More of The Exhibit!

August 30, 2010

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Outre-Met;Together with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, former refugee from Bhutan, Chandra Bajgai, and local Baltimore musician Caleb Stine get together for a jam session in the living room at Reservoir Hill House of Peace. Together, through participation in the art of music, culture is shared and boundaries are broken. Pictured beginning top left and moving clockwise: Chandra, a former refugee from Bhutan gets together with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Caleb Stine, local Baltimore musician to play music together; A crowd at Reservoir Hill House of Peace enjoying the music as Chandra and his friend’s play with Caleb; Local Baltimore musician Caleb Stine; Caleb Stine’s guitar; Chandra playing guitar; Caleb Stine.

(Left) U Gawsita and (right) U Agga stand in their monastery, headquarters to the All Burma Monk Alliance (ABMA) in Utica, New York. As leaders involved in a famous movement of peaceful protests, The Saffron Revolution (named “Saffron” after the color of their robes), U Gawsita and U Agga are strong advocates for democracy, human rights, and social justice. While living in Burma, as military soldiers began raiding their monasteries both U Gawsita and U Agga fled to the Burma-Thailand border in search of safety. After being granted refugee status by the United Nations High Comissioner for Refugees, both monks were resettled by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to Utica, New York where they now live with three other monks. When asked about the biggest differences between Burma and the United States U Agga answered, “To live in Burma means we cannot speak about democracy or human rights or justice or peace freely like we can here.” He continued, “After we arrived here we can speak openly about our organization (ABMA) and human rights.”

Lutheran Church of our Savior (LCOS) in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is home to one of the largest English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in the state. As a recipient of a Good Samaritan grant through LIRS and Wheat Ridge Ministries, LCOS was funded to begin this ESL ministry in 2001. Read more about this ministry in the May 2010 edition of the LIRS eNewsletter: Words of Welcome. (Left): ESL advanced student Viviana poses after an interview. Viviana has been taking ESL classes for the past 5 years and hopes to go to college and someday work in a hospital. (Right): Volunter mentors in the kitchen prepare food for ESL students.

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