As I’m sure it has for all of you, I have been crushed with the news of the cyclone that wiped out parts of Burma and the earthquake that shattered parts of China.
With relief, I can say that Kunming and Yunnan province in general has not been affected as it lies to the South and West of Sichuan Province, of which the capital is Chengdu. Also, the people that I know who live in Sichuan province are all safe. The New York Times has an interactive map which is interesting and helpful. Another map from NPR. The health professionals and anyone available – especially those organizations who already have a presence there – are mobilizing people and resources into those areas. Now, a serious concern is the integrity and condition of dams which, if they collapsed, would greatly compromise power plants, wipe out villages and result in many more casualties. If you want more specific information about the efforts there, please ask or comment below.
The people of Burma continue to suffer in the wake of Cyclone Nargis as the military junta continues to restrict aid and aid workers. Some aid groups also claim that the military has absconded with aid and redirected it toward support of the military – for more click here. Furthermore, a referendum vote was held as previously scheduled on May 10. This referendum, if approved, would basically legitimize and cement the military dictatorship rule as constitutional. The vote has been reported as winning “massive support” from the people.
My friends in the Free Burma Rangers continue to give updates on what is happening in the area affected by the cyclone as well as the situation of villagers in other areas of Burma who continue to suffer brutality even as cyclone victims are denied assistance. Partners Relief and Development is an agency working with the Free Burma Rangers in providing assistance to cyclone survivors.
The situation in Burma has always made me sick, but this is beyond me to make sense of ANYTHING. I’m beyond asking WHY. To be brutally, humanly honest, I don’t know why God spared the military junta leaders who have been oppressing their own people for decades? Why couldn’t they have been washed away as well (although I have no proof that none of them weren’t)? This really isn’t what I want to think, but I’m throwing it out there. Where is God’s justice and mercy for these people? Haven’t they suffered enough? I have no answers to these questions but I can’t stop asking and pleading and praying. Praying for them, as well as my own heart in this. I’m glad I’m not God – I would have wiped them out long ago…
I’m sure that all of you have probably seen many pictures (perhaps more than you care to see) but I hope that you won’t grow fatigued in thinking about, learning about, and praying for these people in these areas. If you have questions or comments about any of this, I encourage you to write back.
I have been traveling and I haven’t found time to blog until today.