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Churches send aid after Myanmar cyclone kills more than 31,000

Church workers in Myanmar rushed to the Asian nation’s coast after a May 3 cyclone claimed 31,938, according to the country’s military controlled government.
The workers, Biak Hlaithang and Benjamin Bena, are distributing food and medicine on Haing Gyi island and locations in the Irrawaddy River delta, hardest hit by Cyclone Nargis, minister Paul Renganathan said.
Renganathan, who lives in Chennai, India, works with church-supportedrelief ministries around the globe. In addition to distributing aid,the two workers will assess future needs in the affected region,Renganathan said. Nargis is the deadliest storm since a 1999 cyclone in India killed 10,000 people, according to news reports.
Partners in Progress, an Arkansas-based ministry, borrowed $200,000 to respond to the crisis, said international director Bill McDonough.
“Millions of dollars are needed to properly respond,” McDonough said.
In recent months Christians from nearby countries have traveled to Myanmar to encourage the small number of church members living there. The military junta that has ruled the former Burma since 1962 forbids unregistered gatherings of more than five people, said Daniel Hamm, missionary in neighboring Thailand.
Earlier this year Hamm preached in the city of Pyay, Myanmar, which has no church members. Hamm also taught a Bible course near the former capital, Yangon, and distributed Bibles.
Other missionaries in Southeast Asia make regular trips to support the struggling Christians, many who live on the equivalent of $50 to $100 per year, Hamm said.
McDonough asked church members to contribute toward relief efforts. Similar efforts in other nations have changed the attitudes of governments toward Christians, he said.
“Christians (in Myanmar), meeting in small house churches, are reeling,” McDonough said. “Now is the time, history tells us, to impact that society.”
Funds for Myanmar relief may be sent to:
World Bible School of Tulare County
PO Box 3700
Visalia, CA 93278
Partners In Progress
P.O. Box 13989
Maumelle, AR 72113

  • Feedback
    I pray that those poor people may soon receive what they need most the Bread of Life.
    May, 13 2008

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