Let’s pray for Burma

Burma (MNN) —
The nation of
Burma has been
at war with its
ethnic people
for the past 40
years. While
conflict is an
ever-present
reality, at least
there has been
a general “ebb
and flow” of
attacks. Ethnic
minority groups
can usually hide
in the jungle
while
government
forces seek to
destroy their
population.
But for the Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine state–also
known as Arakan state, Burma’s government isn’t
the only foe they need protection from. The
Rakhine people, ethnic Buddhists, also want them
gone.
The Rohingya crisis has been escalating since the
summer of 2012. Oddny Gumaer of Partners Relief
and Development says the situation isn’t going
away.
“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of good
news coming from the Rakhine state and from the
Rohingyas,” she notes. “At least 150,000 people
are in refugee camps, and they’re not getting any
kind of international aid. People are starving from
lack of food and clean water.
“And also, people are dying because there is no
medical care. They have no doctors, no nurses, no
medicine.”
In late February, Burma’s government forced
Doctors Without Borders to remove its staff and
stop practicing medicine in Rakhine state–simply
because they had cared for Rohingya patients.
Then, during the last week of March, more than
170 UN and international NGO staff were
evacuated from Sittwe.
Some groups, like Partners, still have a presence
in Rakhine state, but it’s little more than a deadly
tease.
“To me, that is an unbelievable injustice,” Gumaer
states. “People are starving to death, and there are
organizations who have the means to help them,
but they’re not able to because it’s illegal to help.”
Despite legal restrictions, Partners is doing what
they can to help Muslim Rohingyas.
“The strength that we have is that because we are
small, it’s easier for us to sneak in and sneak out,
and not get noticed,” observes Gumaer.
Last week, two Partners workers were able to
enter Rakhine state and deliver 27 tons of rice to
some of the Rohingya refugees. Their committed
care speaks volumes to the ethnic Muslims.
“They were blown away that we came back, even
though it was dangerous, and did what we did for
them,” says Gumaer. “It’s very clear to them that
God loves them and that we are His hands and feet
in this situation.
“When they see us, they call us ‘the Christians who
care.’ And I think that would make Jesus proud to
hear, that that’s the testimony we are bringing into
this camp.”
One of the Rohingya men even embraced a
Partners worker and called him brother.
“That’s a pretty strong testimony of how God’s
love is being made very evident in practical action
toward these people.”
You can help Partners bring the hope and love of
Christ to even more Rohingya. Thanks to a
generous donor, each gift to Partners’ Emergency
Fund is being doubled.
“The money that we are given for this purpose is
very well-spent,” Gumaer notes. “It’s amazing
how far $100 goes when you are in a very remote
place and [when you] have the local contacts that
we have.”
You can also speak up for the Rohingya by adding
your voice to Partners’ petition to top-level
officials.
Ask the Lord to protect Partners staff as they
deliver supplies and to give them wisdom. And, it
might sound farfetched, but pray for Burma’s
government to change their stand on Rohingya
citizenship. Pray that the Rohingya will be counted
as citizens of Burma so they can come out of
hiding and return to their homes.
“What needs to happen is a change from the top
level,” says Gumaer.
“I mean, we can keep buying rice and tarps and
medicine for these people forever, but unless there
is a bigger change on a national level,

About this
Organization
News for this Organization
Profile Page
Phone: 720-289-1418
Web site
Partners Relief
Development (U
PO Box 912418
Denver, CO
80291-2418
April 18, 2014

Call to action
Pray for Burma’s government to change their s
on Rohingya citizenship.
Pray that the Rohingya will be counted as citize
Burma.
Ask the Lord to protect Partners staff as they
deliver supplies, and to give them wisdom.
Pray that more aid groups will be allowed back
Rakhine state.

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