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I arrived in Thailand planning to spend a few days with my friend Mary and her husband. We would be staying at a mini resort/guest house in Lampang, about an hour out of Chiang Mai. I planned to make all the preparations necessary to get down to Mae Sot and into Mae Lah refugee camp from the guest house.

2 days after I arrived, the General Secretary of the Karen, Maung Soe, was assassinated in his home in Mae Sot. 2 men drove up to his home, walked in and shot him 3 times in the chest while he sat in his chair. Everyone was shocked at the brazen day light murder. I called my friend at the Karen Refugee Committee and asked him to get word into the camp that I was coming down He told me that he didn’t think it was a good idea for me to come down to Mae Sot right then. Things were too unstable on the border and he told me to wait a few days and call again. I was really disappointed and upset, but knew I had to do as he asked me.

The next few days I relaxed and enjoyed my time in Lampang.
I called several of my Karen friends living in Thailand and made tentative plans to visit them if I could get down to the border. After several e-mail messages back and forth, my friend told me he could not get me into Mae La camp. The Thai were checking daily for illegals coming across the border and for foreigners in the camp. I was too well known to think I could sneak in and not be seen. He also told me I definitely could not be taken across the river into Burma to our little jungle hospital. I was really upset and wondered why in the world the Lord had opened doors for me to come all the way to Thailand and then not make it possible for me to get into the camp. When I calmed down, I knew that closed doors were not to be pried open for me so I gave up on the idea of going to Mae Sot. Instead, I started making plans to head North and try to get into the high mountain camp of Mae Rah Moo I called my dear Karen friend, Phu Tah Moo, in Mae Sariang and he said he’d start making arrangements for me.

Phu Tah Moo is 98 years old and highly educated. He has lived in Thailand for over 40 years and speaks excellent English. He was an educator in Burma and now tutors young Thai students in English and translates many books into English and Karen. His wife, Po Po, is a young Karen girl that I first met back in 1994 in a jungle village on the Burma side of the border. Po Po has been accepted for resettlement in the U.S. in Loma Linda, CA where her sister lives.