It’s crazy. That globalization thing has made the world so small that no longer is a distant disaster all that distant. Over the week and a half since the Myanmar cyclone, we’ve been hearing from friends who have connections inside the disaster area, from those in Thailand who are trying to send relief, and from those who are waiting for word from family members. At our regular Global Presence meeting last night, one of our regulars shared about a conversation she and a friend had with a Burmese pastor. Of his village of 200, twenty are known to be living. Imagine 90% of the people you know, gone in an instant. What’s worse, the government is allowing aid into the capital city, but those suffering the most are the ethnic minorities in the country. Aid is not a priority for those who matter less in the eyes of the state. And so they are left to die, from disease, from starvation. It’s no longer natural disaster, now it borders on genocide. The situation is worse than most of us could ever imagine.
THIS SATURDAY, we are holding a BENEFIT CONCERT and silent auction at Q Cafe, with all proceeds going directly to aid in the relief (through World Aid, an agency with direct connections inside the affected area). Come out at 7:00, ready to support, hang out, listen to music, and learn more about what’s happening on the inside.
What can we do? Pray. Pray without ceasing, as Paul says. Donate. There are a number of groups who are allowed inside, and who are making a difference. Here are a few:
- World Aid | 2422 South Ferdinand Street | Seattle, WA 98108
Also, a couple notes from the inside:
Dear people concerned for Burma:
As you have heard from the media, the death toll in Burma due to
cyclone is rising higher than 22,000 with another 41,000 people
missing. We are expecting it to rise even higher. Our contacts in
Burma said that there are no drinking water available – even in
Rangoon. Having lived in Irrawaddy delta villages, I know that there
is no infrastructure in those regions at all. Without access to
clean drinking water, the secondary impacts due to water-bourne
diseases could be even worse. A bottle of clean water cost 1200
kyats on Monday, and we all know that most people can’t afford that.
I heard from my family in Irrawaddy delta area overnight, and they
said that there are bodies floating in the Pathein river. Looting is
occuring as most people are really starving. Hospital is overcrowded
and even high schools are converted into the place for injured people.
We would like to urge you to rally your friends and family together to gather funds within this community and use the funds to purchase and send water purifying tablets into Burma ASAP. A few people who are heading to Burma in the coming days could take the water purifiying tablets to distribute inside Burma.
I have contacted water purification tablet manufacturers and Aquatabs
manufacturer has agreed to give us some discount
First 10-14 days is the most crucial periods for any emergency situation that please contact each of your contacts and appeal your friends and family to contribute for emergency relief.
Thanks so much for your leadership and compassion!
And from our friends across the border in Thailand:
Border Team Safe and Ready
You have all heard about the devastation of the cyclone in Myanmar. Tens of thousands of people killed, millions homeless and starving with no drinkable water, corpses rotting everywhere. The rice crop is ruined. One of the poorest nations on earth was dealt a catastrophic blow.
You have also heard about the Burmese governments refusal to issue visas and allow relief supplies to land in Myanmar. In every country surrounding Myanmar, planes are loaded with food, water, shelter and they do not have permission to land.
Here in Thailand, people have generously donated tons of food and water that has been held up waiting for approval to be shipped across the border.