We are very excited to introduce our newest Artisan, Lun! We interviewed Lun recently, and we know you'll enjoy reading about her story.
Where are you from?
Burma, on a mountain side
What was life like there?
Growing up, life was happy. I lived in Burma with my family, my parents, 4 brothers and 5 sisters. I liked being in a big family! We were farmers growing vegetables.
Why did you leave Burma?
We had to leave because of the government. It was not good. We were very poor and did not have enough food. One year, there was not enough rain so we did not grow enough to sell. The government did not help us, they took our cow. We left Burma for Malaysia in 2010. My older brother and sister were forced to be soldiers for the military. My family was forced to do labor for the military. My brother and sister fled from the military to Malaysia and then some of my family followed. I was in 5th grade when this happened.
When did you move to America?
I came to the states in 2010 after 2 years in Malaysia.
What was it like when you moved?
I was in 7th grade when we moved to the USA, we went to Missouri. I came here with my older brother and sister. It was very hard to go to school in English. I made friends with Burmese people. I was happy but it was very hard. I missed my parents in Malaysia. It did not see my parents for 10 years until they came to America. How did you meet your husband? I did not want to go to highschool, I just wanted to work and make money to send to my parents! I knew my husband’s sister first, we were resettled at the same time in Missouri. She told her husband about me and was a matchmaker! He was in Illinois when we first met on the phone and video call. We met and got married in less than a year, now we have 4 kids! That is why I moved to Illinois.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss my relatives the most. We were very poor there and I do not miss being poor.
What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory is being with my friends to chop the wood for our cooking fire and cooking over the open fire. It was fun to look for food for our goats to eat. We would climb trees to cut down branches. I was separated from my parents at a young age so my favorite memory is being with my parents, being with family and going to church together.
Tell me about your time at Re:new.
Re:new is a very happy place for me! I feel it is God’s plan for me to be here. Re:new is a way to improve everything- learning, family, and my life. After my husband and I bought our house, I felt like it was a good thing. My husband can pay for our house with his job. But when my children went to school, I was alone and reading my Bible and praying for my family. My prayer request was that my life would improve. I felt like I was not studying hard. I prayed for an opportunity to work and to grow closer to God. We needed money but I didn’t want to fall away from God. I did not want to focus on money. I prayed for a job that would draw me close to God. Re:new is the best place for me. He answered my prayer! We have a chance to learn English, learn the Bible for spiritual growth, and flexible time for my family. My 4 children have lots of appointments, and this job helps with that. I heard about Re:new through the COD ESL class. I heard about the class through Katie from Exodus.
What are your dreams?
When I was in the sewing training class, I was here for fun and to spend my time. Being here makes me want to work to save money for my children so they can take music class. I am in this job for them! My dream is for my children to grow with God. I want them to learn music because my husband and I do not know music, we did not have a chance to learn when we were in Burma.
What do you pray for?
I pray for my family to be transformed by God. They already know about Him, but I want them to have their own relationship with God. I came here and I got everything I could not get in my country. I have food and everything I could not have. This country donated everything to us. Why can the states help refugees? It is because they know God. This country is based on the Bible. When I go to the food pantry, I felt God. Whenever I got food, I cried because I got help from people who know God. I pray that my children do not have to receive, but that they can give and donate back. Even on the dollar it says “in God we trust” I saw a big example to follow God.