Providing COVID Relief in Myanmar
A young boy ran and took his ration of rice with happiness. Excited, he barely paused in his run home when the local pastor and Daniel*, an Open Doors partner, said hello. ‘‘When will you start cooking this rice?’’ Daniel asked. The boy replied immediately, “I will cook as soon as I get home! My parents went out for searching for food in the forest and they will at least bring mushroom and fruits, and then we are going to have a grand dinner tonight!”
The Lockdown Hardship
As the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in Myanmar, the chance to have a ‘grand dinner’ has been rare for many families. One Open Doors partner says, “People’s lives and livelihood are disrupted by the lockdown. They lost their jobs as daily wage labourers, they could not sell their vegetables and forest produce to the neighbouring villages as there is no proper transport. Jobless and without income, the believers were panicking as they also did not receive any help from the government. Their lives were difficult, but the lockdown made it even harder.”
In addition to the lockdowns, the yearly monsoon floods that were delayed last year resulted in poor harvests, so this year, the believers are facing a food shortage. In many farming areas, believers are panicking as mice and other pests attacked their crops this year. There is alarm about the future food crisis and possible disasters such as famines because of the pandemic.
But your prayers and support have enabled Open Doors local partner to distribute relief to thousands of families in Myanmar, an answer to prayer for many believers and a testimony of God’s faithfulness towards his people. Sayed*, one of the believers who received this support, said “Your aid saved my family from hunger, especially in this corona situation, and I believe God is using your ministry to save many other people. May God bless the ministry. Amen!”
The journey to deliver the relief materials was not easy - the monsoon rains made the roads slippery and there was a risk of landslides. Open Doors partner Thun*, who travelled through these difficult terrains, shared, “Though this distribution is happening in the rainy season when the roads between villages are in a bad condition and muddy, we were able to do it solely because of God’s grace. Despite the circumstances, rice was distributed to the relief of many Christian families. This is indeed a blessing and couldn’t have happened if God didn’t pave the way for us.”
While he was helping to distribute aid, Open Doors local partner Obed*, who also provides training to believers on how to improve their livelihoods, took the opportunity to give tips on growing and planting vegetables to the pastors and believers so that they can better sustain themselves and sell the extra produce.
Noor*, a mother of three children extends her gratitude: “In this time of hunger I am able to feed my children. It is only because of your ministry. My profound gratitude will remain forever for your support.”
Pray for believers who are struggling to get the sustenance they need due to the lockdowns. Pray for courage, health, and strength.
Pray for the partners and volunteers bringing in the emergency aid. May they be granted protection and safety.
Pray for a decrease in COVID cases and that the decisions made by the Myanmar government would be wise and just.