The elections held in Burma are a good step; many people could vote, the National League for Democracy won and Aung San Suu Kyi is helping to form a new government. There is hope that this will lead to more steps towards freedom, justice and reconciliation in Burma. However, many people in the conflict areas could not vote and the military still has ultimate power; the military also controls an automatic 25% of the seats in Parliament due to the constitution put in place by the dictatorship in 2008. Attacks continue against the Kachin, Shan and Ta’ang in northern Burma and, even in ceasefire areas, the Burma Army has not withdrawn its forces. In western Burma over 100,000 of the Rohingya minority live in concentration camps. We pray that the way of love and truth prevails for all. We also pray for, stand with and help those left out of this process and those under attack and oppression.
In the midst of this, relief teams from Burma feel the call of God to go help people under attack in Kurdistan, Sudan and other places in the world- even though Burma is not yet free. We see the power of God in this and, as in Burma, we go compelled by His love to give help, hope and love in Jesus name. In Burma, Kurdistan and everywhere we witness suffering, we feel motivated by the question: If our family was in this situation, what would we do? And then, just as importantly, how do we do it in justice and with love? We work to set the oppressed free, to share love and mercy and open a way for change. The first part means that we, the international community, immediately conduct all actions needed to set people free. The second part means we respect ethnic and religious tensions and acknowledge the concerns of each nation. It means admitting wrongs, correcting the injustices that form the soil out of which oppressors such as the Burma Army and groups like ISIS grow, being willing to give freedom to ethnic groups within a regional partnership and leaving the door open for mercy and way out for the guilty.
We stand against oppressors, be they in Burma, Kurdistan, or Sudan, and we’re also praying for the oppressors—and asking God for love for them. No one is beyond redemption: In Burma a regime soldier who once murdered villagers joined our team to help the same people he once attacked. Fighting evil and grounding our actions in love are practical ways towards defeating evil and uniting for a new way forward. Psalm 77:19 says what we feel about how God leads us, “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.”Thank you for going and praying with us.
- David Eubank, Free Burma Rangers