သးသယုၢ်တၢ် ၃:၃၁-၃၂ – ‘‘ယွၤတညိကွံာ်တၢ်လီၤထူလီၤယိာ်ဘၣ်. မၤနးမၤဖှီၣ်တၢ်ဘၣ်ဆၣ်ဒီး ကသူၣ်ကညီၤသးကညီတၢ်ဒ်အဘျုးဒိၣ်အဖှိၣ်အါအိၣ်ဝဲအသိးန့ၣ်လီၤ.’’
စးထီၣ်လၢယသ့ၣ်ညါတၢ်န့ၣ် ယန့ၢ်ဘၣ်မိၢ်ပၢ်အတၢ်အဲၣ်လၢလၢပှဲၤပှဲၤလီၤ. ဖဲယနၢ်ပၢၢ်တၢ်အါထီၣ်ဒီး ယသ့ၣ်ညါယွၤအတၢ် အဲၣ်အါထီၣ်ခီဖျိ ယမိမိပါပါအတၢ်ဟံးစုနဲၣ်ကျဲယၤအဃိလီၤ. ယဒိးန့ၢ်ဘၣ်တၢ်အါမံၤလၢ ယမိယပါ အတၢ်အိၣ်မူပူၤအကျါ တၢ်လၢအိၣ်တ့ၢ်လၢယသးပူၤန့ၣ်မ့ၢ်ဝဲဒၣ် တၢ်အဲၣ်ယွၤအါထီၣ်, တၢ်နာ်ယွၤယိာ်ထီၣ်, တၢ်ဟ့ၣ်တၢ်လၢတၢ်သးအိၣ်နီၢ်နီၢ်, တၢ်ပာ်တၢ်ဆံဆဲၣ်ပူလၢ တၢ်သးအိၣ်ဒီးတမ့ၢ်တၢ်မၤဆူၣ်အပူၤဘၣ်, တၢ်သူကျိၣ်စ့သ့လၢကျဲအဘၣ်, တၢ်သးအိၣ်မၤစၢၤပှၤလၢ အလိၣ်ဘၣ်တၢ်မၤစၢၤတဖၣ်, ဒီး တဲဖျါထီၣ်တလၢာ်ဘၣ်. တၢ်တဖၣ်အံၤမ့ၢ်တၢ်ဟဲလၢယွၤခီဖျိ ယမိမိ သရၣ်မုၣ်စတါရံၣ်ထူဒီး ယပါပါ သရၣ်ဒိၣ်ကၠီန့ၢ်ထူ အတၢ်အိၣ်မူအပူၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. ဖဲအိၣ်ဘၣ်လၢမိၢ်ပၢ်ကဒုဖီလာ်အခါ, တၢ်ကိၢ်တၢ်ဂီၤတအိၣ်, အီၣ်ဘၣ်ဘဲ ဘဲ, အိၣ်ဘၣ်မုာ်မုာ်, ခီဖျိယွၤအဘျုးလီၤ. တုၤယနီၢ်ဒိၣ်ထီၣ်, ယတၢ်သ့ၣ်ညါတၢ်လဲၤခီဖျိအါထီၣ် ယတၢ်နာ်ယွၤဒံးအါထီၣ်လီၤ. ယသ့ၣ်ညါလၢတၢ်ခဲလၢာ်အိၣ်လၢယွၤအစုပူၤအဃိ, ယလဲၤခီဖျိယဲသ့လၢယွၤလၢအဒုးဆူၣ်ထီၣ်ယဂံၢ်ယဘါတဂၤအဃိလီၤ. တၢ်ဆီ တလဲအိၣ်ထီၣ် ဖဲယမၤလိလံာ်စီဆှံ ခံနံၣ်တနံၣ် ဖဲ ၁၉၈၈ လၢပကီၢ်ပယီၤအပူၤလီၤ. တၢ်တမုာ်တခုၣ်အဃိပဘၣ်သုးလီၢ်သုးကျဲ လီၤ. ပမ့ၢ်ကွၢ်က့ၤပတၢ်လဲၤခီဖျိတဘျီဘျီမုာ်, တဘျီဘျီနးဘၣ်ဆၣ် ပလဲၤခီဖျိသ့လၢယွၤအဃိလီၤ. တၢ်လၢယသးပ့ၤနီၣ်တသ့တ ဖၣ်အါမံၤအကျါ ယသးအိၣ်ပာ်ဖျါတနီၤဒ်လာ်အံၤအသိးလီၤ. ဖဲပစးထီၣ်ဟးဖးဒီးဝ့ၢ်တကူၣ်, ပဒုၣ်ပဒါလူၤပှၤလၢပလီၢ်ခံဒီးပအိၣ် လၢတၢ်သံကဒုကစၢၢ်ကဆူးအပူၤလီၤ. ပဘၣ်ပာ်မၤပသးဒ်သဝီဖိအသိး, ပဖၢၣ်လီၤပခိၣ်, ယဆီတလဲက့ၤယဆ့ကၤ, ဒီးဖူဘၣ်အၢ အီၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. ပလဲၤခီသဝီဖိတဖျၢၣ်လၢဒုၣ်ဒါတဖၣ်အိၣ်ကဒု, ဘၣ်ဖဲအဝဲသ့ၣ်ဂဲၤဆၢထၢၣ်ထူးမဲပျၢ်မဲာ်အဆၢကတီၢ်လီၤ. အထံၣ်ပှၤဒီး ကွၢ်ပှၤအခါလၢယသးပူၤယဘါထုကဖၣ်သပှၢ်ပှၢ်ဒီးယကိးထီၣ်ယွၤတဘျုးဘျီလီၤ. ပမ့ၢ်တလဲၤခီကျဲအဝဲန့ၣ် ဒီးကျဲအဂၤတအိၣ် ဘၣ်. ကျီၤလ့ၣ်လၢပဒိးတခိၣ်တုၤလၢအဝဲသ့ၣ်အကပၤတဘီ ပယီၤသုးဖိတဂၤကွၢ်ယၤဒီး ဘံၣ်ပၠးယၤအမဲာ်ချံလီၤ. လၢတၢ်ပျံၤ တၢ်ဖုးအပူၤ ယကွၢ်ဟ့အီၤဒီးယဃၣ်ယမဲာ်လီၤ. ယစံးဘျုးယွၤလၢတကိးပတုာ်ပလ့ၣ်အဃိလီၤ. ဒ်သးစၢ်တဖၣ်ထံၣ်မုၣ်ကနီၤဒီး လိာ်လ့ဝဲ မၤသီၣ်မၤသဲအကလုၢ်တဖၣ်ဒီးနံၤတံးနံၤတူးဝဲလီၤ. ပလဲၤခီကွံာ်သဝီဖိတဖျၢၣ်န့ၣ်ဝံၤ ပှၤပာ်ခူသူၣ်ပှၤလၢတပှီာ်ကျါ, တၢ်ကိၢ်ဆါဘၣ်ဆၣ်, ပသီၣ်တဘူၣ်ဘၣ်. မုၢ်ခံးလီၤဒီးပစးထီၣ်လဲၤတၢ်လီၤ. ယပါပါဒီးယဒ့မုၣ်ဖိဘၣ်ဒိးကဆီ, မ့မ့ၢ်ယၤဒီး ယဟံၣ်ဖိဃီဖိတနီၤဘၣ်ဟးလၢပခီၣ်ထီၣ်ကစၢၢ်ကလိခီတြီၤဖးယိာ်လီၤ. ပဘၣ်နီၤဖးလီၤပသးဒီးပိာ်ပှၤဆှၢတၢ်တဖၣ်လီၤ. တချုး ယဟးထီၣ်လၢဝ့ၢ်ပူၤလၢယစုစ့ၣ်ဒီးယခီၣ်စ့ၣ်တခီဝ့ထီၣ်ဒီးဆါအ့ၣ်ထုးတဘီလီၤ. တၢ်ဝံဃၢ, တၢ်ဘှံးသးဘၣ်ဆၣ်ဒီးဘၣ်လူၤပှၤလၢ အဆှၢပှၤတဖၣ်လီၤ. ယဂုာ်ကျဲးစၢး