I’m thankful to the refugees I’ve met for the willingness to share their lives and experiences with me, even when that is difficult. It’s hard for me to imagine surviving the situations some of these refugees have described.
Caleb Benningfield feels the sam way. “They even told me before ‘I do not like to talk about this it makes me want to cry’”, he said.
Recently, Po Khu answered some questions I had about his life before coming to America.
“We live bad,” Po Khu said. “Where I go I can’t (be) free.”
After fleeing Myanmar, Po Khu dealt with Thailand officials while living in a refugee camp.
“Refugees from Myanmar in Thailand have been confined to nine closed camps since they began arriving in the 1980s” the UNHCR said. “This constitutes one of the most protracted displacement situations in the world.”
“I don’t have money, you know,” Po Khu said. “I have kids. Nobody help me, but I can pray.”
Po Khu said that he was inspired to come to the United States because he heard about the freedom here. He wanted to live freely.
“Right now God sent me a good thing through Laura and Caleb,” Po Khu said.
Po Khu is a young man in his 30’s and although life was tough in Thailand, he still wants to do things with his life.
Po Khu’s wants to learn English so he can grow spiritually.
“I’m learning speaking English right now for Bible,” he said. Po Khu also said he wants to be more independent and not have to rely on translators so heavily.
I also asked Po Khu why so many refugees from Burma live in the Lovers Lane apartments. Aside from the help of the International Center, Po Khu said that he lives there for religious community, since they don’t have a church of their own.
When I asked the Benningfields what their future plans were for helping their friends, they said that they wanted to raise up a preacher and that Po Khu may be the perfect candidate.