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Serving the Persecuted Church for over 12 years

“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them . . .” Hebrews 13:3

Freedom Report
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. . .” April 2010

Bluetree Inspired by CFI’s Mission in Burma

Although CFI has benefited from the support of thousands of individuals
and churches throughout the years, nothing may prove to be quite as
remarkable as our latest alliance with the contemporary Christian band

When CFI’s “Crisis in Burma” tent exhibition was featured at the Big Ticket
Festival in Gaylord, Michigan in June 2009, Bluetree band members were
especially moved by the display’s haunting sounds and images, the tragic
testimonies of four young Karen children highlighted in the exhibition,
and the stark reality of Christian persecution in Burma.

“Basically, I’m just blown away by this whole thing,” said drummer Jonny
Hobson regarding his tour of the “Crisis in Burma” exhibition. “It seriously
breaks my heart…. I feel that God has given me a new revelation, a new A girl prepares to enter the CFI “Crisis
passion for this…. You read every day about people being persecuted, but in Burma” tent display at the Big Ticket
you don’t actually realize it.” Concert in Gaylord, Michigan.

Who is Bluetree?
Bluetree, a Christian worship band Bluetree band
formed in Belfast, Ireland in 2004, members are
is well known for its song “God of lead singer
This City,” a single that was featured Aaron Boyd,
on an album of the same title Peter Comfort
that skyrocketed to No. 125 of the (drums), Jonny
Billboard Top 200 chart following its Hobson (drums),
U.S. debut in March 2009. Conor McCrory
(lead guitar), Pete
The single “God of This City” was Nickell (bass), and
inspired by the band’s mission Pete Kernoghan,
trip to Pattaya, Thailand, after who works
Bluetree lead singer Aaron Boyd encourages Karen
witnessing the effects of the city’s with the band’s
children at a CFI jungle school inside Burma.
harsh poverty. The band has charity Stand
experienced international success Out International, an organization Learn more about Bluetree by
since the song’s release, and is a that rescues children out of the sex visiting their website at www.
nominee for the 2010 Dove Award. trafficking industry.

address 215 Ashmun Street phone 800-323-2273 (toll free) web
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 906-253-2336 (international) email
Bluetree Draws Huge Crowds at Concert Events in Thailand
Since Bluetree was first introduced performed in the Mae La refugee exposed thousands of non-
to CFI in the summer of 2009, camp for over 15,000 attendees. Christians to the Gospel message
the band has continued to show through Bluetree’s music and
support for the organization and The band also held concerts at powerful testimony. Many unsaved
its mission to the persecuted CFI’s Vocational School and a villagers converted to Christianity
church ever since. In February, local church in Mae Sot. These during the concerts, and CFI
CFI president Jim Jacobson and gatherings not only were distributed Bibles to dozens of men
staff members Ben Duff and Craig inspirational for Christians living and women who were eager to
McDonald accompanied Bluetree under the relentless burden of receive the Word of God.
to Thailand, where the band poverty and persecution, but

Who Lives in Mae La Refugee Camp? forced from their homes as a result of
More than 50,000 of Burma’s refugees reside in the direct military attack by the Burmese
Mae La refugee camp, a massive location situated government, their food and crops
approximately 37 miles north from the town of Mae had been confiscated, or they feared
Sot, Thailand. Out of the nine refugee camps along the enslavement or forced conscription
Burma/Thai border, Mae La is the largest and oldest of into the Burmese army.
the camps, having been in operation for over 25 years. (right) During each concert Pastor
Andrew Toogood from Belfast, Ireland,
The majority of Mae La’s residents include members would give a Gospel message. Many
of the Karen, Karenni, Mon and Shan ethnic tribes. Christians were encouraged, many
These residents all share the same story: they were non-Christians accepted Christ as their Savior.
Our Mission
The mission of Christian Freedom International is to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. We are a nondenominational human rights
organization providing aid, advocacy, and Bibles to Christians in areas of intense persecution. Our mandate is to reach the part of the Persecuted Church that is the
most repressed, most cut off, and most isolated. As a U.S. based, grass roots organization, we mobilize Christians in prayer, advocacy, and action on behalf of men,
women, and children who are harassed, tortured, imprisoned, and martyred for their faith.

Christian Freedom International is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Members of the ECFA are held to the highest standards
of financial responsibility. Your gift to Christian Freedom International is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Copyright 2010 by Christian Freedom
International. All rights reserved.

address 215 Ashmun Street phone 800-323-2273 (toll free) web
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 906-253-2336 (international) email
What is CFI’s Vocational School?
CFI offers Karen and Karenni students the opportunity
to study valuable skills such as sewing, computers,
math, and English at its picturesque vocational school
in Mae Sot, Thailand. Students reside in the school’s
dormitory, where they can learn and thrive in a
loving Christian environment, away from the bleak
surroundings of refugee camps.

Through the vocational school, CFI has equipped

dozens of young men and women with the necessary
tools to thrive in the face of poverty and persecution.
Students at the CFI school pose for pictures with Bluetree

Bluetree performs a concert at the CFI school CFI students learn “God of This City.”

Bluetree Travels into Burma with CFI

Before the trip was over, CFI the soldiers finally agreed to escort
president Jim Jacobson escorted them into the jungle, and the men
Bluetree into the jungles of Burma even bypassed Burmese army
so the band could personally personnel without incident.
witness the living conditions of
hundreds of displaced Karen and Once inside the jungle, Bluetree
Karenni people. visited CFI’s schools, where they
sang songs and spent time with
The trip was dangerous, but the the children. The band’s visit will be
band members were determined to documented in an upcoming DVD,
see for themselves the devastating and will even feature a version of
effects of the world’s longest- the song “God of This City” sung by
running civil war. Although the CFI’s children.
group was stopped by Democratic
Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA)
soldiers shortly into their journey,

address 215 Ashmun Street phone 800-323-2273 (toll free) web
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 906-253-2336 (international) email
What are CFI Jungle Schools? for their lives into Burma’s dense jungle schools remain a source
CFI’s jungle schools provide basic jungles, where they spend months of a Christian education, love and
education for the children of Karen or even years on the run from the inspiration for dozens of refugee
and Karenni refugees. military. Life on the run means children who would otherwise go
no adequate food, medicine without a critical education, right in
Sadly, thousands of persecuted and shelter – or educational the heart of the war zone.
citizens have been forced to flee opportunities for children. CFI’s

Support CFI’s Work in Burma

CFI’s latest visit to Burma with the members of Bluetree
was overwhelmingly successful in exposing thousands
of people to the Gospel, as well as providing aid and
inspiration in a place where it is always sorely needed.

The trip could not have been possible without a

generous grant from the Fleetwood Group in Holland,
Michigan, as well as the support from hundreds of
CFI supporters. It is only through people who share
a burden for the persecuted church that our many
programs in Burma continue to be successful.
Karen Christians in Burma receive Bibles from CFI.
address 215 Ashmun Street phone 800-323-2273 (toll free) web
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 906-253-2336 (international) email

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