Prayers for Burma
My sister has been living in Burma for the past year and a half, through an organization called “Servants to the Urban Poor”. She is with a team of one other woman and hopefully another to join them soon. They are primarily there to pray for the country and learn the language the first few years. The country is primarily Buddhist. Eventually their goal is to live in the poorest areas of the country to work and minister to these desperate people.
Right now my sister needs prayer for language learning and opportunites to serve the poor. She would also like prayer for ” wisdom and clarity about direction for our team. And for the country – for a smooth and peaceful transition of power to the new democratic government that was elected Nov.8th. It won’t be until March until they are allowed to take over and so that leaves a very fragile period where any disruption could occur to prevent the democracy from happening. Prayer is very crucial at this time!” Thank you for praying for my sister and the country of Burma.
Below are a few facts that give more of an idea the political and economic climate in Burma. Facts about Burma from National Geographic.com
“The majority of Myanmar’s people are ethnic Burmans, and other ethnic groups (including Shans, Karens, and Kachins) add up to some 30 percent of the population. Ethnic minorities are dominant in border and mountainous areas: Shan in the north and northeast (Indian and Thai borders), Karen in the southeast (Thai border), and Kachin in the far north (Chinese border). The military regime has brutally suppressed ethnic groups wanting rights and autonomy, and many ethnic insurgencies operate against it.
Independence from Britain in 1948 was followed by isolationism and socialism. Military governments have ruled Myanmar since 1962 and have been accused of corruption, heroin trafficking, and human rights violations—including forcible relocation of civilians and use of forced labor. In 1988 military forces killed more than a thousand pro-democracy demonstrators. In 1990 national elections were held for parliament, but the military refused to recognize the results. Myanmar is a resource-rich country with a strong agricultural base, and is a leading producer of gems, jade, and teak. However, military rule prevents the economy from developing, and the Burmese people remain poor and are getting poorer.
In May 2008, Tropical Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar, destroying villages and wiping out vast tracts of rice fields. More than 20,000 people were killed and up to a million were left homeless, according to Myanmar officials.”
Today’s contribution is from Erin Scheu.