Kachins hold centenary celebrations on American Baptist mission

Ethnic Kachins in northern Burma are holding their Centenary celebrations in the American Baptist mission for three days, starting December 29 and ending on December 31, according to people participating in the celebrations.

The celebrations has to do with 'Thanks to God' on the 100th anniversary of founding the village, the school and Baptist missions of Wing Hkam (Win Hkam) in Loije city (Lweje) in Bhamo district by Baptist followers of Wing Hkam, said village pastor Rev. Myitung Tu Ja.

The actual centenary date falls on February 3, 2009 but the celebrations are held two months earlier, said Wing Hkam Baptist Church sources.

According to the church, Wing Hkam village, the village school and Baptist missions were founded by an American Baptist missionary Rev. Dr. H. J. Robert along with a Kachin pastor Rev. Damau Naw on February 3, 1909 before Burma's Independence from British rule on January 4, 1947.

The development of the village, church and school were then led by the two Kachin pastors--- Rev. Myitung Naw Tawng and Rev. Din Rin Naw, added Rev. Myitung Tu Ja of Wing Hkam Baptist Church.

Today, Wing Hkam Baptist church has 52 Baptist families with over 200 followers.  The church is in Loije Kachin Baptist Church under the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), which is organized by over 400,000 followers in entire Burma, said KBC sources.

Over the three days celebrations, all villagers, hundreds of invited people and KBC pastors from different areas of Burma will be attending the celebrations. The Kachin traditional Manau Dance Festival called "Jaw Wunli Manau" meaning 'Centenary Blessings Manau' dance will be held on December 30 and 31 for the first time in the village, according to the programme lined up.

The advent of the first American Baptist missionaries to Kachin state in Burma started in 1877 during the British colonial rule. The Centenary Anniversary of Kachin Baptist Missions was held in 1977 in Nawng Nang village, 10 miles north of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state in northern Burma by KBC.
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