After receiving his doctorate from Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary in the Philippians, Saw Wado returned to Mae La. He felt called to mobilise Karen churches. “We have been praying for positive changes to take place in Burma. I think the time for change is here. It’s on its way,” he says. “I studied the theology of hope, so I have hope,” says Wado. “I am not just
hoping in the abstract fashion. We also work.”
Wado trains pupils in a non-violent theology of liberation, hoping the message will spread throughout the Karen people. “I take the model of Jesus in relation to poor people, in relation to women and children and those who are marginalised and people who are politically oppressed. We seek liberation from that perspective,” he says.
Of his own father’s more direct methods of combat he points to 60 years of conflict, countless deaths and lives destroyed. “So I am proposing the way of Jesus Christ in dealing with conflict… Jesus was concerned for the poor and the needy. He put people who are marginalised, who are outside of society, into the mainstream and calls them blessed. He gives them a place!
It’s called the Kingdom of God. These people belong to the Kingdom of God. These people are supposed to be in the centre of society. Well, how did He do it? He tackled the dominant system by using a non-violent approach. He didn’t fight back but he said love your enemy, turn the other cheek, go a second mile, give your under-garment if they ask for it. Those things are not just a passive way of dealing with conflict. It’s a proactive way of doing it.
But you don’t dehumanise the oppressor. You also don’t dehumanise yourself. You stand up. You show your humanity. Jesus used the spirit of service and humility to change society. That is the principle he advocated. Well I think at one point many people flocked to Jesus. The whole village went out to him. Sometimes the whole town. They were attracted by his non-violent approach and his way of changing society. “If we follow the principle of Jesus and give the same expense and time to that as we give to war I think things will change. It will change for the positive. “It should end on the table and not on the battle ground.”
Source: Christian Today
Bible Study: 1 Peter:3-6
APRIL: Praise God that many Karen have adopted the ‘love your enemy’ approach. Pray WIDER that the Burmese people will see this and open their hearts to the Gospel.