Boston Baptist Social Union
June 2, 2008
Lobster or Steak Night

June Meeting

Twenty Years in a Refugee Camp

Discover What Life is Like in a Refugee Camp

Ed Hobart gave a slide presentation of his mission trip to Thailand. He shared about the plight of the Karen people and others in the refugee camp for Burmese people fleeing the persecution in neighboring Myanmar.

Ed Hobart recently visited Thailand with a group of American Baptists to visit American Baptist missionaries in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and to see their work with the people in the region. While there they were able to visit the refugee camps along the Burma(also known as Myanmar) Thailand border.

The majority of the presentation focused on these refugee camps. The camps have been existence for twenty years. Today there are about 150,000 people in nine camps along the border. The people in the camps are mostly Karens, a minority people group living in the south Burma (Myanmar). They have been driven from their homes by the Myanmar army intent on eradicating these people. The border is a narrow river. They are not even safe across the border in Thailand, as the army crosses the border and invades the camps and murders the leaders of the people. The refugees cannot legally leave the camps as if they are discovered by the Thai government they are deported back to Myanmar where they face certain death.

Last year the United States and the United Nations became involved and began a resettlement program. In 2007 the United States resettled about 20,000 of these refugees. It is expected that another 20,000 people will be resettled this year in the United States.

Baptists Ties With the Karen People

The Karens have historic ties to American Baptists. Adoniram Judson went as a missionary to Burma in the early 1800's and ministered amoung the Karens. Today many Karens are Baptists and as they are resettled in the cities in the United States they are finding their way to our churches. For example:

  • Tabernacle Baptist Church in Syracuse has 600 refugees attending their church.
  • A Baptist church in the Chicago area has 200 refugees attending their church.
  • The First Baptist Church of Lynn has 70 refugees attending their church.

Duane Binkley, an American Baptist missionary to Thailand for 15 years, has now been reassigned to the US in order to continue his work with the Karen people here and with our churches to help reach out to our fellow Baptists.



Song: “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing” will be led by Mr. Richard Freeman.

Invocation: The Rev. Dr. Victor Scalise, Jr.


Special Music: The Karen Choir, First Baptist Church, Lynn


  • Two candidates for membership into the BBSU

Special Presentation: Mr. Edwin Hobart

Bendediction: Rev. Kevin Patterson