Dec 22 4 Comments

We can not joy in Christmas Eve

I am so sad today.

It’s been weeks of frantic bustle. Getting ready for Christmas in Norway is not for the weak. In my business I have forgotten the meaning of Christmas. This, I am sure, is not a problem that only I have. How many of us stop and really ask ourself what is the meaning of Christmas? Oh, it wasn’t emptying our bank accounts in order to get meaningless stuff for our kids and family? Oh, it wasn’t to stuff ourselves with more food than our bodies can digest in a healthy manner. So if that is not it, then what is the meaning of Christmas?

Some Kachin children we met last month. What will Christmas be like for them this year? (photo by Leah, Partners)

The first thing I read this morning was an email from a dear, dear lady that I just met a month ago in Kachin State. She wrote:

We can not joy in Christmas eve, we are being busy and everyday we just got bad news. 
” I called Klara Lee (name changed) yesterday morning in phone. And I said Klara Lee” hello Klara Lee bad morning instead of I should say good morning. Because everyday I heard bad news. Yesterday, When I’d got up at 5:00 am, one of our staff called me to come ‘our’ clinics urgently. When I arrived to clinic, I saw one women who has four little children died already, She died after she gave birth, her baby also died. We did funeral services for her and her baby yesterday. She is refugee from Loi Kang, norther shan state. She has heart attack and got shock when she notice that her baby was not alive eventhoug nurse did not tell her. 

We are full of sorrow even in the ‘Christmas’ time. 

There are four orphans who just lost their mom and baby brother or sister for Christmas. They already lost their home, their school, their carefree lives in the village in the mountain. They are living in a temporary refugee camp that is under the threat of attacks from the Burma Army.What kind of Christmas are they going to have this year?

I have contacted my friend and told her I want to help the orphans as well as some of the other kids they have told me about who have urgent medical needs. I think I want to spend less on stuff we don’t need, and more on giving life to the ones who are afraid they will lose theirs.

I don’t do this often, but I will just this once: Do you want to help me? The four orphans will need longterm care. There are children who need surgeries that the parents can’t afford. There are families who have nothing to eat. There are siblings who are huddling together under one thin blanket, unable to keep warm in the cold nights of winter. They all need help.

This baby has a lung condition and needs medical help. (Photo by Leah, Partners)

If you want to help, go to our website and follow the instructions for how to give a donation. Make sure to specify if you want the help to go to the orphans, to sick children, or to the Kachin relief in general. Here is the link

OK, I am off to tell my kids about the four orphans. If I am lucky they haven’t spent all their allowance and they can give their contribution too.

Merry Christmas.


  • Linda Busklein says:

    This is a great reminder Oddny! I read today that people in Europe are being inconvenienced because their flights are delayed. Apparently transport workers are walking off the job because of austerity measures in Europe. As much as I feel bad for them, your blog reminds us to keep some perspective and share with those who can only dream of having problems like a delayed flight or a cut in pay.

  • Carla Brewington says:

    Hi, We’ve never met, but we should have by now!
    Where can I send money specifically for the 4 orphans? Would it be best to send it to Shaune (and then she can get it to Stu?
    Let me know!
    Carla Brewington

    • oddnygumaer says:

      Dear Carla, Yes, I think we need to meet. I see you all the time on FB, but that is just not the same! If you want to support the 4 orphans, you can just write a check to Partners, or donate online (all the info is on and designate it to Kachin orphans. Where do you live? If in Thailand, you could just give it to one of our staff. Hope all is well, and many blessings to you.

      • Carla Brewington says:

        I’m in and out of Thailand and Burma alot! I use to be over there on a more long-term basis…
        I’m in Pasadena, CA at the moment. Not too far away from Shaune Vincent. I’m anxious to get back to Burma, but am needing to wait b/c of health issues with my mother. As soon as I am able, I will head back over. Will be working with Dave most of the time. I also take care of some things in Rangoon. Here is my email so that we can continue communicating.

        Would love to have been with you up in Kachin State when you were last there. I, too, am working on a book.
        Looking forward to meeting you,