Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries share the love of God with the Nargis victims.
* Photos were provided by GFA field workers who have only limited access to photography equipment.
As daylight vanishes, sounds of misery embrace the darkness. Voices rise up in shouts that sound more like dogs howling than humans groaning. The night is a painful reminder to those who endured loss after cyclone Nargis ravaged their homes and stole away their loved ones last year.
"When they shout, it calms their missing feeling for their loved ones," a GFA field correspondent said in reference to the night howls. "This noise helps them sleep well."
The cyclone hit Myanmar a year ago May 3, leaving thousands of people homeless, hungry and desperate as the country lay in devastation. An estimated 138,000 lives were claimed and 2.4 million people were affected by the raging winds.
In addition to the physical impairments, many now face mental and emotional problems in wake of the desolation. An Indian doctor who visited Myanmar declared that 99 percent of victims are suffering with serious mental problems.
Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries and GFA relief workers have helped in every area they can access. Through their ministries, 52 people have received physical healings!
In Mya Thuza's village, 580 homes were destroyed and only about 300 people escaped the disaster. Her four daughters and two sons were killed, leaving her with only one son.
"I was about to kill myself," Mya said. "In that moment, the Gospel team came to my house and shared the Gospel with me and showed me God's love. … Amazingly, Jesus came into my heart and gave me His salvation."
Just like Mya, Kyine Hlaing lost her only daughter during the cyclone and was in anguish over her loss.
"I was shocked to see all the things that happened," Kyine said.
The Nargis victims are experiencing relief from physical and spiritual torment.
The GFA-supported missionaries heard about her suffering and decided they would visit her and pray for her healing.
"At that moment, I was completely healed by the Lord Jesus Christ," Kyine said. "As a result, I believed in Jesus Christ who is my Healer and Redeemer. He is leading me in His ways now."
Lwin Htay lost her husband and her two daughters when Nargis ripped through her village.
"I'm alone. There is no one and no way for me," Lwin said. "After Nargis, I was suffering mentally and was having sleepless nights, but there were no tears for me to shed."
Although the water had receded and the winds no longer unleashed their fury, Lwin was left to drown in her own miserable state until a family, who had earlier come to know the Lord Jesus Christ through one of our missionaries, took her in and showed her the love they had freely received.
"[The] family encouraged me through God's Word and led me in prayer," Lwin said. "Now I have peace in Jesus."
Adding to the sorrow of losing ones they held dear, a myriad of people were left displaced. The places they once sought for comfort and shelter no longer existed.
Hla Aung's house was ruined after Nargis hit. But with the help of GFA relief workers, her home was reconstructed.
"I'm so thankful to the people who helped me," Hla said.
It wasn't only a new home Hla was blessed with, but the relief workers were also able to present her with a new life filled with hope in Christ.
"When the relief workers came to my village, I received Christian booklets from them and began to read," Hla said. "It touched my heart. That very day I received Jesus as my Savior, and I'm now attending the home prayer meeting without fail."
Zeyar Ye was another victim left in destitution after Nargis tore her home to shreds. She sought the help of her false gods for the rebuilding of her home, but their aid never arrived.
"My whole family suffered from the Nargis cyclone," Zeyar said. "When I was looking for help, the relief workers shared the Gospel with me and helped me in so many things."
So far, many houses have been rebuilt in the areas ripped apart by the cyclone. GFA-supported missionaries and relief workers still strive to bring aid to the people of Myanmar. They continue to visit the affected areas and share the Gospel, along with distributing tarps for temporary shelter, purified drinking water, food and rice bags.
A line of houses stand after being rebuilt.
A film ministry has also been set up, bringing comfort to many survivors. Each time the film team sets up a screening of a film on the life of Jesus, at least 100 to 400 people gather to watch. After each show, the missionaries spend time with the people for prayer and counseling.
"As a result, many lives have changed," said a GFA field correspondent.
Please continue to pray for the people affected by Narigs, that they will recover physically, mentally and emotionally. Pray also that the missionaries there will be effective in helping the people come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and that many more doors will be opened to spread the Gospel.