As you may know, last month’s donations towards the Refugee Support designated giving account went towards food and relief in Myanmar. These funds have been used to purchase large bags of rice, cooking oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes to deliver to families in need.
We wanted to give an update on the situation in Myanmar, and invite you to continue giving throughout the month of April!
Our friends in Myanmar are very grateful for the generous support that our church and others have provided for essential food supplies that they have been able to deliver to approximately 150 families (about 600-700 people) so far!
As I write this update, the situation continues to deteriorate in Myanmar, and life is becoming more challenging for civilians as a result of the military coup that occurred on February 1st.
A close friend and his family are now having to move frequently because the police are searching for them.
Most people I know report that the nights are very long, and sleep is restless for them because police generally raid homes in search of people they want to arrest during the dark hours. Churches that had been sanctuaries are now being watched and raided by the police and military on a regular basis.
Nationally, the number of civilians killed by the military now numbers over 715 (according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners), along with over 3,000 officially arrested, charged or sentenced.
It is common for friends to report police and military actions nearby, sometimes forcing them to turn off their lights and end a chat abruptly.
On April 13th, the UN warned that the situation in Myanmar could be “heading toward full-blown conflict.”
Some ethnic armed organizations have now initiated attacks on the Burma Army outposts and convoys in response to brutalities committed by the police and military on unarmed civilian protestors. In response, the military has increased the use of air strikes against both civilian and militia locations.
The Free Burma Rangers, a Christian humanitarian organization that was started in 1995 by a former US Army Ranger, reports regularly on the situation from the viewpoint of the oppressed minorities in several locations within Myanmar. Find their reports here.
In the midst of the turmoil, a small group of local volunteers are utilizing funds donated by the people of Pulpit Rock and elsewhere to purchase and distribute essential food supplies to people who live in remote areas in Kachin State.
Their gratitude has been overwhelming. Careful records are being maintained to document that the funds are being used to help those who are in great need. Those records include information abut the situations and status of the people receiving the help.
As the conditions worsen, the purchase and delivery of supplies is becoming increasingly risky for our friend and his team.
There is no way to predict how long the crisis will continue, or how much more difficult life will become for the people we are trying to help. However, we are committed to doing whatever we can for as long as we can to bring a small measure of hope to people loved by God who are suffering so much due to circumstances beyond their control.
I would like to express my personal gratitude to those who have given generously to help meet the needs of God’s people in northern Myanmar.
– Steve Coe
If you are interested in receiving occasional updates about the situation in Burma and how you can be praying, contact Steve.
For the rest of April, any donations towards the Refugee Support designated giving account will go towards food and relief in Myanmar. If you would like to give, you can do so here, and select ‘Refugee Support’ from the dropdown.