Update [5/9]: Pray, Act, and Give. And then pray more.
This is a brutal picture [from the NY Times] that conveys the gravity not only of what has transpired but a glimpse of the difficult weeks ahead as they deal with outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, malaria, etc. in addition to the dilemma of starvation and water issues.
From the NY Times article entitled, “U.N. Pressures Myanmar to Allow Aid.” Shocking that after almost one week, the first two U.N. flights just arrived yesterday.
With up to 1.5 million people in Myanmar now believed to be facing the threat of starvation and disease and with relief efforts still largely stymied by the country’s isolationist military rulers, frustrated United Nations officials all but demanded Thursday that the government open its doors to supplies and aid workers.
Almost a week after Cyclone Nargis inundated Myanmar’s densely settled coast, wiped out villages and left untold tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless, the first two United Nations flights carrying relief supplies arrived in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, on Thursday. One carried seven tons of high-energy biscuits, while the other contained a larger load of humanitarian supplies. [read full article]
It’s not much but in addition to collecting funds via Quest, releasing some funds through the church’s Global Presence Foundation, we’ll be doing two more things to help collect funds:
- 10% of all sales at Q CAFE in the month of May will go towards relief.
- Benefit show scheduled for Saturday, May 17 with proceeds towards relief. More info to come.
Please genuinely pray for the people of Burma/Myanmar due to the devastation of Cyclone Nargis. It is now estimated that over 100,000 lives have perished and 2 million people are displaced.
I had the opportunity to trek to Burma a little less than two years ago to see some of the human rights issue and it was life changing. Meeting these men and women have deeply informed how I attempt to support and pray for this distant country.
As Christians pray, this is one of those situations where we must join the global community to bring resources and aid. Please help spread the word for both prayer and aid. The situation is far worse that what people imagined it would be when they initially heard about the cyclone. And I suspect that it is actually even worse than what we are now speculating. Good news is that the military government has expressed invitation for international aid and support.
Quest Church will also be collecting funds to partner with some relationships/organizations in Burma. For Quest folks, you can give your special offering [attn: Myanmar Relief] this Sunday . For others, please send your checks to:
- Quest Church [attn: Myanmar relief];
- 3223 15th Avenue West, Seattle WA 98119
Do you know of other organizations or connections people can give to? Do you have any creative ideas how we can raise aid? We will be gathering and sending the financial resources in the coming weeks to help particularly with the collection and distribution of food and water. Read this email that we received this morning via friends:
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 may be heading to Burma in the next weeks could take the water purifiying tablets to distribute inside Burma…
According to the latest reports [CNN]:
Bodies are being thrown into rivers by Myanmar cyclone survivors in desperate need of help.
The government-run radio station said Tuesday that 22,464 are confirmed dead and 41,000 are missing, and the United Nations says that up to 1 million could be homeless.
CNN’s Dan Rivers is the first Western journalist to reach Bogalay township, where China’s state-run Xinhua news agency says 10,000 died. He reported miserable conditions.
Rivers said that bodies were being dropped into rivers and that survivors had only small amounts of eggs and rice. The area’s rice mills are destroyed, leaving Bogalay with a five-day supply. Water pumps were also ruined, and fuel was scarce.
A video from CNN: