First, thanks to everyone who has prayed for and/or sent contributions to help with relief from Cyclone Nargis in Burma (Myanmar). We’ve had an outpouring of compassion, and so I’m sending this month’s regular Orphan’s Tear update to everyone on our email list so that everyone can stay informed on the relief efforts in Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.
Cyclone Nargis Damages Orphanages in Burma
Of the 31 orphanages in Burma that we assist every month, 10 of them are in the Yangon region, which was hard hit by Cyclone Nargis. The Red Cross has reported that there may be up to 127,000 deaths so far in Burma, and with more torrential flooding coupled with a military government that is resisting foreign aid, the death toll in Burma could climb much higher in the weeks ahead. Despite the damage, we are thanking God that Cyclone Nargis caused no loss of life at any of our orphanages in Burma. If your sponsored child lives in Burma, he or she is OK!
All 10 Yangon orphanage buildings suffered damage, but to varying degrees, depending on construction methods. It was like an object lesson from the story of The Three Little Pigs.
At the bottom of the list were dorms that were simple thatched buildings, easily destroyed by Cyclone Nargis in the 120 mile-per-hour winds. At the top of the list were brick and mortar buildings, which generally only suffered a little roof damage. In the middle are wood framed buildings, such as Emmanuel Orphanage’s building in the above photo. The director, Jonah Kham, wrote:
Praise the Lord! We have just escaped from Cyclone Nargis which took hold many lives in Yangon city. The scourge has brought us into a world of depression, loneliness, rejection, helplessness and deprivation of food, water and electricity. The cyclone took away the roof (tin plates) of our rented house and the front fence was badly destroyed. The ground floor of our house got flooded and brought about a lot of diseases to our family. Five of our children are affected with diarrhea. The practical problems that strike our lives: non-availability of food to eat, pure drinking water to drink and water to use, electricity, and the sky high prices of goods in the city. It has been five days that the Cyclone Nargis struck, but the house owner did not come to repair our house. We live in a ruinous house!
What we have like food and water, we give it to others who are in dire need and now it is running out! Our orphanage has 27 family members. To live a day for our family is now overwhelming and nothing is done to our rescue and rehabilitation so far. I do not know how long we can live as the effect of the Cyclone Nargis is overloading for us to carry on!
We strongly keep the faith!….We are now in dare need of your prayer, sympathetic and humanitarian help!
Cyclone Nargis Relief Efforts in Burma
Since receiving Jonah Kham’s email and others like it from our other Yangon orphanage directors, we’ve been able to send $11,000 in emergency cyclone-relief aid to Burma that is now meeting the immediate needs for water, food and medication for 28 orphanages in Yangon. Because of Cyclone Nargis striking Burma, we are helping 18 additional orphanages in Yangon besides the 10 that we assist every month through the child sponsorship program. And because of your help, we’re sending additional help to Burma soon. Praise God for all of this!
I also wrote to Jonah Kham and told him to begin looking for land on which we can build Emmanual Orphanage their own brick and concrete building. It will be cyclone-proof and they won’t have to deal with a landlord ever again. And we’re going to try to do that same thing for all of our other Yangon orphanages that don’t have their own cyclone-proof buildings.
On May 1st, just one day before the landfall of Cyclone Nargis in Burma, we sent Life Concern Orphanage (in Yangon) $14,000, which will be sufficient to build them a two-story, 2,300 square-foot, brick and concrete building like the one in the photo below of an orphanage we currently have under construction in Kalaymyo, Burma:
Life Concern’s thatched dorm in Burma was completely destroyed by Cyclone Nargis (see photo below). With our help, they’ve already built a temporary structure that will serve their children until their new brick building is completed within a few months.
On May 1st, we also sent $9,500 to another one of our Yangon orphanages, Rhema Childcare Center, so that land can be purchased for a new brick and concrete dorm. And that same day we sent funds to two more of our other Yangon orphanages, Shalom Children’s Home and Living Hope Orphanage, that will enable each to complete what was lacking on their almost-completed brick and concrete dorms.
All of this is to say that the Orphan’s Tear Construction Company has been keeping very busy and many good things are happening in Burma!
I wish I could say the same for the rest of the areas affected by Cyclone Nargis in Burma, where untold suffering is being experienced as I write these words. Our orphanage directors have been reaching out with the love of Jesus to their needy neighbors, whose hearts surely have softened in their sufferings. We need to keep them all in our prayers.
New Nepali Orphans
One other bit of news this month is that we’ve just adopted two orphanages in Kathmandu, Nepal, during my visit there last week. Five of the orphans are already posted at Orphan’s Tear. Just select “Nepal” if you would like to add one of “portfolio.” Their orphanage is really struggling financially.
All of These Blessings
All of these blessings have been made possible by your compassion and generosity. Thanks to everyone who sponsors a child in Burma, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Haiti, India or Sri Lanka. Thanks to everyone who has given to the Orphan’s Tear Special Gifts Fund, the Dorms for Orphanages Fund and the newly-created and temporary Myanmar Cyclone Relief Fund. In every case, 100% of what has been received from you has been sent (or soon will be sent) overseas to meet the pressing needs of our little brothers and sisters in Christ.
For the Children,
To read the updates our orphanages have sent since Cyclone Nargis, visit the Orphan’s Tear Blog.