ASAP Representative Visits MyanmarBy Martin Kim
May 23, 2008
Pastor Sai* safely arrived in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, on a crowded flight from Bangkok. He was surprised at the number of tourists entering the city, which is still without electricity. Foreigners are prohibited from entering all of the areas affected by the recent natural disaster.
According to Pastor Sai, “The suffering of the Myanmar people is too immense. There are no words to describe it.” Sadly, most of the suffering is intensified by the Myanmar government which, up to this point, has not allowed agencies to help victims of this natural disaster. The government has barred aid convoys and workers from accessing those in need. Recently, twenty tons of aid from the Baptist church as well as from the Red Cross was seized. Many who are in need are being forced to return to their villages, while the government has put military personnel in areas were aid is being distributed. Unfortunately, it seems the government is working to benefit itself from international aid. Due to these circumstances, giving must be done secretly through relatives and friends. All aid provided by organizations is being confiscated. In order to reach those who are in the hardest hit areas, trusted representatives are disguising themselves as relatives to help family (actually the family of God). This plan has proved successful and ASAP has helped Seventh-day Adventist families already. Members of one Seventh-day Adventist church went to assist members in another area that was badly hit. They were only able to help for 2-3 days when the local government found out about their work. Officials came and forcibly loaded 300 church members onto trucks and transported them to a “refugee camp,” where they are being confined.
It has been confirmed that twenty-six Adventists have lost their lives. More than thirty Adventist children are now orphans, without anyone to care for them. There are thirteen churches that were either badly destroyed or damaged. Over 350 Adventist families are now homeless and many others have badly damaged homes that are in need of great repair. As with everything else, the price of food and construction materials is skyrocketing. It will be very difficult for those in the church who earn $2 a day to survive. One can only wonder how those with no income and now, no home, will survive. The most urgent needs for your SDA brothers and sisters are rice, oil, drinking water, salt and charcoal.
Pastor Sai has been able to meet with leaders of the church he has worked closely with in years past. He is confident these individuals will make sure ASAP’s aid goes to Adventist people who are in the greatest need. ASAP has sent over $5,000 for disaster relief so far, but we pray to do much more. Please join ASAP in praying and helping to provide for the needs of the SDA brothers and sisters in Myanmar.
Watch Pastor Sai's Video Report here.
God has preserved His Word for many generations. Read this testimony taken from Myanmar after the storm.
*Name has been changed for the safety of the individual.