Friday, May 9, 2008

The Tragedy in Myanmar

Over 100,000 people are dead in Myanmar (Burma). Think about that, 100,000 people who loved and cried, raised familes and went about their normal lives are gone. The cyclone has devastated virtually an entire nation. Power lines are down everywhere, small inland villages are completely blocked off with no clean drinking water, no healthy food, and no access to medical help. Some villages have been completely submerged. There are warnings now that there are bodies floating in the floodwater and that this is going to cause disease to spread to the survivors of the cyclone.

Now the military led government has made some very questionable decisions. They have refused aid from the US govt. who offered a great deal of money. They agreed to allow UN planes to land and donate food. But the govt. then took the food and stored it. They are refusing to allow any foreign personnel to set foot in Myanmar to help, even medical specialists. The most confusing thing of all is that they are going ahead with a national election that will consolidate the military-led govt.'s power. They are even using a TV message urging the people to do their patriotic duty and vote. There was no mention of the cyclone.

This should be a call to prayer for all of us. We need to pray for the hurting people of Myanmar, that God would provide for their food,water, and medical needs. We need to pray for the church in Myanmar that they would rise to the occasion and be people who are doing their utmost for their neighbor, beautifying the Gospel through their help, but also that they would use this opportunity for sharing the Gospel. Let us also pray for the govt. that their position would soften and that they would allow people in to help. We need to pray that God would use this to open our eyes to the fact that the cause of Christ and our responsibilities are much bigger than our community and location. We need to be world-prayers. We need to have world concerns.

PS - For a discussion of suffering read the earlier post Sailing in the Fog

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