From the NECF Research, 23 May 2008
CRISES IN CHINA & MYANMAR
China has made an urgent global appeal for “millions of tents” to shelter 5.2 million survivors of the devastating earthquake. Besides having to deal with their trauma, they face the threats of disease in a crammed environment as well as from the decomposing corpses of animals and people. They have further been warned of more aftershocks, avalanches and flooding as a result of geological instability caused by the quake. At the time of this report, the death toll reached 51,151 with 29,328 still missing and 247,000 injured. The Chinese authorities and organizations have been stepping up in rescue efforts. One million small homes will soon be built to shelter the survivors for up to five years.
In the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar, some 2.5 million survivors of Cyclone Nargis are crying out for mercies, food and shelter. 78,000 deaths were reported with 56,000 people listed as missing. Contrary to what China is doing, the ruling military junta narrows its door on foreign aids. “Foreign relief workers, with very few exceptions, have not yet been allowed to work in the delta, despite having expertise that could save lives,” reported AP. However, the junta had agreed to let ASEAN coordinate relief programs and send in medical workers. Despite the slow delivery of aid, government agencies were seen involving in relief efforts and sending basic necessities to the affected areas. Nonetheless, some international communities are worried that aids may not reach the victims in the remote areas due to political hindrances.
Since day one, churches in Malaysia have not ceased interceding on behalf of the people in China and Myanmar. Some have offered financial assistance by channeling funds through church-related outreaches and Christian bodies (e.g. NECF Malaysia, Council of Churches Malaysia, World Vision, etc.). Still others offer physical assistance by sending volunteers to the afflicted areas.
We pray specifically for the glory of God, His amazing love and abundant mercies to be manifested.
· God to work through the afflictions,
o Healing and restoration;
o The hearts and minds of the people be opened to the Gospel;
o Holy Spirit to fill Christian leaders with wisdom, faith, grace and strength to shepherd the Lord’s flock through difficult times and in reaching out to the survivors.
o That there will be political & religious freedom and justice in the countries.
· Effective and efficient delivery of relief aids
· Against the spirit of repression, violence and totalitarian rule, particular of the military junta.