Eugene Cho

pray for burma/myanmar

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:

Filed under: health, religion, ,

19 Responses

  1. euni says:

    I have not heard word from my friends along the border, but am praying that everyone is safe. Thank you for this post.

  2. eugenecho says:

    euni,
    glad to hear that you’re looking to host a benefit concert. it’s a great idea.

    we’re looking to partner with different connections and glad that we’re part of a larger network within the Covenant that will be also sending aid:

    http://www.covchurch.org/cov/news/item6268

  3. aaron says:

    This is a tragic event. I have only heard brief moments on the news, but I pray that relief agencies access to the country will be expedited by the government.

  4. eugenecho says:

    These are good folks that assisted us while we were in Burma:

    http://www.partnersworld.org/cyclone.html

    “On the 2nd of May, Cyclone Nargis slammed into the Irrawaddy Delta region in Burma’s south, bringing with it winds of 190km/hr, torrential rain, and a devastating 3.5m storm surge which swept through the low lying delta region. In the aftermath of the storm, Burma has been left with devastation not seen in the country in living memory. Homes have been flattened, thousands of people killed, and those who remain are in a desperate situation and in need of emergency relief supplies – food, shelter, medicine and clean water.

    God’s heart bleeds for the people of Burma. They are an oppressed people mired in poverty under the hand of a regime that refuses to serve their own people. And now, they are confronted by this terrible natural disaster.

    As you may have seen in the media, the Burma regime had foreknowledge of the weather conditions and yet neglected to inform the people in the path of the cyclone. Consequently, the human cost and needs are enormous.

    At this stage, 22,500 people are confirmed dead, with a further 41,000 missing.
    Initial reports suggest between 80 to 95 percent of houses in some villages surrounding Rangoon have been destroyed.
    As many as 1 million people have been displaced.
    Food, shelter, medicine and clean drinking water is in critically short supply.
    Partners is currently mobilizing a relief team comprised of medical personnel and logisticians to respond to this tragedy.

    In order to respond to this tragedy, we are needing your help. Partners has launched an immediate Burma Cyclone Emergency Relief Appeal. Please donate to help finance this action of love.

  5. Chad says:

    22,500 souls gone and 40,000 more unaccounted for. i am having a hard time absorbing this, but i will pray as best i can. i am purposely trying to find a bright side here – but i hope that God can and will redeem this situation and maybe, just maybe bring a better way of life to the people of Burma… maybe a horrible tragedy like this will spur the (global) Church on to demonstrate the love of God for his children by meeting the needs of those spared by the storm (?)

    here is a crazy idea – contact MSR in Seattle about donating water filtration devices (?)

  6. Matt Chism says:

    Is there a Covenant disaster response group that we can partner with or help direct funding for?

  7. Ian says:

    We can become easily disconnected from the rest of the world and it’s not courageous or loving when we do. Thank you for keeping this incident in the spotlight, Eugene. It is a great thing that prayers and money are on the way.

  8. [...] walked with these people…served with them…they are friends.  Eugene through his blog Beauty and Depravity have asked people to join them in giving towards the relief efforts.  If you would like to read [...]

  9. [...] church, quest’s desire to help w/ the relief effort. you can read more about it by going to PE’s blog entry regarding this matter. pray with us, and if you feel compelled, give with us… or find some [...]

  10. guest says:

    A Burmese food fair presented by the Washington State Buddhist Association will be held 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Shoreline Senior Activity Center, 18560 First Ave. N.E. Some proceeds will go toward disaster relief.

    Mercy Corps is accepting relief donations at mercycorps.org or by calling 800-852-2100

    Northwest Medical Teams is accepting relief donations at medicalteams.org or by calling 800-959-4325.

    U.S. Campaign for Burma, uscampaignforburma.org

    Thirst Aid, a nonprofit that offers water purification systems — http://www.thirst-aid.org

    World Aid, Inc., a Seattle nonprofit group. 206-784-7248, or e-mail: worldaidinc@gmail.com, 2442 N.W. Market St., PMB # 434, Seattle, WA 98107

    World Concern is accepting cash donations at crista.org or by calling 206-755-6086.

    World Vision is accepting cash donations at worldvision.org or by calling 888-562-4453.

  11. [...] kids stuff; need to sell the home stuff; humanitarian organization stuff;  wanting to fly to Myanmar stuff [if they were issuing visas!]; getting ready to head to Asia for our sabbatical stuff; getting [...]

  12. [...] a local non-profit organization that is doing great work locally or globally but in light of the cyclone devastation in Myanmar, the Advisory Board unanimously decided to support this cause. There will also be a Benefit Show [...]

  13. [...] elections. Let’s get to November please.  There are other important things going on like Praying for Burma/Myanmar and Fighting Global Poverty.  But to bring a little laughter to the tense Democratics [...]

  14. Kurmudge says:

    Of course, the real problem is not that there is a lack of resources- the US military had loaded planes full of food and relief supplies one country over, forbidden to land by the dictators. The Myanmar government “leaders’ were concerned that any aid that came from parties besides the government might undermine their power and authority.

    Sometimes “power under” is nonsense and you have to pick up the whip like Jesus did at Solomon’s Porch and drive the bad people away.

  15. Teresa says:

    The benefit show raised $2400 for relief for cyclone victims. Thanks to all who helped!

  16. mbrubio17joseph says:

    hello my name is morgan please see my blog entry is http//:mothersdaugter.wordpress.com because i would like to meet other people like me that have two mothers or two fathers like i do

  17. [...] insider’s look at burma Don’t forget the situation in Burma.  I got this incredible “insider’s look” from Teresa who received this from [...]

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