Saturday, May 17, 2008

Help for Burma

In the wake of all that's happened in Burma, it's difficult to know just how to help, if help will be accepted or even get to the right victims. This morning I received an email from a friend who lives in Bangkok about the situation and an inroad. For those interested, I'm posting her email with permission:

Dear friends,

Like many of you, my heart breaks whenever I think about
the tragedy in Burma . Although I am close in proximity, I
feel so helpless as the communist country is so resistant
to outside help. On a positive note, though, I have several
friends who have managed to get visas due to some Burmese
contacts and what they share continues to amaze me.
 A friend of mine told me today that her husband hit 55
roadblocks going from Yangon to the Irrawaddy delta area.
Each stop required a bribe of some sort to pass through,
leaving their once full truck nearly empty by the time it
finally reached its destination. With the monsoon season
upon us, the many survivors living under tarps are not only
hungry, but also wet and weary without hope.
 Another friend said she received some photos taken by her
staff in the Delta, but she was afraid they are too graphic
to send to me. All of the preschools that she helped work
with in the delta after the Asian tsunami have been
destroyed and will need to be rebuilt. Many of her staff
and children have died.
 The military told her Burmese staff on the ground that
there are over 6000 orphans, a staggering number. Amazingly,
the military has asked her partner organization to help.
They will network with local NGO’s on the ground there.
They are already planning seminars on Family Based Orphan
Care, which will help build the capacity of the communities
to take care of the orphans themselves. And, in cases where
there is absolutely no one in the community to care for a
child, then help to establish homes where they can be cared
for within the communities.
 Robert Kaplan, of the New York Times says, “The Burmese
military junta, one of the most morally repulsive in the
world, has allowed in only a trickle of aid supplies.”
Please continue to pray that the desperately needed food
and supplies will be allowed in and be distributed to those
in dire need.
 It is difficult for me to pray for the military regime,
especially when I think of for years their disregard for
their own people. Someone on CNN said yesterday, “The UN
needs to prosecute the junta for crimes against humanity.”
I fully agree. However, “They wander about in darkness…”
They need a supernatural revelation of the light and life
they can have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, in
obedience I
pray for their salvation.
 My church here in Thailand has been fortunate to be
partnering with a church that is Burmese. Through them,
and some of my friend’s agencies, we have found some
backpackers and some other “non government” ways to help
bring supplies and food in. Although it might take some
time to reach the people in need, we pray that what we are
able to send does not get confiscated by the military
 If you would like to be able to help contribute something,
might I suggest you go through an organization called “World
”? You can give tax-free contributions via their
website which is I know that
there are many other aid groups that are very effective as
well, however, most of them are facing delays in entering
the country. According to my friend, World Vision has been
active in Myanmar for over 40 years and already has over
500 workers on the ground (including my friends!), so, they
are able to meet needs immediately.
 I will close this very long email with a quote I recently
came across from Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives
begin to end the day we remain silent on things that
 Please do not remain quiet when it comes to the plight of
our brothers and sisters in Burma . We need to keep their
story in people’s minds and prayers. The world needs to
 Thank you,

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I have no is unimaginable for a government to delay or prevent aid in the wake of such tragedy.