Last night, Thangai showed me pictures of her homeland, the Chin state of Myanmar.
She said it is very cold there in the mountains, and the trees bloom bright red flowers in November and December. In June and July, white blossoms cloak the mountains all around. The mountain views are breathtaking... just ripples and waves of green against a blue blue sky, or grey-blue mountain tops poking out of thick blankets of cloud that settle into all the valleys.
She also told me about the traditional bamboo dance, in which the boys clap and tap long bamboo sticks together and on the ground, and the girls dance between them.
She let me listen to Burmese music - not the light-hearted pop songs I've gotten used to hearing on Michael's favorite music videos, but slower ballad-type of songs that make your heart swell and long for something beautiful and familiar. She sat quietly, rocking baby Debrah and humming Burmese love songs and lullabies. I think she misses her home.
And the saddest thing is that she knows she cannot go back, and probably never will. The Chin people of Burma face great persecution. The militant government makes arbitrary arrests, steals money and food and property, forces the people into labor, and does not allow them to move to another place - all to intimidate and oppress them. You wouldn't know it to look at the beautiful landscape, but this land is truly torn apart by hatred and fear.
Thangai is 22 years old, Hau Lun is 24, and they have a growing family, and they moved here just a few months ago. I am in awe of their courage and strength to escape and seek a better life for their children. They are full of love and hope because they follow and trust Jesus.
I think I've decided on a name for our old house that has so much personality... so much love... I will call it Angaying Inn. "Ang ai ing" is Zo for "love," and "inn" actually means "house." This isn't the order they would put the words for the phrase in the Chin language, and I adapted the spelling for phonetic reasons, so this is more the "American" version, but it seems fitting, right? A blended American-Chin way to say that this house is full of love. Please pray that we will demonstrate this to all who enter in.