ဘၣ်ဆၣ်ယလူၤပှၤဂၤတချုးလၢၤဘၣ်. ယဃုကျဲတဘၣ်လၢၤဘၣ်. ကျဲဖးဒ့အိၣ်အါမးလီၤ. ယကိးထီၣ်ကစၢ်ယွၤဒီးယလဲၤကျဲတဘိ လၢယွၤအသးဆှၢယၤလီၤ. ယလဲၤယံာ်ထီၣ်မုၢ်ဟါလီၤဒီးယနၢ်ဟူပှၤကတိၤတၢ်အကလုၢ် သီၣ်အဃိယကနၣ်ထံကွၢ်လီၤ. မ့ၢ်ပယီၤကတိၤတၢ်လီၤ. ယဃ့ၢ်တဘၣ်လၢၤဘၣ်. ယမံနီၤလီၤ, ယပာ်မၤယသးဒ်ပှၤသံတဂၤ အသိး, ယပာ်ဘၢယမဲာ်ဒီးယခိၣ်သလုး, ယပာ်ဖျါထီၣ်ယစုလီၤဝါခီၣ်လီၤဝါ, ယအိၣ်ဂၢၢ်ဂၢၢ်ဒီးယဘါထုကဖၣ်ဒ်အံၤ, “ကစၢ်ယွၤဧၢ, ဝံသးစူၤမၤစၢၤယၤတက့ၢ်. ထဲနၤတဂၤမ့ၢ်ယတၢ်မုၢ်လၢ်လီၤ.” ယမုၢ်လၢ်လၢပှၤတဖၣ်အံၤကထံၣ်ယတၢ်လီၤဝါဒီးကပျံၤဝဲဒီး ကဃ့ၢ်ကွံာ်ဝဲဒၣ်လီၤ. တယံာ်ဘၣ်ဒီးအဝဲသ့ၣ်ထံၣ်စိယၤ ဒီးတဲသကိးယဂ့ၢ်လီၤ. အတဂၤတဲ, ‘‘ကွၢ်လၢန့ၣ်,’’ အတဂၤတဲ, ‘‘ပကလဲၤကွၢ်ဘူးထီၣ်ဧါ,’’ အဂၤတဂၤတဲ, ‘‘မၤတြီတဂ့ၤ, အဝဲ အံၤပှၢ်ယိာ်နီ.’’ ယဲဒုယကိးထီၣ်ဒၣ်ကစၢ်ယွၤလီၤ. လၢခံအဝဲသ့ၣ် ဃ့ၢ်ကွံာ်လီၤ. ယသးခုတကလုာ်ထုး, တုၤဒၣ်လဲာ်ယဆၢထၢၣ်က့ၤမးတမုာ်ဘၣ်. ယဂဲၤဆၢထၢၣ်ဒီးဟးဖဲယခိၣ်တိၤလိၤလီၤ. ဘၣ်ဆၣ်ယနာ်လၢယွၤအိၣ်ဒီးယၤဒီး ယလဲၤတၢ်လၢတၢ်နာ်လီၤ. ယထံၣ်ဖုသးပှၢ်တဂၤဝံကုဖးဒိၣ်ဟးချ့မးလီၤ. ယလဲၤသံကွၢ်အီၤ ဖုဖုနမ့ၢ်ပှၤကညီဧါ. အဝဲတဲဆၢယၤလၢကညီကျိာ်ဒီး ယသးခုဒီးယဃ့ၢ်ဒီးအီၤလီၤ. လၢခံ ယထံၣ်လိာ်က့ၤယသးဒီး ယဟံၣ်ဖိ ဃီဖိတဖၣ်လီၤ. ပတုၤလၢ ကညီသဝီဒီးဒုၣ်ဒါဟဲမၤအူအီၣ်ကွံာ်ပဟံၣ်ပသဝီဒီး ဘၣ်သုးလီၢ်သုးကျဲကဒီးလီၤ. တၢ်လဲၤခီဖျိတဖၣ် အံၤအပူၤ ယထံၣ်ဘၣ်တၢ်လီၤလးအါမံၤ, တကးဘၣ်, ယထံၣ်ဘၣ်တံၤသကိး တဖၣ် လၢအသးအိၣ်ဆှၢပှၤ, မၤစၢၤပှၤအဃိ, ယစံးဘျုးဘၣ်ယွၤဒိၣ်မးဒီးယတသးပ့ၤနီၣ်အဝဲသ့ၣ်အဘျုးနီတဘျီဘၣ်န့ၣ်လီၤ.
ဒုၣ်ဒါလၢသူၣ်အၢသးသီ, တၢ်မၤအၢမၤသီလၢအိၣ်ဝးတရံးခူသူၣ်သး, တၢ်လဲၤတၢ်အိၣ်ပှဲၤဒီးတၢ်ဘၣ်ယိၣ်ဘၣ်ဘီ, ပှၤလဲၤတၢ်လၢ အဟးဖျိးကျဲ, ဒီး ခါဆူညါလၢတၢ်တသ့ၣ်ညါဘၣ်အီၤ, သ့ၣ်တဖၣ်မ့ၢ် သရၣ်မုၣ်သဘျ့ဖီထူ အတၢ်လဲၤခီဖျိသ့ၣ်တဖၣ် လၢ အတၢ်ဃ့ၢ်လၢတၢ်နာ်န့ၣ်လီၤ. မ့ၢ်အလီၤပျံၤလီၤဖုးသနာ်က့, သရၣ်မုၣ် သ့ၣ်ညါဝဲယွၤတဂၤလၢအဘါဝဲ မ့ၢ်လၢအမိၢ်အပၢ်သိၣ်လိတ့ၢ်အီၤ ဒီး အနီၢ်ကစၢ်ဃုထံၣ်ဘၣ်ဝဲန့ၣ်လီၤ. ယွၤလၢသရၣ်မုၣ်နာ်တဂၤအံၤ လဲၤတၢ်ဒီးအီၤလၢအခီၣ်ထွဲကိးထွဲအပူၤ, ဒီး ဒုးနၢ်ဟူဘၣ်အီၤလၢ တၢ်နာ်, တၢ်သူၣ်ဒူသးဒူ, တၢ်ဂံၢ်တၢ်ဘါ, ဒီး တၢ်မုၢ်လၢ် အကလုၢ်ဆၢတဖၣ်, လၢအမၤတအၢကွံာ် တၢ်ကီတၢ်ခဲတၢ်နိးတၢ်ဘျး အကလုၢ်သီၣ်ရုၢ်ရုၢ်ရၢ်ရၢ်တဖၣ်လီၤ.
မ့ၢ်နဒုးနုာ်လီၤ တၢ်နာ်လၢအအိၣ်စံၣ်အိၣ်ကျၢၤ ဒီး ဒုးပူၤဖျဲးသးသမူ လၢနဖိတဖၣ်အသးကံၢ်ပူၤဒ်လဲၣ်.
မ့ၢ်နကဒုးသီၣ်ထီၣ် တၢ်နာ်အကလုၢ်ဆၢ သီၣ်ဒိၣ်န့ၢ်ဒံး ဟီၣ်ခိၣ်အတၢ်သီၣ်တၢ်သဲတဖၣ်လၢသီၣ်ရုၢ်ရုၢ် လၢနဖိတဖၣ်အသးသမူအပူၤဒ်လဲၣ်.
