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Dare to hope: a change in Myanmar

By August 11, 2015
(Photo courtesy Partners Relief and Development)

(Photo courtesy Partners Relief and Development)

Myanmar (PRD/MNN) — The floods that have swamped large areas of Myanmar are now estimated by the UN to have impacted more than 589,000 people.

The numbers are huge, but behind the numbers are vulnerable people who all have names, stories, and families. One of the stories belongs to Hafsa, a 27-year-old Rohingya widow with 5 young children who risked everything to get away on a boat.

Instead, she ended up spending 50 days just offshore in the hands of human traffickers, barely surviving starvation. In the end, the traffickers decided there wasn’t enough human cargo to make the trip worthwhile, so they released the passengers from Sittwe. By then, Hafsa’s 12-year-old daughter had contracted tuberculosis. The Partners Relief and Development team got her medical help.

Since returning to the refugee camp, Hafsa and her children said they had been staying on the property of some relatives. Really, they stayed with them for the first 20 days but moved to the nearby language-learning center because the relatives wanted her and the children gone.

After being virtually homeless for more than 2 years, now Hafsa and her children will be sleeping in their new home. This week, the ministry team finalized the purchase of a small piece of land with a house, which had been vacant since the previous owner fled to Thailand.

For the first time in a long time, this mom can afford to dream. She plans to open a small shop at the house and has already begun weaving fishing nets to sell. Pray that Hafsa and her family can have some peace and hope for a fresh start.

How does Partners see families like Hafsa’s transform? When they talk about mission with integrity, they mean both the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel. It’s more than evangelism and social involvement being done alongside each other. The message they live is compelling: people are called to love and repentance in all areas of life.

By helping Hafsa and her family, the team earned the family’s trust. When asked ‘why are you helping us,’ the team with Partners was ready with the hope of the Gospel. In short, Partners’ social involvement has evangelistic consequences as they show how the transforming grace of Jesus Christ works.

 

 

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