On Sunday, Ted and his wife Patsy hosted our first annual Prosperity Candle picnic at their home in Northampton. The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and the company could not have been better. Many of the refugees we work with, including Mee Mee, Moo Kho, Naw, and Khin Ma, brought their children, ranging in age from 1 to 17. It was a true pleasure to spend the afternoon together, watching the kids delight in the zipline, sandbox, dance and music performances, water balloon tosses, and tree-fort (not to mention the popsicles and cupcakes!). In addition to your typical picnic spread, the Burmese women brought with them some absolutely delicious Burmese dishes, like egg roles, noodles, and some beef and shrimp sides too.
A few days before the picnic, I had prepared a story about Mee Mee, a refugee from Burma, written by Judy Santiago from UMCOR to send out to some of our friends and partners who were interested to know more about who we work with. Mee Mee’s story as a refugee is unfathomable– fleeing soldiers, fearing for her life, giving birth to a daughter in the jungle with only her six-year-old son by her side. But perhaps even more compelling is the fact that she overcame it all. While we were eating lunch, Siiri mentioned to me that the girl sitting in front of us was Mee Mee’s daughter, and her son was the 17-year-old sitting to our right. I hadn’t pieced it together– Mee Mee’s daughter Eh Ku loves to dance and sing and posed eagerly for photos during the picnic. She and I had chatted in the car on the way about the show So You Think You Can Dance, which is one of her favorites.
When Siiri said that, I was suddenly struck by how amazing it was that Prosperity Candle brought these people together. It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!