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Cyclone Relief Work

GFA Missionaries Reaching Out to Cyclone Victims in Myanmar (Burma)

October 29, 2010

Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries are once again helping cyclone survivors in Myanmar (Burma). Cyclone Giri washed across the country October 22 and 23. The cyclone came ashore on Myanmar's west coast in the state of Rakhine, killing 27 people and destroying 2,800 homes.

The missionaries serve as pastors in several churches in the area affected by the cyclone. One of those churches was badly damaged in the storm.

With nearly 20,000 people estimated to be homeless, a team of 11 Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries is bringing aid in the area where most of the displaced are congregated. They are distributing emergency food rations, clean drinking water and household necessities.

"These are people who are really suffering," said Gospel for Asia Director K.P. Yohannan. "They do not have much, and now, it is all gone. Right now we're helping them with their emergency needs. And we'll work with them for as long as it takes to get their lives back to normal."

Rakhine state is one of the poorest areas of Myanmar. Most of its residents live in bamboo huts, which offer very little relief from the elements.

Giri is not the first major cyclone to hit Myanmar. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed 130,000 and caused the worst natural disaster in the country's recorded history.

Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries were instrumental in getting aid to the people after Nargis. They had a distinct advantage because they were already serving in the country and did not have to seek permission to enter.

"Our missionaries played a crucial role in serving the survivors of Cyclone Nargis and they will be doing the same thing for those who are now devastated by Giri," Yohannan said. "They need to know that Jesus cares for them, and so do we."

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