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Habitat for Humanity of Hall County builds home for family in need
Khai family escapes persecution in Myanmar, now lives in Gainesville
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Pastor Pau Cin Thang says a few lines from the Bible before the keys are handed over to the Khai family Saturday at their new house in Gainesville. - photo by Erin O. Smith

After living for years in a country riddled with religious persecution, civil war and militant rule, the Khai family feels blessed to be in America.

Peter Khai and his wife San Cing fled Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 2011 due to religious persecution of their Christian faith. They now live in Gainesville with their daughter Merry, age 5, and son Victor, 3.

Saturday, the Khai family celebrated the culmination of their new life in the U.S. The family received the keys to their new home built by Habitat for Humanity of Hall County.

“God is good,” said Peter Khai excitedly Saturday at the dedication of his new home. “All the time. Thanks a lot. We have a lot of thanks to give.”

The Rev. Pau Cin Thang, pastor of the Khais’ church Christ Mission Church in Atlanta, spoke at the dedication about the importance of putting faith in God and his blessings.

Thang read several Bible verses Saturday, including Deuteronomy 2:7.

“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands,” he read. “Whatever we do with our hands, the Lord will bless. And then, whatever we do, we will have success. ... Whatever we do, we do with family and looking to God. Then we receive wonderful things, like a beautiful house, a beautiful home.”

The Khai family chose the Bible verse Philippians 4:19 to commemorate the occasion, which states, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

San Cing said she believes anyone can achieve what they need by working hard and having faith.

Khai said he is “very thankful for the terrific opportunity that Habitat has afforded my family. Becoming an American and owning our own home are blessed gifts from God.”

The dedication had a very large gathering Saturday, including several Gainesville City council members, members of the Habitat for Humanity board of directors, volunteers who helped construct the home and a large representation of the Khai family’s friends from their church.

Ann Nixon, executive director of Habitat of Hall County, said the Khais are a family particularly deserving of this opportunity.

“Not only are we helping a family that otherwise might not have had the opportunity for home ownership, but they are now contributing back to the community through their property taxes and their engagement in the community,” Nixon said. “So we are extremely happy to have the Khais moving in. It’s a very exciting day.”