When Burmese Chin immigrants and refugees started reaching out to Midland agencies for help learning English, Peggy Wennerlind was among those wanting to do whatever she could to help.
But what Wennerlind -- a Midland Need to Read literacy instructor -- and others who teach English as a second language classes didn't realize is that they'd end up helping more Burmese people than just those in living in Midland with the creation of an online dictionary.
In 2008, when Burmese refugees sought help to learn English, few resources existed between their native Chin-Hakha and English, Wennerlind said.
Eventually, a photocopied version of the Rev. David Van Bik's English-Chin Hakha dictionary was obtained from a refugee center and kept in a large three-ring binder at Midland College's Cogdell Learning Center, where ESL classes are taught.
However, instructors and students soon learned the dictionary was incomplete and Wennerlind knew she needed to find another way to help her students.
She started an Internet search for existing dictionaries or other resources that may help bridge the language barriers.
Wennerlind and her son-in-law, Chris Baldelomar, found an online Chin-Hakha to Danish dictionary, written by Johannes Lind of Denmark.