The atrocities against the tribal people of Burma continue to mount, yet the world continues to ignore their plight. In Part 3 of our series about Vision Beyond Borders, we're taking a look at how women and children are being affected by what's being called a "genocide" in Burma by many who work there.
President of Vision Beyond Borders Patrick Klein travels to the region regularly. He just returned from Burma with an even stronger sense of urgency to tell the world about what's happening there. Thousands of Karen and other tribal people are being forced from their homes.
One report indicated that 27 towns and villages have been forced to relocate by the Burmese Army.
Klein says, "What we're hearing is that they're killing the men, and they're allowing the women and children to flee to Thailand to the refugee camps. Then the Thai government is going to force these kids and women back into Burma to clear out the mine fields. They're just going to be mine-sweepers."
These atrocities are also targeting children orphaned by Typhoon Nargis two years ago. Vision Beyond Borders has been helping them by establishing orphanages. They're doing it without government approval. "Unfortunately, the government really fights orphanages. They don't want these kids in the country. They actually want these kids to die or to be used as porters for the military. So, we're trying to do this under the radar."
Many of these kids are being taking into Thailand and used in sex trafficking or other abusive activity.
Klein says the ministry just sent a 40-foot container into Thailand to help. "It has a lot of clothes and supplies for the refugee camps, even helping provide food, and trying to partner with ministry in Thailand to help the orphans. A lot of them have lost their parents; they've seen their parents killed right in front of their eyes."
Bibles are also needed. 20,000 New Testaments have been requested by an evangelist in Burma. Klein says while the situation is tragic, God is being glorified and a ministry of prayer is emerging. "When we were with the refugees, the kids in the refugee camps -- the orphans -- get up at four in the morning. They read their Bibles. And they pray for the soldiers that killed their parents that the soldiers will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior."
Klein is asking for prayer. "Pray that God will bring down the Burmese generals who are so hardened to the Gospel and so bent on destruction of the people. Pray also for the tribals who are really suffering that they'll have safe haven. Also pray that a major leader in the world will step forward and say, 'This [genocide] has got to stop.'"