This is an eyewitness report from the NowPublic member gtron003 who was on the scene.
A Crying Shame ...
gtron003 | June 27, 2009 at 11:14 amby
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We were also there with some guys from our church for the 11th Annual Global Day of Prayer for Burma. We arrived by small “long boats” in the dark of night, under a full moon. It was eerily quiet and we could see trees and shapes across the river into Thailand. I had surreal feelings as we walked through a quiet village, with few sounds and fewer lights and realized how lucky we are to live in America. This was like going back to the very distant past.
Before midnight, we went to a prayer session. There was a palpable tension and urgency surrounding us all -- this group of white Americans who there to pray with and for them. I could sense it in the stillness, feel it in night air and see it in their faces and expressions that were both hopeful and sorrowful at the same
time. We prayed for them, all of us, for their country, for freedom, for hope, for the fall of the dictators -- for protection and help from the USA and rest of the world. Then, they fed us dinner and gave us their mats and sleeping rooms in their bamboo shelters, so that we could sleep.
In the morning, they again fed us breakfast, with food supplies that they probably couldn’t spare, but would never think to not share with us. We helped one of our group, an eye doctor named Bob, from Alaska, to perform exams on the eyes of the young and old; he provide glasses for many so they could see again. Then we went to church with them, had lunch and departed back to Thailand later that afternoon.
I thought much about them later, after returning to the comforts and pleasures of home. Their cause is one that deserves justice. It is both worthy and acheivable, because the ethnic people in Burma are unique in many ways. The country and people are one of many contrasts: They have little, but they give much; they have been attacked and oppressed by bad people, but they remain hopeful, positive and faithful; they have little formal education, but build schools for their children in hide sites and are both resilient and resourceful with what they do have. They waste nothing and they never give up. I think we all admired them -- going there to be with them made us better men and better people.
Today, the village of Ler Per Her is deserted and the 4000 people have fled this temporary (or permanent for some) home into Thailand, or another hiding place in Burma. The Burma army began an attack on the village on June 8, 2009 -- three months to the day that we were there on our visit. Mortars and gunfire rained down on this village that we considered relatively “safe”.
It wasn’t, because the USA and the rest of the world aren’t providing enough help and protection for these people, who were our allies in WWII, and as a result, the dictators who run the regime do what they want ... and the people suffer.
My heart tells me that if I see these kids again, they will still have cause to smile and be hopeful, because they know they are not alone in this struggle. But, to us, back here in the USA it is a crying shame -- wrong, senseless and another of many reasons to act now to help bring down the walls of oppression in Burma. Join us in this effort through The Jericho Alliance.
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