Every Friday Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister, and today we are thrilled to introduce Marlene Po.

Marlene, tell us about your ministry journey and the places and ways you have served and are serving.

I gained my bachelor’s degree in English and Religious Education while I was still living in Burma, and I was able to work as a lecturer at the Karen Baptist Theological Seminary in Burma from September 1994 to April 2008. After relocating to the United States in 2008, I have worked as a telephone interpreter to help reduce the language barrier for non-English-speaking Karen and Burmese immigrants. I am currently the academic dean, registrar, and lecturer of Christian Education at the Karen Theological Study Center, which is located in Saint Pau, Minnesota. This is the seminary for the Karen Baptist Churches USA.

I am also currently working as the program director for the FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities (FJC) while studying for Master of Divinity degree at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. FJC is a certificate program for the immigrants from Myanmar. Its purpose is to develop pastors and church leaders who can help the immigrant communities that have resettled in the United States from Myanmar to help them improve their living conditions, adjust to their new country, and strengthen their spirituality. I also serve as an associate missionary for International Ministries (ABC-USA). It is a great privilege for me to serve God through this mission.

What have been your greatest sources of joy in ministry?

As I am interested in teaching, helping the Burmese Diaspora Churches by teaching Christian Education and coordinating trainings for them are my most joyous sources in ministry. Coordinating the trainings in different locations allows me to travel to many different states and enjoy God’s creations in these places.

What have been the greatest challenges you have encountered in ministry?

Being an immigrant is one of my greatest challenges because it forces me to learn new things in every corner of my ministry. It is difficult for me to understand everything at once, and I need time to understand and adapt to my new surroundings. Like me, many immigrants from Myanmar face the same challenges so my greatest challenge in ministry is becoming the bridge between Americans and Myanmar immigrants.

What is advice would you give to a teenage girl who is discerning a call to ministry?

Do not measure your value with others. As long as you put your trust and have faith in God and go forward with the strength He gives, you are worthy.