"...you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes" (Song of Sol. 4:9).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Burmese Refugees

I will be leaving for Thailand next month.  This will be a medical outreach for the Karen refugees who are living on the Thailand/ Burma border. I will be traveling with Vision Beyond Borders, founded by Patrick Klein.  Voice of the Martyrs  interviewed Patrick and his work with the Burmese people otherwise known as the Karen. (http://www.persecution.com/public/newsroom.aspx?story_ID=MjIy)   According to Patrick, in January 2010  more than 500,000 people have been killed in Burma (also known as Myanmar) in the last 30 years. More than 3,300 villages have been burned to the ground by the Burmese military, and thousands of children have lost parents from brutal attacks by Burmese soldiers. About 1 million Burmese refugees have fled across the border to Thailand, where they wait in uncertainty. At any moment they might be sent back to Burma to face certain death.

Even refugee camps in Thailand are not safe from Burmese soldiers. They frequently cross the shallow river separating Thailand and Burma to poison water supplies and kill or kidnap refugees, whom they sometimes use as human mine sweepers. The Thai generals who rule the area work hand in hand with Burma’s ruling military junta regime and grow rich through the illegal drug trade that profits them both.

Patrick said the genocide is both an ethnic cleansing and a reaction against pro-democracy movements in Burma, but it also has a specifically anti-Christian agenda. When the head of a monastery asked soldiers if he should warn Buddhist monks to leave a conflict area, the soldier replied, “No, we are not going to harm the Buddhists. We are only against the Christians.”

One heavily targeted Burmese minority group is the Karen people. Historically Christian, today about 40 percent of the Karen people are Christians. A Burmese official boldly stated recently, “Soon there will be no Christians in this nation. You will only be able to see a Karen person in a picture in a museum.”

In the midst of this horror, God is at work in Burma. Many people are trusting their lives to God. One of the believers went so far as to tell Patrick, “Without this genocide, maybe this worship would not be happening, and people would not be coming to Christ.”

The situation has not improved in Burma today and these refugees are without any medical care. Thailand does not want them and they cannot return to Burma.  We hope to provide care to these individuals.  I have attached a link for a video that shows the people we will be caring for, literally. 

Today Burma suffered 2 earthquakes that shook Bangkok and Chiang Mai.  We will be flying into Chiang Mai from Bangkok for the trip.   Please keep us in your prayers. 

God Bless

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