Myanmar government clamping down even more

By February 24, 2009

Myanmar (MNN) — The government of Myanmar continues to make it difficult to help people in need in that military-led government. On May 2, 2008, thousands were killed and millions were displaced by Cyclone Nargis. Christians aren't giving up, despite the difficult times.

Patrick Klein, founder and President of Vision Beyond Borders, says it was difficult to get into the country at the beginning of the disaster. But now, "The government's clamping down even more. We just had two teams who were in there. They said the borders are getting even tighter. The goverment is looking more closely for materials being carried in. Thankfully our teams were able to get through."

Klein describes some of the items they've been carrying in to the country. "We've been taking in a lot of medicine, vegetables, seeds, and clothes, We're also getting Bibles in and trying to reach the people, especially in the delta [region] because there's been so much devastation."

Now, the government is clamping down on another segment of society. "It seems like the government has just tightened the screws even tighter. We just had reported to us that 50 churches were just closed in Yangon," says Klein.

Has the work of VBB been affected by this? Klein says no. "We've been working kind
of low level with some local contacts and trying to keep out a foreign
presence so it doesn't draw attention to them." 

Vision Beyond Borders is building orphanages in Myanmar to provide for the many children who were orphaned by Cyclone Nargis. Klein says the work is moving forward. "We have one already completed. We have three more under construction already, and we're hoping the fifth one will start construction in June."

It's important that these orphanages are opened with Christian caregivers. Klein says otherwise these kids will be raised in Buddhist orphanages. "The Buddhists are trying to get the Christian kids to renounce their Christian faith and convert to Buddhism. That's why we're working very hard to build orphanages as soon as possible — get them into good Christian homes, where they can be loved and get an education and grow in their relationship of Jesus Christ."

Funding is needed to make sure these orphanages can open. If you'd like to help Vision Beyond Borders, click here.

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