For this post I wanted to tell you a little more about the Ignite Myanmar Missions ministry and the kinds of things Pastor Paul is facing in his country of Myanmar. I asked Paul to give me some info on the demographics and logistics that he has to navigate. I wanted to give some perspective on the need that Pastor Paul is facing.
First, let’s address the living conditions of the people Pastor Paul is ministering to. These people are in no uncertain terms, third world poor. According to Pastor Paul, 70% of the country’s population falls into this category. Most are day laborers and depend on the work provided by those who own businesses. When the Covid pandemic hit, all those businesses closed. Now these same people who worked day to day just to earn enough money to buy food for the day, are out of work. Earning between $3 – $6 per day, they were in no condition to survive a 3 month plus shutdown of their only means of survival. Most of these people have no source of clean water. They have to use candles for light at night because they have no electricity. They cook over a wood camp fire and most of their sheltering consists of nothing more than tent like structures supported by bamboo poles.
Here in the US we have what many consider a poor and homeless epidemic.
According to a 2017 census, 12.3% of Americans experience poverty. However, in the US there are several welfare programs in place to help those people to survive. We have programs offered by both the government and private organizations. There are a number of missions and shelters that feed and clothe those who need it. We have state funded health care for those who are unable to provide it for themselves. In comparison, Myanmar has very few government programs in place to help its people who are facing a hunger that is just short of famine. There is no healthcare for all and no where to go for help.
This is not my attempt to make anyone feel bad for living in a country that takes care of its people. Nor is it an attempt to down play the the needs of countless Americans who need help making ends meet. I only wish to put in perspective the desperate need for food and clothes the people in the villages of Myanmar are facing. My hope is that you might realize how blessed we are and will want to bless others.
When Pastor Paul is ready to go and has put together the food parcels consisting of 2lbs of rice, a quart of cooking oil and a few potatoes or some other vegetable (enough for 1 or 2 days) he loads up his motorcycle and heads out. He can only carry enough for 7 families at a time so he has to make several trips. When he gets to the villages he is sometimes mobbed by the villagers despite the gathering restrictions and social distancing requirements that their government has put in place, because they have such need. The problem is that Paul could be arrested for creating that situation, but people are so desperate that it is hard to keep them from gathering to get even a little bit of food.
Pastor Paul is pleading for donations to meet this need. If you are wondering whether your donation can make a difference, I promise you it will and does.