ယွၤဧၢ, ဝံသးစူၤဆိၣ်ဂ့ၤဘၣ်နဖိတဂၤအံၤလၢအဖးဝဲတၢ်ဟ့ၣ်ဂံၢ်ဟ့ၣ်ဘါ အံၤ န့ၣ်တက့ၢ်. လၢဟီၣ်ခိၣ်အံၤမုၢ်နံၤတဖၣ်အၢသီဝဲလီၤ. ပကျဲးစၢးအဂ့ၤ ကတၢၢ်သနာ်က့ ဟီၣ်ခိၣ်အံၤအိၣ်ပှဲၤဒီးတၢ်ကွဲန့ၢ်လွဲန့ၢ် ဒီး တၢ်ဘၣ်ယိၣ် ဘၣ်ဘီသ့ၣ်တဖၣ်လၢပဖိအဂီၢ်လီၤ. ပကိၢ်ပဂီၤလၢပဖိသ့ၣ်တဖၣ် ကဘၣ် တၢ်ထုးန့ၢ်အီၤလၢဟီၣ်ခိၣ်အံၤလၢတပျံၤယွၤဘၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲသ့ၣ် မ့ၢ်တဟံး ဃာ်နၤလၢအသးမူအဃိ, တၢ်မနုၤကကဲထီၣ်ဒီးအဝဲသ့ၣ်တဖၣ်လဲၣ်. ပနာ် ထဲဒၣ်နၤလၢပဖိတဖၣ်အသးသမူခါဆူညါလီၤ. ပစံးဘျုးနၤလၢ နဟ့ၣ်ပှၤ ပဖိလုၢ်ဒိၣ်ပှ့ၤဒိၣ်တဖၣ်လီၤ. ပဃ့ပျၢ်ပတၢ်ကမၣ်သ့ၣ်တဖၣ် အဟဲခီဖျိလၢ တၢ်ကိၢ်တၢ်ဂီၤ, တၢ်အဲၣ်ဒိးပၢဆှၢဖီၣ်ပျံၤ, ဒီး တၢ်သူၣ်တစူၤသးတစူၤ န့ၣ် လီၤ. ပအဲၣ်ဒိးမၢပဖိအိၣ်ဒီးတၢ်စူၢ်တၢ်နာ်လၢအိၣ်ဒီး သရၣ်မုၣ်သဘျ့ဖီထူ န့ၣ်လီၤ. ပျဲနသးမုာ်စီဆှံနဲၣ်အဝဲသ့ၣ်ဆူနတၢ်အဲၣ် အတၢ်ဖိးဟုဃာ်တၢ် အပူၤတက့ၢ်. မၤစၢၤပဝဲမိၢ်ပၢ်တဖၣ် လၢပကမ့ၢ်ထံကျိလၢ လၢနတၢ်အဲၣ် ဒီး နဘျုးနဖှိၣ်ယွၤလီၤန့ၣ်တက့ၢ်. လၢခရံာ်အမံၤ ယဃ့နၤလီၤ. အၤမ့ၣ်.
