I have recently returned from India where I spent time with refugees from Myanmar. I spoke with people like Aung and Enga, who shared stories of pain and tragedy. It was a moving experience. Like so many others, Aung and Enga yearn for hope. They cling to their faith in Jesus. They need our help.
A refugee Baptist pastor told me, “We greatly value the solidarity of Australian Baptists.” And he humbly added: “And can you invite people to turn this solidarity into practical action. We have many urgent needs as we seek to share the love of Jesus and care for so many people.”
This call, for love in action, has been echoed by pastors in Australia from different Myanmar ethnic backgrounds. As their hearts break for their people in Myanmar and Thai and Indian refugee camps, they have also humbly asked for support from our Australian Baptist movement. They are asking for our help in supporting humanitarian needs and the development of missional leaders to serve in Myanmar, refugee camps and diaspora communities “for such a time as this”!
Having heard these cries for help, Baptist Mission Australia has launched a special Stand with Myanmar appeal.
Click here to make a gift to the Stand with Myanmar appeal >>
The situation in Myanmar
More than ever, the people of Myanmar need to know that others stand with them. They need to know they are not forgotten.
Two years on from a military coup, Myanmar is rocked by violence, oppression and instability.
The economy has collapsed, there are severe shortages of food, fuel and other basic supplies. Families are forced to separate, churches continue to be damaged. Pastors have been arrested. The military continue to ignore basic human rights.
Since the coup more than 3000 people have been killed and 16,000 people detained. Almost 1.6 million people are displaced within Myanmar and 1.1 million refugees and asylum seekers from Myanmar live in refugee camps on the Thai and Indian borders and within other towns in Thailand and India.
Today, can I invite your church to join with Baptist Mission Australia so people like Aung and Enga know they are not alone. Can I invite your faith community to join me in sacrificially giving to our Stand with Myanmar
appeal, so that together we can make a tangible and practical difference in the lives of people who continue to live with trauma and uncertainty.
A Love Offering
I am mindful that we are in May Mission Month and we’re very thankful for the ongoing partnership of Baptist churches across Australia. Without local church support our teams couldn’t be sharing the hope the Jesus by word and deed in Africa, Asia and Australia. I appreciate your church may have already identified team members and/or projects that you will support this May. For this we are very thankful.
And so, beyond support for May Mission Month, I am writing to ask our churches to consider a one-off sacrificial gift to support this special appeal and the huge, growing and urgent needs in Myanmar and border refugee camps.
You may like to highlight the appeal in your church community for individual giving or as some churches are doing, you may like to consider a Myanmar love offering.
GIVE TO THE APPEAL
Appeal Resources for Churches
We invite you to use these resources to promote the Stand with Myanmar appeal with your church congregation.
Social Media Tiles
Tax Deductible Giving Opportunities
Baptist Mission Australia has entered into partnerships with several respected Baptist and other Christian organisations, so that together we can deliver the following much-needed services. You can support these initiatives through gifts that can be either tax deductible or non-tax deductible.
Tax Deductible Initiatives:
- Support for children - local schools, run by Baptist churches, become a lifeline for displaced children. They not only provide education, but children can receive their one meal a day, medical attention and a roof over their heads.
- Humanitarian relief - meeting basic needs, including shelter, clean water, food and other practical supports, including education opportunities.
- Income generating skills - developing new skills or seizing opportunities to use existing skills, like weaving, that can enable income streams for refugee families.
Non-Tax Deductible Giving Opportunities
Baptist Mission Australia has entered into partnerships with several respected Baptist and other Christian organisations, so that together we can deliver the following much-needed services. You can support these initiatives through gifts that can be either tax deductible or non tax deductible.
Non-Tax Deuctible Initiatives:
- Trauma training for pastors - this vital need has been identified by pastors, who are daily called upon to support people experiencing severe distress, and yet without skills in addressing trauma.
- Leadership training and church planting - With so many people living in refugee camps, Baptist conventions have responded in creative ways, establishing leadership schools and theological colleges on the Thai and Indian borders. A new generation of pastors and mission leaders are being developed. Some are church planting in border areas, some have bravely returned to their home communities as mission workers. Others are being sent across the world to serve among the Myanmar diaspora.
Yes, the people of Myanmar face a myriad of challenges. But I keep meeting resilient and courageous people who refuse to give up. Today, let’s stand with them!
Your prayers and generous financial gifts
will allow Baptist Mission Australia to work with our partners to deliver much needed humanitarian relief, build local care capacity, stand alongside pastors and support the development of a new generation of leaders.
GIVe to the appeal
I firmly believe that this is the time for Australian Baptists to unite in love for the people of Myanmar!
Grace and peace