Myanmar (MNN) — Four American navy ships laden with relief supplies are steaming away from the Burmese coast because the military junta will not allow them to help starving cyclone victims. Many relief agencies are facing similar challenges. They're ready to help but aren't being allowed into the country. That means in many instances national Christians are doing it alone.
While food, medicine and other relief supplies are needed desperately, World Bible Translation Center's John Anderson says Burmese Christians are asking for God's Word. "We've had a request for as many as a half million from Christians inside of Myanmar. Right now we're committed to 50,000, but as God provides more opportunity, we will put more text there."
Right now, WBTC is only producing an Easy-To-Read New Testament in Burmese.
Anderson says the disaster has opened doors to share the Gospel. "Our editor, who's been working in Myanmar, has told us that there are even Buddhist monks who are coming and asking for New Testaments. They're trying to make sense of what has happened to them and are hoping to find an answer in the Christian Scriptures."
While the Old Testament isn't done yet, Anderson says, "We're working on the Old Testament. We have a team of Burmese translators in India actively translating right now. I do know [that] a couple of the translators actually left India and went back to Myanmar to try to find their families."
With the need so great, your help is needed now. "It's going to cost about $2 a piece. So for the first 50,000, it'll cost us $100,000. If we were to reach the entire 500,000 requests, that would cost us about one million dollars."
Anderson is confident the money will be raised. "Christians in American and Canada and other western countries are really touched, especially because Myanmar is both devastated by this and they know that these people have suffered because of their government."