Myanmar (MNN) ― Myanmar’s junta government has been quietly evicting cyclone survivors from shelters and shutting down refugee camps. They’re sending the people home for “reconstruction,” but there’s nothing left in most villages.
The government has now imposed martial law in many areas of the delta affected by the cyclone, and some local officials are being accused of abusing their authority.
Donor organizations are still NOT allowed into the villages affected. They are allowed to deliver supplies to an SPDC (Burma Army)-controlled warehouse in township areas where who knows what is happening with the supplies donated. There are growing concerns that the government is merely stockpiling the supplies and issuing propaganda showing distribution.
Vision Beyond Borders’ Patrick Klein says in order to get aid to these areas, “There’s a list. For that village, you have to be on that list; you have to be approved by the village leaders. If it’s not (on the list), you’re turned back, and any supplies you’ve brought for the cyclone victims will be confiscated by the government. I don’t know how our friends are getting on those lists, but they are going in with a team.”
There are other concerns, too. Klein says they have confirmed reports that the army is now shooting survivors as well as raping female survivors. Blockades are up on all roads and river ways to the delta area to intercept local individuals bringing aid to survivors in order to extort money from them.
Vision Beyond Borders’ team arrives in Myanmar tomorrow. Continue to pray that the Lord would intervene so that the team can reach those needing help. The team sent ahead two containers: one is full of medicine, the other is full of food. They’re also taking in 15 duffel bags with medication, water purification tablets, clothes and money.
Aside from providing the physical help, they’ll also be living their faith. Klein says during his last trip, the team got the chance to talk about Christ and share their testimony.
The response was overwhelming. “I’ve never seen the people cling to every word. They were desperate for hope. That’s what we want to do is bring them not just the supplies. That’s the secondary thing. But we are trying to get the Gospel to these people because we know that there’s a lot of people that could die as a result of this catastrophe, but we want to give them the hope that is in Jesus Christ.”