Authored by John Beehner, founder of Wise Counsel, a process for Christian Entrepreneurs and author of the new best seller “The Freedom Revolution...Rocking our World.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Fortress of Freedom by Teresa Kimbel

He motioned with his hand in a large circular motion as he answered my question, “What do you like about living in Bowling Green?” Being both unable to speak his language or recognize his signing, I kept repeating the sound of his words until the right words came out. “Oh, around the city,” I said, “around the city,” still being clueless how these three words answered my question, but assured they did since the entire class nodded and smiled.

He is one of the ones who sit in the back, left corner of our church among approximately fifty other refugees from various countries. Ku Reh, the one attempting to answer my question, is a refugee from Burma and one of the best 
students in my first ESL class I ever taught.

They come to America with only the clothes on their backs, are given $450.00 per person and ninety days to find a job. They have to pay 
back the cost of their own airfare as well as pay their own rent.

The difference between being an immigrant and a refugee is this: An immigrant comes to America to find a new life, a refugee comes to save his.

What does America have to 
offer? In one word FREEDOM -- in three words, FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

Arriving in July of 2009 approximately fifty refugees started attending our church. In August, one month later, twelve, including Ku Reh were baptized. Hearts repressed, but believing in Christ in Burma, find expression to receive Christ in America. Immigrants come to find a new life; a refugee comes to save his. Remember?

Haven’t we all been refugees of Satan at one time or another? Weren’t we all lost until Christ saved us? Don’t we all find safety in Christ?

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress,” 
David reminds us in the Psalms – “a strong fortress to save me.” “He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

And then in Psalm 48, David, himself, paints a vivid picture of what walking around a city in freedom looks like -- what Ku Reh was trying to explain to me.

“Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress….As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the Lord Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever. Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is 
filled with righteousness. Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments. Walk About Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”

Ku Reh’s hands that once reached out for food can now clasp a hand filled with righteousness. His feet confined to the camp, can now walk around in God’s citadels. Words which he could not speak can now be passed down to the next generation. And he can do what living in America affords him most: he can walk around the city in freedom, two cities, both now and forevermore.

Teresa Kimbel is a wife, mom and grandmother who lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband Phil of 36 years. She speaks nationwide on the Bible, teaches ladies classes, voluntarily teaches ESL classes at her church and presently mentors eight young moms in her home. She has a video series entitled Becoming a Woman of Peace based on Jesus’ calming the storm in Mark 4, paralleling her life-long battle with depression.  She leads a social network she created called Titus 2 and a Facebook group called One Chapter.  To learn more about Teresa visit the links below:


  1. Praise God for Ku Reh's wonderful life ahead of him now and the many others that will reap his planted seeds. I love the last paragraph, it gave me chill bumps! I, too, am so thankful for my forever freedom!

    1. Sarah, you are such a sweetheart. Thanks for always being there to support me whatever I do and for commenting. Our church has been blessed greatly by having the Burmese in our midst, hasn't it? Love you.

  2. Teresa, thank you for sharing this beautiful story of Ku Reh's freedom. It truly blessed me!

    1. Amy Lynne, thanks for your sweet comment. So glad it blessed you. Ku Rey is just one of the many Burmese who has blessed my life.

  3. Dear Teresa,
    I've had trouble commenting. I'm trying again and hope it comes through. Just wanted to say what an inspiration you are. You have overcome and now giving to so many through your love and teaching. Thank you for what you do!
    And I smile as I think of Kuh Rey holding on to that Righteous Right Hand now. Love it!

    1. Kristin, I envy your ability to write. YOU are such an inspiration to ME. Thanks for being such a kindred spirit and faithful friend. Love you.