YANGOON, Myanmar (BNc)- A number of brethren are helping and are even on the ground in Myanar to help with relief efforts after the cyclone has devastated the country.

BNc is aware of a number of brethren who have gone to Myanmar, but their names are being withheld because of the sensitive political situation.

One brother wrote a report yesterday, May 31, as follows.

The local Christians are feverishly involved in distributing first-response relief supplies to the areas hardest hit by the cyclone. From Yangoon to the most devastated area is a 2-3 day journey by bus and boat, so they are going and coming, taking supplies from Yangoon that cannot be purchased there and buying food stuff on the scene for distribution. Thus far they have only been able to help about 150 families, but with our input of funds they are gearing up to provide for 2000 or more in specially chosen areas that have been neglected thus far by others.

Longer range plans are being formulated in an effort to impact the chosen areas for good and to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible, while establishing a permanent presence for the church.

The death and destruction are unbelievable. Whole towns and villages disappeared. Brethren report dead bodies are floating everywhere and that the government is using large ships with nets stretched between them to gather the bodies. Because of the fear of cholera epidemics they are towing the bodies out to sea and releasing them rather then attempting to retrieve them for burial. The sea water that came inland more the 200 miles has turned their rice paddies into salt paddies where nothing will grow for three or four years and has left the poorest of the poor without a means of food production.

Politics and old tribal rivalries have played a role in who is receiving aid from the government, and people of minority groups are being basically condemned to death unless they get help from outside. Now is the time for Christians to act quickly to save hundreds of thousands of people and show God’s love while sharing his salvation. Many who have never had the opportunity to hear that Jesus lives, can now be taught if we will respond to this crisis while there is yet time.

Among other efforts, Partners in Progress and the World Evangelism Foundation are receiving funds for the Myanmar disaster relief. Contributions may be sent to the World Evangelism office (World Evangelism Foundation, P.O. Box 72, Winona, MS 38967), earmarked for Myanmar cyclone relief.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us