GOD DID NOT FORGET US OR FORSAKE US
Lamentations 3:31-32 – “For the Lord will not cast off forever. For though he causes grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.” (WEB)
From the time I could make sense of things, I always remember receiving unconditional love from my parents. The more I grew in understanding, the deeper I knew God’s love through the guidance of my parents. Among many things taught by my parents, the ones most long-lasting in my heart and life are to love God increasingly, to trust in God deeper, to give with a sincere heart, to tithe willingly, to be a good financial steward, and to help others. To be honest, I can continue the list on and on. These are wisdoms from God that came through my mother, Thramu Starry Htoo, and my father, Thrah Johnny Htoo. When I was living in the shelter of my parents, I had no worries, I ate well, and I lived comfortably by God’s grace. As I grew older and gained more experience, my faith also grew and I knew everything is in God’s hands. I can go through any experience with Christ who strengthens me. A major life-changing event took place when I was in my second year studying at the Bible School in 1988 in Burma. We had to move because of the instability in the country. There were pleasant and unpleasant experiences, but we overcame because God was with us. One adventure in particular was unforgettable. When we fled from Yangon, the enemy was after us and we were in the valley of the shadow of death. We had to disguise ourselves as villagers by using fabrics as hair wraps, changing clothes, and making clothes look dirty. We had to pass through a village where the enemy were camping. There was no other route. It was in the morning and they were just waking up, brushing teeth, and washing up. When they looked at us, I prayed and called out to God so many times in my heart. When the bullock cart that we rode passed near them, one soldier winked at me and I looked at him in disgust and quickly turned my head in fear. I was thankful they didn’t stop us. But they found it funny to harass us with gestures and noises and laughed hard. After making it out of that village, we were kept hidden in thick bushes. It was so hot in those bushes, but we did not dare make a sound. When the night came, we started moving again. My father and younger sister rode on an elephant, but other family members and I travelled on the mountains and in the valleys on foot. The fact that the boils that I had since I left Yangon were giving me more pain and aches didn’t help. The baggage was heavy and I was very tired, but I had to make sure I kept up with following the guides. Try as I did, I soon couldn’t keep up and was left behind. I could not find the way because there were so many small paths. I called out to the Lord and chose the way I felt He led me to. I went on for a long time. When the evening came, I heard voices and I strained to listen. They were speaking in Burmese. I just could not run. I quickly lay down pretending as if I was dead. I covered my face with my hat. But I revealed my hands and feet that have the skin of white patches due to a skin condition called vitiligo. I was very still. I prayed, “God, please help me. You are my only hope.” My wish was that they would get scared by my skin pigment and run away. They soon noticed me and started talking about me. One said, “Look at that!” The other one said, “Let’s go closer and look!” Another one warned, “Don’t play around. This is a very deep jungle.” For me, I just kept crying out to God. Later, they all ran away. I was so relieved and happy that I didn’t even want to get up. But once I got up, I just kept going where my mind sent me. But, I believed God was with me and I went by faith. I ran into an elderly man with a basket on his back walking briskly. I asked him if he was Karen. He answered me in Karen language. I was overjoyed. I also walked briskly with him. Later, I was reunited with my family. We got to a Karen village, but couldn’t stay for long. The enemy came and burned it and so we were on the run again. In all of these experiences, we witnessed too many miracles. Not only that, we met people who were generous and willing to guide us and help us. I praise God and will never forget His grace.
Thramu Tha Blay Paw Htoo
Columbia, North Carolina
The ruthless enemy, the lurking danger, the treacherous journey, the lost traveler, and the unknown future are the marks of the flight of faith for Thramu Tha Blay Paw Htoo.
In spite of these frightening marks, Thramu Tha Blay Paw Htoo knew Whom she worshipped because her parents taught her and she also sought Him. The God in Whom she placed her trust was by her side every step of the way on her flight, sounding the sweet tunes of faith, courage, strength, and hope, drowning out the roaring rumbles made by the hurdles on her path.
How are you instilling faith that is long-lasting and life-saving in your children?
How can you make the sweet sound of faith sound louder than the rumbles of the world’s noises in your children’s lives?
PRAYER FOR THE READER
Dear God, please bless Your children reading this devotional journal. The days are evil in this world. We are trying our hardest, but the world is filled with temptations and dangers for our children. We are very afraid they will be drawn to the faithless world. What will become of them if they do not hold onto You in their lives? We trust only You with the future of our children. We thank you for the precious gift of our children. Please forgive us for our mistakes triggered by our anxiety, control, and impatience. We want them to have the faith that Thramu Tha Blay Paw Htoo has in navigating life. Please let the Holy Spirit lead them to Your loving arms. Please help us to be parents through whom Your love and grace flow. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.