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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Myanmar Earthquake Upadate

More light is being shed on the earthquake that happened here Thursday night.  It seems as though parts of Eastern Shan State suffered the worst.  It's a difficult situation because although we are only ~50 miles away from the main area of need, it is a border that is very difficult to cross.  And even the bridge that physically connects Myanmar and Thailand was damaged: vehicles can not get across, only foot traffic can pass on it now. I'm copying a summary written by a team member here at MMF of what we know so far as we look for ways to serve those in need.

Some of you have been wondering about the earthquake that took place in Eastern Shan State of Myanmar Thursday evening local time.  It was apparently two earthquakes about 30 minutes apart, but the second was more like an aftershock.  There were a lot of aftershocks which were quite light. Today we have felt a couple too.  The authorities have said that we will have more yet.  

The quake was about 7 on the Richter scale and the epicenter was located 10 kms down from the surface about 35 - 40  kms North and a  bit east of Tachilek, a large township center across the  border from the Thai town of Mae Sai.   We are located in Chiang Rai which is about 90 kms south of the epicenter.  Though we were shaken up,  there is no damage to speak of where we live.  

Today,  it appears that initial assessments show that the greatest damage and loss of life is in and around the Shan town of Ta Lar,  where several dozen structures collapsed and at about 50 are dead and more hurt.  A nearby town of Mine  Lin which is much older also saw much damage but the death toll is only about 15 person.  The smaller villages and communities are not likely to have resulted in too many casualties because the houses are wooden or bamboo.   

However,  we have heard of one exception so far,  A Lahu church collapsed during the earthquake while a service was going on and 25 persons are reported to have been killed with many more hurt.

Thank you for your prayers for the people who are suffering in Eastern Shan State in Myanmar.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Repeat After Me

It is a humbling experience to learn a new language.  Especially when you don't even know the alphabet.  Especially when the alphabet has 42 consonants which are divided into 3 classes.  Especially when the vowels are just little squiggles above and below any of the 42 consonants, or when they come before the consonant but you pronounce them after it.  And especially when the letters make sounds you've never made before.  Language study: Day 1.  My teacher has me repeating after her and practicing my letters and words over and over in pencil, just like a small child.  I've learned, among a few other things, to say and write, "The man is in the car."
The coconut smoothie helped.

Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. - Job 8:7