Burma’s earthquake compounds Karen problems

By March 31, 2011

Burma (MNN) — Vision Beyond Borders says the recent earthquake has caused damage in Burma, but they don't know how much. Reports from the region are slow in coming. The region's mountain terrain, language barriers, and security issues are causing the delays.

VBB's Wes Flint just returned from the region. "Quite a few houses, churches, and commercial buildings have collapsed. One of the reports that I received indicated that 25 people were killed when a church collapsed. About 50 people were injured."

According to Flint, the earthquake just compounds an already difficult situation for the tribal people along the Burmese/Thai border. Flint says the Burmese army is responsible for genocide–killing innocent Karen, which is also hampering relief efforts. "We're even hesitant to put tarps up for temporary shelter because we're afraid that it would just be a 'flag' for the Burmese army to attack. So we're keeping these people in hiding in Burma, in the jungle, trying to get supplies in. And, unfortunately, we have to do it covertly."

Burma ranks among the 50 poorest countries in the world, so even without catastrophes, there is great need among the people. When catastrophe strikes, the problem is multiplied as their government does nothing to help the people, and the Burmese citizens themselves have no way to reach out to those in need.

Flint says, "Vision Beyond Borders is planning to send a team out in about two weeks to help meet the needs of these earthquake victims."

VBB contacts inside Burma are asking for assistance. There is a great need for clothing, medical items, and funds to purchase rice and emergency food.

That's why VBB will be moving up the projected deadline to ship the container. In order to provide immediate relief, VBB needs help with clothing drives to pack the 1,000 boxes of clothing necessary to fill the 40-foot container. Your help is needed now.

Many of the Karen are Christians. As you help, you're expressing your love for them and for those who don't yet know Christ.

Help VBB by clicking here.

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