Archive for the ‘Burma’ Category

Total DevastationI am feeling desperate and helpless as I see the pictures and hear of the death and devastation that abound in the isolated country of Burma. I pray that God will use this disaster to open the floodgates of love and concern for this country that the world has forgotten. Just two years ago I visited some of the areas devastated by Nargis. The Christians we met tugged at our hearts because of their Joy in the face of hardship and even governmental opposition. I pray that joy continues, although I can’t imagine the heartache and despair that must be prevalent. We grew in love with the seminary students at Pathein, and now we have learned that Nargis caused the death of some, and the destruction of much of their property. The Pwo Karen have lost much in this storm. At the time of our trip I told my wife that very few Americans could live in Burma. We don’t know how to face hardship like the Burmese do. The joy on their faces and the love in their heart will be forever branded upon my soul. We must not abandon them. We must pray that God will change the hearts of those He has put in power. We must plead with them as in Psalm 2:

“Now therefore O Kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him”

The Friends of Burma organization is already at work funneling aid to organizations that already exist withing Burma (Myanmar). FOB has partnered with the Burmese over the past 20+ years since God impressed upon Neil and Diana Sowards to come to their aid. Neil’s mom and dad were missionaries to Burma for many years and were forced to leave the country in the early 60’s after the military took over. 100% of every dollar given to FOB goes toward humanitarian and Christian causes in Burma. All administrative work done in the United States is by volunteers.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are already in contact with several Christian organizations in Burma about the needs that are so overwhelming. We have already sent them emergency funds of $20,000 US as well as 200 mosquito nets. Here are some of the reports from our contacts in Burma:

  1. The front part of our church (the pulpit part of Pwo Karen Baptist Ch.) was totally destroyed and the five big stands were cracked. Some church members who live in our church compound are now living in Pwo Karen Theological Seminary classrooms because all their houses’ roofs and walls were lost.
  2. The worst thing is that the church near by our church, Sanchaung Sgaw Karen Baptist Church was totally destroyed. Now the church members are also living in their seminary classroom.
  3. Our working place, Myanmar Institute of Theology was also affected by cyclone. The fourth floor of our seminary was totally devastated. Our computer lab was also damaged. Some of the staff houses were also tear-down.
  4. My wife Tin Tin got ph. Contact with her family. Her father got accident on his nose and arm by broken glasses. He is now under-treatment. He had to take 16 stitches on his nose and 10 on his arm. He is now getting better. I still do not get ph. contact with my family. I do not know where my mother is, but I hope she will be doing fine. My former organization World Vision is serving among the victims. My friends informed me that one of my brothers’ house was collapsed.
  5. All goods prices are increased and people are facing difficulties with their daily food. They guess electricity will be unavailable for nearly three months. If there is no electricity, there will be shortage of water supply. There will be many consequences of this disaster: health problem, sanitation, insufficient food, etc.

“This morning, my mom got contacted with my younger sister in Burma and found out that Maung Maung Htwe got back to Yangon after being trapped in the storm in delta area. He is heading home today. I have learned some sad news from my friend from CT, that at least seven Pwo Karen Churches were being destroyed which means that seven whole villages had been wiped out by the powerful wave and wind. The Sgaw Karen Churches are three times more that Pwo Karen Churches, so you can imagine that. Saya Soe Thiha had visited those areas and reported that it had totally devastated and destroyed. There are more Buddhist villages than Christian churches, so it means there are many, many villages had been wiped out. Let’s pray that God will give some comforting arm around the survivals and his mercy and grace to them, and God loosens this hard headed military junta and let the international relief workers to go there and help these people.” (from Saya Zaw Wynn)

1) Two Pwo Kayin Seminarians were killed. 2) Most of Pwo Kayin Theological Seminary students’ parents and family members were killed. 3) 9 Pwo Karen Churches and more than 35 Pwo Kayin villages were disappeared. They guess there will be more than 3000 PK church members were killed. We, the members our Pwo Kayin Baptist Conference (PKBC) are living in delta area. In PKBC, we have 6 associations. All these associations are in delta area and all were affected by cyclone. Dr. Soe Thiha (Andover NTS), Rev. Dr. Maung Maung Htwe (ANTS), and Ko Ko Lay (PTS) alumni are leading in relief camps. Now PKBC provide a relief camp in Pathein, the capital of Irrawaddy division. Tomorrow, my youth pastor and youth will go to Pathein for relief. Pathein is nearly 200 miles far from Yangon.

The special website set up to handle your donations for the relief effort in Burma is:

You can donate online, or you can send your donation to Friends of Burma @ 548 Home Ave Ft Wayne, IN 46807. We are a 501(c) organization, so all donations are tax deductible.

If you can’t give, please pray to that God will turn the hearts of the military regime to allow humanitarian aide into the country. The world can not sit by and allow these people to keep on suffering and perishing because no one will help.

I had to go see RAMBO. Having gone to Burma (Myanmar) in 2006, and learning of the atrocities taking place, I wanted to see Hollywood’s depiction. I was shocked by the depiction of violence. I had heard of some of the atrocities, but to see them visualized in such a violent way made my blood boil. I know many watching are simply caught up in the violence. But for me, my heart goes out to the people fo Burma. We were not allowed to go to the “black” areas of Myanmar, where the violence and warfare take place. And many of the people and pastor’s we met did not dare speak out about it. The military junta has a death grip on the people. We were supposed to say a word at the Judson Baptist Church in Mandalay, but a governement spy was recognized and we were told not to. In another instance near Taungyyi, we were to have a welcome service of native dance and food at the Seminary, but the word came down that the province governor would be displeased. You do not want to displease the governor. They have been known to suddenly take your property over.

The people have no rights, they have only a semblance of freedom. Fear is the atmospher. I was so hoping that the Buddhist Monk uprising would cause some change, but no, things are the same, and any resistance has been broken. I know several people who are helping with the influx of Karen and Chin refugees that our State Department has green-lighted for placement into the United States. These people have been living in refugee settlements in Thailand for over 10 years! I met one couple that had been living in a tent for 12 years.

The situation in Burma will not be changed in a peaceable way. The stories I heard indicate the junta is beyond reason, and operate from a state of paranoia. They are truly evil. There is a solid Christian organization in Burma started by Adoniram Judson. There are Seminaries, missionary organizations, and growing evangelistic efforts. But the 1.8 million Christians are a drop in the bucket. They tell me there are Christians in the Army, but they do not have much influence. I am afraid that the only change that will come will be in a bloody coup of some sort. But that is highly unlikely in a Buddhist state. They believe that suffering only prepares them for the next level of life.

In the meantime, we can only cry out to El Elyon, the God Most High! As His servant David constantly cried out to Him, so we must unite with the Burmese and Cry Out to God! 

56:1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; 2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 5 All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life. 7 For their crime will they escape? In wrath cast down the peoples, O God! 8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalms 56:1-8 (ESV)

I wish it was as easy as sending Rambo to teach the Army a lesson. But I believe it will take the Strong Arm of God to bring about His Justice! In the meantime, this trailer is pretty cool!