Welcome to the Baldwin Boomerang

We long to see people in every tribe, tongue and nation transformed for God's glory. Our mission is to share the gospel by producing effective, compelling media tools that people can understand in their own culture and language. We are preparing to serve as full-time media missionaries with Create International. Toward that end we completed an extensive missions training program called a Crossroads DTS at YWAM Perth, Australia and a secondary YWAM school called the School of Frontier Media in Thailand. We are currently on furlough in North America and hope to see you face-to-face in 2010!

Support Information: Our support goal is currently near 50%.

You may send gifts and donations for our support to our sending agency Ripe for Harvest and please designate Account #247 in the memo line without including our name on the check. You may then mail the check directly to:

Ripe for Harvest, P.O. Box 487, Monument, CO 80132

PLEASE note new address.

It can take up to a month and a half for us to see your donation show up on our report. Also, Ripe for Harvest is able to issue a tax deductible receipt in the USA, but YWAM in Thailand is not.

If you want to be added to our newsletter list or have additional questions, email us at baldwinboomerang @ gmail dot com

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vol 14d My*nm*r Memories 3: Sh*n New Year

A balmy Monday night in November found us at the local Sh*n monastry in Y*ngon to usher in the official Sh*n New Year. After praying for these people for months, it was such an honor to be in Burm* to celebrate with them.

Under normal circumstances, this many Sh*n people would never be allowed to congregate, but the military restrictions are eased for important festivals such as this one. As one of the largest ethnic groups in the land, their sheer numbers pose a threat to the establishment. The Sh*n have been engaged in an intermittent civil war with the authorities for decades.

Hours and hours of entertainment are promised including many local dance troupes who entertain the crowds with traditional Sh*n dances to distinctive Sh*n melodies. This a chance for talented local folk to shine and show their pride in their culture and traditions—especially in a political climate where to be Sh*n is to be oppressed by the government.

This event draws huge crowds of Sh*n people from the surrounding area and very few tourists. During their frequent conflicts with the government, many Sh*n are burned out of their villages and forced to fleet the country into Thailand.

Monks are highly revered by these people. A cordoned off section is set aside for the monks to come and take part in the festivities. Every male Sh*n will likely serve as a monk at least twice in their lifetime. When it comes to events like this one, even monks know how to have a good time.

Every year important dignitaries from the local Sh*n community are honored at events such as this one. Young Sh*n men are often conscripted into the My*nm*r Army or enslaved to provide road work for months with no wages or food. These people are survivors under the most difficult of circumstances and any chance to honor their heroes is moving and meaningful.

Local legend “Sarah” is a much beloved rock star in this land and delivers a passionate performance reminiscent of a rowdy Asian Joan Jett. After hours of traditional dance routines and honorific events, “Sarah's” passionate performance took the audience enthusiasm level to unparallelled heights. Rock and roll is alive and well!

Even a couple of visiting tourist-types can get a coveted chance to pose with their favorite local rock star. (Note the sweat from our labors destroying another t-shirt—this job requires lots of frequent hydration.) A high-profile Christian in a land of less than 1% Christian population provides “Sarah” with a rare platform for breaking down stereotypes that all Christians are foreign devils. Pray for her.

Due to the horrible circumstances, there has been a massive exodus of young Sh*n males to neighboring Thailand, where they typically find low-paid work in construction. Every day spent in Thailand is another day that the My*nm*r regime cannot repress or enslave them. Pray for the young men like this one who remain and serve in a country under consistently tyrannic conditions and the threat of death or oppression.

Here is a photo of a Sh*n Flag taken in a local restaurant. It goes without saying that such displays of ethnic pride are not flaunted publicly on the streets of My*nm*r for fear of brutal retaliations from the military-controlled government.

The next morning we would start our exceedingly long journey into the official Sh*n St*te, the home of these proud people.

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