"I hate being a Rohingya. We are being tortured in Myanmar. Now in Bangladesh, we have no rights. Nothing. After this cyclone, we don't have a roof. We are living under the sky. We have no future."* This tragic statement was made by 27-year-old Hamida Begum, a Rohingya refugee who fled to Bangladesh in February after her husband went missing. On May 30, Cyclone Mora tore into the coast of southern Bangladesh and flattened Rohingya refugee settlements. Though the Bangladeshi government had evacuated over 400,000 citizens from the area before the storm, the refugees remained in makeshift shelters that could barely keep them dry in normal circumstances.
But there is good news for Hamida and the others: a promise from the Father for a brilliant future. “For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). For the Rohingya, a majority-Muslim ethnic group, that hope is Jesus and the loving care extended through His body. Among the displaced is a growing community of 500 newly-Christian families. Faithful men and women have been sharing the gospel among the Rohingya and caring for their already-dire needs, even in the face of opposition and persecution.
Cyclone Mora brought devastation, but also flung open the door to the gospel. The team on the ground is already responding to this disaster and they may be the only ones: “Government do not recognize [the refugees] therefore the aid will not reach these community [sic],” explained a local pastor. They have asked for your help to provide emergency food, water, first aid, and shelter along with the glorious message of the gospel. Total need: $15,000