November 3rd, 2012, Book Launching Event Held in Thailand; Distribution Begun
by Rev. Steve Parelli
Other Sheep Executive Director
Florrissant (St. Louis), MO
November 11, 2012
Saw Yuri Galler, 2009,
then President of
Myanmar Gay Education
An openly gay Burmese Baptist Christian, Yuri Saw Galler, who was formerly the president of Myanmar Gay Education and a popular gospel singer in Thailand and Burma, working with Other Sheep and LifeJourney Press under a written contract agreement, recently oversaw the translation of the book The Children Are Free into Burmese, and the printing and distribution of 1000 copies.
In an email dated November 6, Yuri said the November 3rd book launching event, held in Thailand, was successful with over thirty guests attending, including individuals from NGOs (non-government organizations) and journalists who reported on the event.
David Aye Myat, in 2009,
as Support Executive of
Myanmar Gay Education, assited Yuri in the organ-izing the Other Sheep seminar.
Yuri further reported that the 1000 copies are being distributed free of charge. Already, copies have been distributed to Burmese Christians among the Burmese migrants in nine different refugee camps along the Thailand-Burma boarder. Other copies, said Yuri, are being "sent back" to Yangon, Burma, for distribution there, mainly to the parents of our LGBT Christian community.
The project, overseen by Yuri and totally funded by his friends and associates, needs to print additional copies. "1,000 [copies of the book] is not enough," writes Yuri, "but God will provide."
A Forward to the Burmese The Children Are Free 2012 Edition: Other Sheep's significant role in bringing the inclusive message to the Karen Burmese Christians
The following forward was written by request of Yuri, the initiator and overseer of the translation, printing, distribution project.
A Forward from Steve and Jose of Other Sheep
In 2009, as husband and husband since 1997 and as co-laborers together since 2005 in an inclusive Christian ministry called Other Sheep, we travelled to Thailand, by invitation of a local seminarian student, to network in Chiang Mai among interested theological students. One person, living in Mae Sot, who took a great deal of interest in Other Sheep, was Saw Yuri Galler, President of Myanmar Gay Education, his mother a teacher at a Baptist theological seminary in Burma. Other Sheep (www.othersheep.com) is an ecumenical Christian ministry that works worldwide to empower LGBT people of faith.
Just days before our departure from Thailand, and while we were in Bangkok working Other Sheep, Saw Yuri phoned us and told us he had made arrangements for a small gathering of Karen Burmese Christians living in Mae Sot, Thailand, to hear our seminar on the Bible and homosexuality. Could we please come, he asked. We accepted
Joyce Hanks, a feat-
ured speaker at the
2009 Mae Sot
Above Photo: August 29, 2009, the Mae Sot, Thailand, Other Sheep Seminar to the Karen Burmese Christians
Left to right: Steve Parelli, David Myat, Joyce Hanks,
Yuri Galler, Jose Ortiz
Three years later, with the translation and publication of this book into Burmese by Saw Yuri, those last two adventurous days in Thailand in 2009 have become all the more significant as treasured memories.
To Burmese Christians everywhere - gay and straight, lay and professional, may you eagerly receive this book from the hands and heart of the messengers who introduced it to Thailand and Burma: a one-time Baptist pastor and his beloved husband whose undergrad work was also in theology and world missions.
Together, as a gay Christian couple whose first love is, as best we know how, centered in God and others, we say to you, the message of this book will set you free.
Rev. Stephen R. Parelli
Executive Director of Other Sheep
Jose Enrique Ortiz
Other Sheep Coordinator for Africa and Asia
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Bronx, New York, United States