Strong quake hits Burma

By March 25, 2011

Burma
(MNN) — Two quakes rattled Burma within seconds of each other late Thursday.

The
temblors struck near the borders with China, Thailand and Laos but did not
present an immediate tsunami risk. Initial readings from the U.S. Geological Survey showed the quake
measuring at 6.8.

Dyann Romeijn with Vision
Beyond Borders
says, "Chiangrai and
Chiangmai were the hardest-hit population centers, although we're not hearing
that there was extensive damage. They were still a ways from the epicenter; the
quake, it sounds like, was more in some rural areas."

VBB had a team on the ground in the region where the quake struck. "We
actually have contacted our contacts inside Burma to see what the
story is from inside [the country], but at this point, we have not heard anything back
from them," says Romeijn.

Vision Beyond Borders works in Karen refugee camps in Burma. "We work with local contacts there to try to bring food, we help build
buildings," Romeijn explains, "try to provide schooling for these children, work a lot with
medical care, and just meet basic needs."

Over
the weekend, Burmese soldiers attacked the KT Children's Home because they
wanted to reclaim the territory belonging to the Karen National Union. "It sounds like they're actually
coming closer and closer to these refugee camps with the fighting and actually
trying to get into the camps themselves."

On Sunday, fighting came close to the camp with the KT
Home. By Tuesday, there were 100 Burmese soldiers about 20 minutes
away from the Karen soldiers' base across the river from the KT Children's Home.
400 other Burmese soldiers are 25 kilometers away and were expected to meet up
with the first unit.

A VBB team member summarizes it this way, "We need a major miracle. We have about 20-30 Karen soldiers defending their territory, and 500 Burmese soldiers are on
the way to get it." 

The
earthquake may actually have been an answer to prayer. Romeijn explains: "With the
fighting that close to the camp, I would also hope that possibly it was
something that God could use to send the army back, to protect the people. We're just praying that God will use it to
accomplish His purposes. "

The
team member writes that "the children are very well aware of the dangers but
are also trusting God that He will protect them. God has rescued these
children already many times, and we know He will do it again and again."

Keep
praying that God will protect the children. Pray that
God will provide the resources Vision Beyond Borders needs to make a difference in this war zone and
to give a voice to the voiceless.

 

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