August 04, 2015 Myo Chan/Teresa Costello with additional reporting by Brendon Irvine
This week Adventists in Myanmar continue their assessment and relief activities in the flood-affected western areas of the country. Six weeks of heavy rainfall combined with high winds and rain from a recent cyclone have caused flooding and some landslides in four western areas, leaving 46 dead and more than 150,000 affected according to current news reports.
Although at least 32 churches have been damaged with the majority still flooded, members and leaders are focused on helping their communities. Adventist Community Services (ACS) volunteers distributed needed items to approximately 500 disaster victims in the area. ACS is also organizing a food distribution plan for approximately 2,000 people displaced by earlier flooding in the southeast.
Tha Tun Aye, Central Myanmar Mission treasurer, reports that church leaders “are coordinating with the ACS coordinator in Myanmar Union to send medical doctors and health workers to the disaster-affected area.”
In conjunction with government teams and non-government groups, ADRA Myanmar will provide a joint emergency response to unmet needs and/or gaps in support in the northwestern region. Initially, the response plan will include food and water for victims. Brendon Irvine, ADRA Myanmar country director, notes that “a larger ADRA International Network response of up to USD 50,000 is also planned once clearer details emerge of ongoing needs, which [could] possibly include [the other] areas.”
With more monsoon rains predicted this month, the Adventist church in Myanmar is prepared to continue its relief work and bring the comfort of Christ to those in crisis.