Burma Cyclone Disaster Escalates

May 13, 2008

Today the situation in Burma is even more horrifying than it was on May 2, just after being ravaged by Cyclone Nargis.

In addition to those already dead from the storm, more are dying because of injuries, illness, and a lack of clean water, food and sanitation. The situation is getting worse as each day passes. There is fear that there may be ensuing epidemic outbreaks of malaria, cholera and other diseases.

Christian Aid is in contact with indigenous ministries already in Burma working with those in need. Funds are sent to them, by-passing the government, so that supplies and medicines are reaching needy people quickly. In the midst of this crisis, native ministries are not only helping with the physical needs of the people, they are also sharing the gospel. People who would not normally hear the gospel are wide open to hear it in this time of crisis. Pray that many will turn to Christ when they see love being demonstrated by native Christians.

Ministry buildings, including a Bible school chapel, children´s home and worker´s dorm, were greatly damaged.

The cyclone hit areas in the delta are inundated at this time. A majority of the population in the delta is the Pwo Karen tribe. Pwo Karen churches are helping as best they can. A mobile clinic run by Christians has already been launched at MaUBin in the delta region, but they do not have enough medicines and medical supplies to treat all those who need care.

Christians from the churches are carrying in plastic sheets for temporary shelter, biscuits, and dried noodles.

But the future looks bleak. One of the missionaries counted 300 dead bodies floating in the river within a very short distance. The water is contaminated as dead bodies have not been taken from the river. Many villages were swept away. To make matters worse, the monsoons are just beginning.

A native ministry helped by Christian Aid sent this report:

"We heard that help is arriving from many countries, but I don´t know where it goes. Near our Bible college there are many homeless, but they have not received anything from the government. I don't think believers will ever receive help, just Buddhists. We are praying that the faculty and Bible school students will be able help more. They are doing what they can to help the needy people and to share the love of God with them."

And another ministry leader wrote:

"Thank you for your prayers and your support for the relief work in Burma. We are so grateful for your prayers and concern for the people in our country. Please continue praying that many people may know the living God through this tragedy."

The needs continue. There is a great lack of drinkable water. The leader of a Christian school reported that many of his students are suffering stomach problems because the water drink is not purified. Water purification tablets would be very helpful. Canned goods are needed. In some places they cannot even cook the rice, because pots and pans have been washed away. There are many infants, and they need milk powder, milk bottles and medicines.

Christian Aid continues to wire funds to these ministries as soon as they are received. Missionaries are then able to purchase supplies and get them to the field.