” says the Rev. Rothang Chhangte, ABHMS liaison for Burma refugees. “Back in time in their home country, the Karen people were leaders in politics, education and Christianity among all denominations and even among groups outside of their own culture.”
Speakers and workshop leaders will include the following:
- Dr. Eh Wah, former president of Myanmar Institute of Theology and New Testament scholar;
- the Rev. Florence Li, director of Asian Ministries, ABHMS;
- the Rev. Duane and Marcia Binkley, missionaries to Thailand, American Baptist International Ministries; and
- Dr. Angelene Naw, history professor, Judson University, Elgin, Ill.
Chhangte notes that Li’s workshop will include tips for adjusting to multicultural life in the United States. “We’re trying to help young people learn how to balance growing up in two very different cultures—Karen and American,” Chhangte says.
Applying to colleges, universities and other U.S. higher education institutions will also be addressed.
In addition, the conference will offer educational opportunities to help Karen pastors adjust to ministry in the United States. “It will provide them with the tools they need to work in a different cultural context,” she says.
More than 600 youth and young adults attended last summer’s conference at First Baptist Church of St. Paul, Minn. Twenty-four young people made a decision to follow Christ and were baptized in a nearby lake at the three-day event themed “a light to the nations” and based on acts 13:47.
Sponsoring this year’s conference with ABHMS are Karen Baptist Churches USA, Buffalo Karen Baptist Church and the Burma Refugees Task Force.