Attacks Against the Kachin Are Sporadic but Displacement Is Constant

24 February 2012
Kachin State Burma

Dear friends,

Thanks for all the help all over Burma and up here in Kachin state. Here there is sporadic fighting and shelling, but the Burma army is strengthening its positions and for the IDPs there is constant displacement. The Burma army is resupplying after two months of airstrikes and ground assaults. On this mission the Burma army has been close all the time and have built more camps and crept closer to Kachin positions and communities since we have been here. We have reconned them in many places and they look well supplied, well fed, well armed and motivated. They look like they are ready to attack again. In spite of this God is our hope and we feel reinforced by your prayers and help.

Burma army in new position 250 yards away

We are now high up in the mountains and the Kachin and Lisu families here live in cold, brutal squalor with little sanitation. I feel sad and angry when I see this. People are not supposed to live this way. In the IDP site we are in
now at over 7,000 feet, I stepped into a plywood and tarp hut to pray with a sick woman. She had an IV in her and was very feeble and coughing. When I prayed with her she grabbed my hand and said, “Thank you, thank you.” I
walked out into the windy, dusty pathway and felt sad. I then looked around me at the huddled people, blue tarps and tin covered shacks and felt mad. This is unacceptable. Most of these people have been up here for over a year hiding from the Burma army.

Kachin IDPs in high mountain hiding place
Crossing Kachin bridge through the mountains to IDP site
Sick woman in IDP shack Kachin state

The next morning I read the Bible and prayed for a word from God. I read from Psalm 103 and in verse six it says, “God works righteousness and justice for the oppressed”. I thought that God acts through people like you
who help the IDPs. You all, the teams here and all who help are God’s hands and feet. I thank God for that and also that God will do something through us all and unilaterally to help the oppressed.

This is my prayer and my hope.

Kachin and Lisu IDP relief program

The FBR Kachin, Taaung, Burmese-ABSDF and Arakan relief teams are doing well on this mission and our focus is to the more difficult to reach IDPs. The Kachin Independence Organization and Army have made all relief possible and
we thank them. We are driving and walking to four different sites north of Laiza between Pajao and Pang Wa. We are greeted with love and graciousness everywhere. They live a cold, cramped and brutal life and it can seem the world has forgotten them. When I asked the kids what they wanted, they all cried out, “We want to go home!”. One man who was blinded and suffered amputations by a landmine, when asked for how to pray for him, asked that we pray for his fellow wounded and IDPs in hiding. All this before praying for his own needs. He had a young wife and child and yet his main concern was for others. One of the volunteer teachers in a IDP site said, ” We do not trust the Burma army, they are liars, but we believe in God and know the situation is in His hands.”

GLC braclet for landmine victim

In another place we were asked to pray, because “God answers prayer and God is our only hope”. One lady who lives very close to the attacking Burma army told us as she held her baby, “Yes I am afraid but if I leave what will our Kachin soldiers on the hill above us do? Who will feed them? Who will help them? How will they be encouraged? So as long as I can I will stay with my family here. Please pray for me and all of us, we need God’s help. We trust God.”

With Kachin amputees
Giving out family supplies

I thank God for all of you who helped us get here, for the funds, supplies and for all those around the world who are helping. Tonight in the hiding place after worship, the pastor said, “God is in this, He will bring us through.”

We need prayer to do God’s work here God’s way and for healing for all those sick on our team.

Love and May God bless you,

Dave, family FBR HQ and all FBR teams here in Kachin state

Feeding IDP kids
Singing for over 2000 IDPs