Update on Disaster Response in Burma

Post a Comment » Written on January 16th, 2013     
Filed under: Disaster Relief
We received another update from the Covenant Missionary doctor who has been serving in the relief camps in Burma. Click here to read an earlier update on this project.

From a distance, it looked like paradise– palm trees and the blue ocean. Yet as we got closer, the stench of human waste mingled with smoke quickly made us realize that this was not an idyllic resort town.  We then saw the thousands of makeshift shelters and tents dotting the dusty roadside and even more thousands of their inhabitants milling along side.  The Rohingya who are Muslim, were burned and bombed out of their homes and villages then driven into these temporary camps by the Rakhine Buddhist majority since June 2012.  More than 200,000 were living in the filth, disease, and poverty of these camps that are reminiscent of Ethiopia and the Sudan, not SE Asia.

It was a humbling and overwhelming experience treating hundreds of patients daily alongside a small international medical relief team.  I cannot recall ever seeing so much malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and all kinds of infectious disease.  Most of the time, there was little the team could do as they saw four children die from malnutrition and many others close to death. Yet we were also able to offer help to many who otherwise have been left to fend for themselves.  I will always remember the faces of the crying women who had brought their children to be seen but could not because of the large crowds.

God often humbles and surprises me whenever I enter a situation with the attitude of being a source of blessing and help to others.  It typically turns out that I am the one who walks away blessed and changed in some way. This trip was no different.  I was amazed by the warmth, hospitality, and courage of the Rohingya even in the midst of their suffering.  I was challenged by the love shown by some Rakhine who worked hard with us to bring aid to those who were supposed to be their enemy.  I was humbled that we, a team of Christians, could pray together with Muslims for God to bring peace.

I want to thank Covenant World Relief for making a huge contribution to make this trip possible not only for me but making a significant donation for the purchase of medications.  As we went into town to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of medications, I was grateful for CWR’s involvement and their resources in action.”


Click her to give to our emergency response fund and support projects like this in Burma.

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