Myanmar orphan homes suffer from flooding, severe flu outbreak, persevere with hopes of upcoming expansion; stories of two orphan rescues

Photo: Our orphans are happy to receive various supplies for school and hygiene needs, generously provided thanks to donors like you.

Today we bring you an update from our programs in Myanmar. Our 6 orphan homes were recently affected by flooding due to heavy rains that began during the first week of August. The flooding invaded all of our homes, forcing our children and the orphan home directors to move to the smaller rooms on the second floor of each home. In addition, due to the bad weather conditions, nearly all of our children and orphan home directors came down with the flu. We sent our children and directors to the local medical clinic and thankfully many of them have recovered, and those who are still ill are now starting to feel better. We are also thankful that while there is still some rain in the area, the flooding has now stopped.

The flooding also affected our farmland enterprise, harming 30% of our 14 acre rice farm. However, after 1-2 months as the flooding recedes, the weakened areas of the rice farm will become strong again and keep growing until the expected rice harvest in November or December. The flooding also destroyed our crops of mustard leaves, spinach, eggplant, chilies, cabbage, and bitter melon. But now that the flooding has receded, we are in the process of replanting these crops and we look forward to a bountiful harvest in October or November.

In other news, next year we are hoping to be able to move to the 5 acres of land we recently acquired outside of the city for our new campus. It will be our primary orphan home with many improvements and much more space. In order to move, we need to raise $75,000 to construct a two-story building for 75-100 orphans, including a bathroom and library. We also need to raise $24,000 for a transformer in order to supply electricity to the new campus, and $15,000 to dig a clean water well and buy the materials needed for its construction. We realize that for an organization our size, such funds would be a miraculous provision, so we are very thankful for your faithful generosity to help us in these important endeavors. In the words of our field director: “Thank you so much for your kind consideration and praying for the needs of our children’s outreach. Thanks and God bless you.”

We are grateful to have recently rescued 7 new orphans* who are now safe and flourishing in our orphan homes. Today we want to share two of these precious children’s redemptive stories:

12-year-old Martha** came to live with us because her father was an alcoholic and did not take care of his family. Martha’s mother and siblings were very poor and could not provide her tuition fees nor the basic necessities required for her to attend school. No one in Martha’s home village wanted to take responsibility for her. Her village was a very dangerous place for a young girl to fend for herself, and she did not have enough food or clothing. Thankfully, a local pastor found Martha and with the family’s blessing, brought her to one of our orphan homes. Now Martha is very happy to be living in a loving and nurturing family environment, and she is able to receive a quality education and daily fresh-cooked meals — her favorite foods are fish and watermelon. Martha enjoys drawing and spending time with her friends, and she is thankful for new clothes and a brand new start in life. Martha is now studying in the 6th grade and says her favorite subjects are history and Burmese (her native language).

7-year-old Helen** came to live in one of our orphan homes after her father was killed in an accident while working in the fields and her mother could not provide for her daughter’s food, clothing, or her education. No one in Helen’s home village was able to help her mother care for her, and her village was a dangerous place for a little girl to be on her own while her mother worked. We are grateful that a local pastor found Helen and spoke with her mother about why one of our orphan homes would be a better place for her. Because her mother knew she could not care for her properly, she agreed with the pastor that it would be better for him to bring the girl to us. Now Helen is thrilled to be loved and cared for deeply in a safe place, and she is able to attend school with her new friends and receive healthy meals every day — her favorite foods are chicken and bananas. Helen loves skipping and singing, and she is now studying in the 2nd grade — her favorite subjects are English and her native Burmese language. Helen is also very thankful for new clothes and a hopeful future ahead.

We are so grateful for your continual prayers and faithful support making the work that we do for these children possible.

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* Statement about our use of the term ‘Orphan’: We believe that while perhaps not a dictionary definition of the term, any child who is surrendered to an orphan home due to the fact that the parents or surviving parent are not able to effectively care for the child, are indeed orphaned in the sense that there is no viable biological parenting option available for the child. There is much disagreement and discussion on this topic, but we feel strongly that any child surrendered to better care in an orphan home should by nature at that time be considered an orphan. This is much in the same sense that Western popular culture depicts an infant left in a basket at the door of an orphan home no less an orphan than one who has lost both parents to death. In any case, we hope that the semantics of such an issue will not limit our ability to see that these children come from special circumstances that put them at extreme risk and therefore require our utmost attention in taking responsibility for their well-being.

**Story names are changed to protect our program participants.

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