Imagine: You have just finished the chores for the evening at home. All of a sudden, gunfire rapidly tatters just down the block from your house. People scream and take cover as the two opposing religious militias in your community exchange shots as they vie for the upper-hand.
Surprised and shaken, you peak out your front window to see how close the battle is to your doorstep. More gunfire--and a stray bullet rips through the wall of your home only inches away from you.
You know you and your children are no longer safe here. The only option you have is to pack up whatever you can carry on foot, and lead your family to seek refuge in the next state over. What would you do?
This is reality for families just like yours that have fled violence in Myanmar.
Ongoing conflict between Buddhist and Muslim militias have force many families to leave their homes in search of safety. Families from all different backgrounds, Buddhist, Muslim, and even Christian, who do not claim this fight as their own are left with the difficult choice to risk their lives and flee. When (and if) these families arrive in a refugee settlement in neighboring peaceful regions, they usually have very few resources: almost no food and inadequate clothing. It can seem hopeless.
But it is not hopeless.
Your love is providing these families with the basic necessities they need in order to survive. You are showing up for them.
Using the resources that you provided, IDES' local mission partners in the area organized several trips into the refugee villages in order to distribute food, blankets, mosquito nets, clothes, and medicines. During the distributions, IDES' partners clearly shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and intentionally encouraged the local Christian leaders in the villages who are working day-in and day-out to share the love of God with these families.
"We saw a bamboo school building (the village that day did not have many people, because they went to the jungle to harvest bamboo shoots to sell. It isn't much money, but it is better than no money). After we passed a small hill we saw the refugee village. It was depressing," IDES' partner reported. "The people looked sad indeed. But we talked to the leader of the village and he said that they are very thankful."
In one village, a little boy had sustained a major head injury. Thanks to you, IDES' partners were able to administer medicine and treatment to the boy while they were in the village.
"Three days later as they returned through the village, the family was so pleased with the little boy's healing that they gave us four eggs, probably much of what they owned food-wise," IDES' partner said. "We suggested they thank God...and pray for IDES. We were only doing what Jesus said, 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
During the trip, four people were baptized into Jesus Christ by the team. Praise God! The local leaders and church members were so thankful for the supplies, because they create opportunities to reach out to those in their villages that do not yet know Jesus.
Unfortunately, the trip was cut short due to the intense fighting in one of the areas the team planned on visiting. "Soon after we reached the area, we heard that 16 soldiers had been killed in the village where we were to go to next," IDES' partner said. "However, the pastors from those churches did come to pick up the medical kits. We thank God for His care and protection."
"IDES' generosity is very much appreciated and your partnership with us is treasured," our partner said.
When IDES' local mission partners in each of the countries we serve share messages of thankfulness, they are really thanking you. You have the ability to make hope possible. We are so thankful for your willingness to continue in this movement together as we seek to meet physical and spiritual needs of suffering people throughout the world in the name of Jesus Christ.