Last weekend, Cyclone Nargis raged through Myanmar, causing widespread damage and killing at least 22,000. Twice as many people are missing. Let that sink in. 22,000 people. Gone. And, there are thousands more who have not been found yet. From the Associated Press comes a report from Yangon, Myanmar:
Hungry crowds of survivors stormed the few shops that opened in Myanmar’s stricken Irrawaddy delta, where food and international aid has been scarce since a devastating cyclone killed more than 22,000 people, the U.N. said Wednesday.
Corpses floated in salty flood waters and witnesses said survivors tried desperately to reach dry ground on boats using blankets as sails. The U.N. said some 1 million people were homeless in the Southeast Asian country, also known as Burma.
“Basically the entire lower delta region is under water,” said Richard Horsey, Bangkok-based spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid.
“Teams are talking about bodies floating around in the water,” he said. This is “a major, major disaster we’re dealing with.”
Suffering is all around us. We can’t escape it. But we try hard. After all, I had a good night’s rest, woke up to see my family and live comfortably in a nice house. In my local paper, Myanmar is a place far away, buried on page 8. The message is clear: If it doesn’t happen in my back yard, it is filed way back somewhere in that category of tragedies that happen to people I don’t really know. Besides, we have problems of our own. We aren’t making money as fast as we used to be. It costs more money to put gas in our cars. Our lives are not as comfortable as they could be.
We all are happy to thank God for our blessings. But God did not bless us to live more comfortable lives. We are blessed so that we may bring more glory to His name and show that we live for him and not for our own comfort. Sometimes I need to ask myself, “Would I trust God as much if I didn’t have food, clothing, a house, my health?”
I came across this from John Piper about ways to react to the tragedy in Myanmar. These are all good things to consider. For a great meditation on why God allows suffering of this, or any, magnitude, read this. The point is, we can’t ignore suffering. See it, react and tremble before God.
Here’s one way to help right now: The American Red Cross