[ ‘SHARE’ Sept-Oct 2013 – Myanmar – A Beam after the War Flame ] FOCUS ~ Country Development
The Lisu pastor serving the displaced in the camp
Author: Lisa CHAI, Senior Programme Officer
Habakkuk 1: 2- 3
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. (NIV)
For decades the Myanmar government armed forces and opposing non-state armed groups have engaged in armed conflict. The frequent occurrence and brutality of reported human rights violations by these armed forces caused us to cry out like Prophet Habakkuk. Why do the innocent suffer and perish? We ask God to intervene yet violence and abuses prevail. Over the years CEDAR has supported partners operating in conflict affected areas in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, just to name a few. I am reminded by the book of Habakkuk that in face of conflict situation, we may be perplexed yet God is continuing His work. In the midst of violence and destruction, development is possible.
Last June, the conflict between the Burmese government and the Kachin rebel group in Myanmar has forced some 75,000 people displaced. CEDAR has been supporting one local Lisu church partner to provide emergency relief (food items and clothes) to displaced refugees. Unfortunately, the conflict has intensified recently.
For many years the Lisu people are caught in between the fighting and conflict of the KIA armed group and Burmese military forces. The Lisu people have no arms and do not fight but often out of their will reluctantly became a source of supply to the two armed groups. Their crops & livestock get taken away, their children get kidnapped and conscript to work as porters and child soldiers.
Our local church partner is now taking care of displaced Lisu people who are seeking safety at their churches and student hostels. As these newly arrived Lisu children and youth do not speak Burmese, our partner is hoping to provide tutoring lessons to assist them to pursue an education while giving the the children protection at the hostel. The annual cost to recruit four teachers is US$7,200.
Pray for the displaced Lisu:
Pray that our partner is able to hire teachers to give lessons to the war affected Lisu children;
Pray for more humanitarian access into the conflict area to meet the dire needs of the large displaced population;
Pray for a long-lasting peace in the affected areas.