[Note from editor, Kerry Kind]: I first heard of Burma and the Burma Road when I was reading about World War II in the non-fiction book God is My Co-pilot when I was a boy. Today, the area is under a military government, but I had the privilege of visiting many of our Wesleyan churches there. The Myanmar Wesleyan churches and leaders are among the most committed and heroic in the world, and have been serving sacrificially and growing even under persecution in the Buddhist majority context. Showing compassion to members who have lost everything in the historic flood is not only merciful, it is also a powerful witness that Christian love is real and practical. Let’s stand with our brothers and sisters in prayer and giving.]
We had many Wesleyan members who lost their homes in Kanan as well as in the Tahan-Kalaymyo region.
In most of these cases, their land is also lost and untillable now, covered by deep mud. One lot was preserved, that of the local missionary’s home. They are now rebuilding the missionary quarters. Local labor and youth volunteers are helping in this construction.
The concern is getting plots of land for people to start over, in other locations. As long as they have a lot, they can build something and retrieve materials if there is anything retrievable in their lost homes, and use it to start with something new in the lot provided.
So far, we already have purchased one piece of land with help from the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund. They need this help to get restarted in more than a dozen places.
Up until now, much of the WERF support has been for emergency food and clothing and tents, and some water well repair. More of that is needed, but to get families back to self-sufficiency, the plots of land are essential, and this is just beyond the scope of the churches that are doing everything they can to care for immediate needs. About $33,000 is needed for the land purchases, which will help a lot of families. Helping with water well sources and other crisis needs would add another $20,000.
If our Wesleyan families and churches in North America can help with any small, or bigger, parts of these, we would be so grateful.
Thanks for your compassion toward our church families in Myanmar.
Dr. Romy Caringal is Asia Area Director for Global Partners.