My first post was an article in the blog, The Jew and the Carrot, (which has over 100,000 readers worldwide): http://jcarrot.org/welcoming-the-stranger-a-sukkot-meditation
My refugee family lived in a village in the minority Chin state in western Myanmar, on the border with India. The military junta was conscripting all the men and boys for heavy labor, transporting weaponry within the country. Their father died on one of these forced marches two years ago. The family fled that night and traveled into Thailand. However, the youngest daughter, aged 11 at the time, was separated from them at the scrimmage at the bus station. The promised Next Bus never arrived, so they lost touch with her and she ended up in a Christian Community House where she was able to attend a Chinese/Korean Christian school. The mother and elder daughters got rounded up and sold into bondage to a rubber plantation in Malaysia. They worked long days until a friend was able to post enough ransom money to free them. Miraculously, they found their sister/daughter in church one Sunday! The mother and elder daughters all worked in Malaysia (the youngest was enrolled in school) until their petition for Refugee Status was granted. They do have relatives in America– their father’s brother lives in Chicago and an aunt lives in Maryland– but they ended up in Philadelphia because their refugee portfolio got awarded to HIAS here.
Based on oral testimony of the eldest daughter, without a translator
Start the HIAS Chronicles from the beginning here.