MYITKYINA, Myanmar – Crises like floods, famine, earthquakes, and war make great headlines, followed only by stories of relief efforts. Reporters move from one crisis to the next drawing our attention with them. We tend to forget about the aftermath that usually lasts much longer than the crises themselves. The refugees running from crisis endure a multitude of hardships. They suffer from lack of food, clean water, sanitation, medical supplies, and exhaustion. Some people displaced by tragedy are able to find temporary lodging in refugee camps where life can be defined as being at the extreme end of inconvenience.
Others, less fortunate, move from one temporary location to another. Some on a nearly daily basis, hoping to find enough sustenance to survive another day.
Regardless of their hardship during a crisis or where they reside as refugees, the one thing displaced people want more than anything else is to return home.
The problem is that, in the aftermath, they often return to the area where they once lived, nothing looks like the home they left. Once the Syrian conflict subsides, most of the refugees will have nothing to return to. It is the same situation for those in the DRC and Myanmar and similar regions.
Relief work is about offering a handout. Recovery work is about offering a hand up. Within a biblical context, recovery somewhat parallels discipleship. The refugees have been able to return safely home, but the long process of reestablishing themselves has just begun.
The refugees from the ongoing civil war were forced to leave their homes, farms, and animals behind as they escaped into the jungles. The short-term solutions they found for shelter and food have had to serve for the long-term as the war rages on.
Realizing that many of the refugees who had sought safety near Myitkyina may never be able to return to their original homes, Asian Children’s Mission instituted a project that has helped 200 families permanently resettle in newly built villages.
Their primary resettlement initiatives “include materials for new houses, purchasing undeveloped land suitable for farming, providing farm animals, offering vocational training and building houses.”
According to data supplied by ACM, the FBO and its supporters have purchased 150 acres of land, built 130 houses, and resettled 1,000 individual men, women, and children thus far. The residents of the first two villages constructed have named their communities Happy Village and Comfort Village testifying to their thankfulness for the compassion shown by the Christians at ACM.
Over 100,000 more Myanmar Christians are living in internment camps under the persecution of the Communist-inspired UWS Army. These too will need help with resettlement in the aftermath long after the world has forgotten them – if we have not already.
Please join us in praying for the Christians suffering in Myanmar, and pray for faith-based organizations like ACM that are honoring the Lord by helping them to resettle in the aftermath.
To read more news on the refugee crisis on Missions Box, go here.