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Pastor Saw Eh Ler Plaw, Burma

I was born in Burma in a small town. I went to get an education in the city when I was in my teen years. I went to school until I was in 10th grade. That's when I graduated high school at the grade level in Burma. Our life growing up over there is very different from growing up in America. Over there, education and getting more knowledge of things is not caught up with what we have in America. Employment-wise nothing is special about it, but over there, it is different from here. Over here, education and knowledge are overloaded, meaning it's different.

When I was a kid, I was happy and content, not like the kids here. But we have the same

opportunity as the kids here with rules and regulations. Like caring for your kids is not the same as here. Parents send their children to daycare. Over there, kids are with their parents always and more connected to their parents, and they can feel their parent's affection more.

When I was younger, I grew up with other people. I only see my parents once a year for about three months and leave for my studies. Because I had to study in another place, I kept doing that until I was fully grown. But then my parents passed away. When they passed away, life became more challenging for us. We had to live with other people. I was twelve years old when that happened. My older siblings are already married, and there are three of us who are younger. Now we all live separate from each other except my younger sister and me.

I moved to Worthington because my sister is living here. I used to live in Illinois. I came to America in 2008 and lived in Ohio. In 2009, I lived in Illinois and moved to Worthington almost at the end of 2009. I have lived here for about 11 years.

I like living in Worthington. It's better compared to a big city. The bigger city has too many people and is noisy. In a smaller city, it's quiet and a little better. Here we have a lot of opportunities if you want to do anything you can do it. But for me, I have to work so I am not going to school anymore. There's community work and people who are in charge and work for the community. I want to see things grow, but that all depends on our children for the future.

When I was about 20 years old, I went to Mae La camp in Thailand. I went to study at Bible school. I like what I am doing right now. I work in a meatpacking company here and work with the Karen community. I have two jobs. In the meat company, I get paid to work, but it's my willingness to volunteer to do the work for the community. I have no goal to accomplish anymore but only the Bible. I need to keep working for the gospel; that's the end. We only live for a short time, not forever.

Hope for our community:

I hope to see that the future generations in our community will know how to help each other.

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