Myanmar Revisted

This morning I ran across an MSNBC.com report that U. S. naval vessels are leaving Myanmar after repeated attempts to gain permission from that country’s military junta government to offload aid to its cyclone devastated people. The article’s opening paragraphs give the gist:

U.S. Navy ships are leaving Myanmar after failing to get the junta’s permission to unload aid to “ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands” of cyclone survivors, the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific said Tuesday.

Word of the aborted mercy mission comes even as the United Nations warned that a month after the cyclone swept through Myanmar, more than 1 million people still don’t have adequate food, water or shelter and junta policies are hindering relief efforts.

Adm. Timothy Keating ordered the vessels to leave the Myanmar area Thursday, after the U.S. made at least 15 attempts to convince Myanmar’s leaders to allow ships, helicopters and landing craft to offload their aid.

You can read the full story here.

Two thoughts come to mind in response:

1. We need to continue to pray that God would pour out great mercy on the people of Myanmar, particularly that the government would relent and allow aid to get to the people who so desperately need it. Judging from the MSNBC article, it looks as if lives are still at stake, let alone the quality of the people’s present situation and the speed at which they might get back on their feet. Pray that Myanmar’s government would govern justly and efficiently.

2. Judging from my own experience with a much smaller disaster (my family’s farming operation in northwest Missouri was hammered in the floods of ’93), the people and communities affected by this situation will bear feel its affects for a very long time. We would do well to continue to pray for places like Myanmar, earthquake ravaged China, the areas hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, New Orleans, etc., literally for years to come. I’ll admit that these and other disasters all quickly lose my attention, but the road for the people having to cope directly with these tragedies is neither short nor smooth. Instead, it cries out not only for material aid, but also for the hope and provision that can ultimately be found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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