Ba Thaw

(b. Bassein, Burma 1891; d. Myitkyina, 1967).  Ba Thaw studied for his bachelor of arts in Calcutta, India. He worked with George J. Geis, a Baptist missionary to the Lisu and Kachin, beginning in 1911. Ba Thaw spoke both Lisu and Kachin fluently after one year of service. He lived with the Lius, dressed like a Lusu and consistently sought to learn more about their language and culture.
 At one point, the though came to Ba Thaw's mind that "a tribe having no literature cannot be improved much in education, social activities, and also in spiritual aspects." So, in 1913, he made a trip across the mountains into China, visiting Lisu villages. He came finally to Tengyueh, where he spent some time with J.O. Fraser of the China Inland Mission and the few Lisu Christians there. Ba Thaw and Fraser developed a Lisu alphabet using Romanized letters. They worked on translating the catechism and Gospel of Mark (ee Bible Translation). Ba Thaw's first Lisu script was completed at the end of 1913 and was printed in 1917 by American Baptist Mission Press in Rangoon.
 Ba Thaw arrived in Myitkyina in 1914 and started a village school at Sadon in 1920. He worked as an evangelist, pastor, and teacher. After retiring in the early 1950s, Ba Thaw lived into his late seventies. He chose to die among the people to whom he had come as a young missionary.


A Dictionary of ASIAN Christianity
Scott W. Sunquist, editor
David Wu Chu Sing and John Chew Hiang Chea, associate editors.
@2001 Wm, B Berdmans Publishing Co. Michigan, USA





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