- Shee, Rebecca
- (1912-1991)first woman minister among the Karen peopleRebecca Shee was the first woman ordained to the ministry from among the Kayin (or Karen) people, the largest minority group in Myanmar (then Burma). Missionary work among the Kayin had been launched in 1827 by George Boardman. He converted Ko Tha Byu, who oversaw a mass movement to Christianity Jonathan Wade (1798-1872) translated the Bible, schools were opened, and the Kayins became a largely self-supporting mission.Shee grew up a Christian, attended the Paku Christian High School, and then the seminary at Insein (now Myanmar Institute of Theology). She completed her work in theology in 1940 and studied nursing. She worked as a nurse at the mission hospital at Gawgaligyi, and as housemother of an orphanage.In 1958, Shee was sent by the Baptist Convention of Maynmar as an evangelist among the Kayin of neighboring Thailand. She and two colleagues opened a Bible school at Baw Keow. It would develop into the Center for Uplift of Hill Tribes, now located at Chiang Mai, Thailand.Shee worked as an unordained missionary for many years, the only female evangelist commissioned by the Baptist Convention. In 1978, her work was recognized with ordination. Shee's achievements and dedication were a major inspiration for the next generation of Kayin women and helped improve their status.Further reading:■ Clifford Kyaw Dwe, "Shee, Rebecca," in Scott W. Sunquist, ed., A Dictionary of Asian Christianity (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2001): 758-59■ Rebecca Shee, The Life of Rebecca Shee (1986).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.