Not Everyone Can Stay at Home
“We have to leave the village. The world is falling apart!” A few Sabbaths ago, ASAP church planter Simon Tin (a pseudonym) listened as a terrified missionary described how Burmese military fighter jets had just bombed a nearby village. The conflict between Myanmar’s government forces and rebel soldiers from the neighboring Rakhine State had spilled over into the mountains of western Chin State, claiming the lives of innocent villagers. Adventist church members in the village narrowly escaped. They were attending Sabbath services when the bombing started. Otherwise, they might have perished alongside their neighbors.
The next afternoon, fighter jets attacked Simon’s village, killing eight people and wounding a dozen others. As the village burned and night fell, Simon gathered the elderly and 19 Adventist families in his home. “We could not sleep,” he recalls. “I conducted worship that night, comforting them and encouraging them to trust God’s promises.” Early the next morning, they fled the village, traveling 17 hours by foot until they reached a camp for the displaced in the town of Samee.
Meanwhile, two other ASAP church planters and their congregations remain trapped in the war zone. Violence and coronavirus fears have hindered the humanitarian response, but with God's protection, ASAP provided some of the first aid to reach the region. After assessing the situation, our field supervisor and the Myanmar Union Mission are reporting that much more help is urgently needed.
“We are so thankful to ASAP Ministries for providing our immediate needs, such as blankets, mats, and rice,” says Simon. “And amid the difficulties, I see mission opportunities. Many more refugees are joining Samee camp [3,000 at last count]. Among them, there are many who are not Christian and have never heard the gospel. Please pray for them and for my ministry here.”
Providing Aid and Hope During the COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected the people ASAP serves – the poor, the persecuted, and refugees. Like the rest of us, they are dealing with health concerns, lockdowns, and economic catastrophe. But their plight is magnified by factors such as violence, poverty, and natural disasters. Besides providing aid to the thousands of people displaced by violence in Myanmar, your gifts are helping to equip ASAP field workers with medical missionary skills and resources to minister to their communities during this time of fear. ASAP is also responding to multiple other crises created or aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Refugees in Thailand and impoverished families in Cambodia are living on the brink due to job layoffs. Villagers in northern Laos are facing starvation after a drought destroyed their rice harvest. And throughout the 10/40 Window, people are seeking answers and hope.
Due to the enormous needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, our disaster relief funds are depleted. That's why ASAP is seeking to raise $75,000 for Humanitarian Assistance by June 30. With your gift today, you can support ASAP missionaries as they share life-saving aid and the good news of Jesus' soon return with those who need it most!