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9-17-14 Kansas-Nebraska Conference Celebrates the Incorporation New Karen Company of Believers
by John Treolo
Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
|Some of the members of the new Omaha Karen Company. Photo: Virgil Covel|
In 2006, the U.S. began allowing resettlement of a limited number of Karen refugees in our country. According to Kansas-Nebraska Conference President Ron Carlson, there are three cities in this conference welcoming these refugees: Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., and Garden City, Kan. “Estimates suggest there are 5,000 Karen people in Omaha, with more arriving each month,” says John Sweigart, vice president for administration. “Nearly 100 of these are Adventists; many are direct descendants from the baptisms long ago by Dr. Hare.”
|John Sweigart, Sah Kler, pastor of Omaha Karen Company, and Ron Carlson display the Omaha Karen Company Charter. Photo: Virgil Covel|
At camp meeting, a special offering was announced to fund a part-time pastor. The goal of $12,000 was to be matched by conference funds of an equal amount. More than $18,000 was received on Sabbath at camp meeting, with the additional $6,000 going to establish a building fund. Sah Kler, who was trained as a Bible worker in a refugee camp in Thailand, has been hired to pastor the Omaha Karen Company.
During the organization service, prayers and praise were expressed by the more than 100 Karen adults and children present. “This new company has a goal of bringing 10-20 new members into the group each year,” adds Virgil Covel, ministerial director. “Our conference celebrates the incorporation of this new company of believers into the sisterhood of churches.”
Learn more about the Adventist Refugee and Immmigrant Ministries, which is part of the Multilingual Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.