Myanmar Needs Your Help

By now the news concerning Myanmar is probably familiar to most of us. As a result of Cyclone Nargis, over 65,000 people are dead or missing, according to state media. Other groups estimate that the death toll could eventually exceed an astounding 100,000.

To put that in perspective, even the current dead/missing toll in Myanmar is over seven times the number of deaths reported in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the current conflict in Iraq combined. If the final figure indeed tops 100,000, it will easily exceed the total number of casualties the U.S. suffered in Vietnam and Korea.

But beyond the staggering tragedy involved with the lives that have already been lost, other serious—some even ridiculous—problems remain. According to a recent MSNBC story, Myanmar’s military government has said it will accept aid from all countries, but has thus far been prohibiting foreign workers from entering the country to help manage the crisis. (Some Western aid experts in Thailand will reportedly have to wait four more days before entering the country simply because the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok is taking a local holiday.) This with nearly 1 million people waiting for food, clean water, shelter, and medicine, thousands of children being orphaned, and the stench from floating bodies described as “beyond words.”

What can we do? First, pray. Pray that God would bring Myanmar’s military leaders to their senses and allow aid workers to enter the country. Pray also that he would provide the necessary resources to manage the situation and bring relief to the people affected by the tragedy. Finally, pray that he would cause many hearts to look to Christ for their ultimate rest and joy.

Second, consider contributing financially. While I admit it’s very easy to see the news reports and simply go on about our day, we might remember an important truth: Christians worship a God who has graciously poured out compassion on us in our desperate need—indeed he continues to do so. That truth should encourage compassion of our own.

You can find contact information for several relief agencies here.

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