Feeling Isolated in Myanmar
When I think of being isolated and needing help I am reminded of the humorous time I randomly decided to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up all in one day by myself. I was young and reckless, completely disregarding warning signs like this one:
I was actually making good time until about half way back up when I ran out of water and both of my legs cramped up. I was literally crawling on all fours on the trail in the dark in hopes to make it back up to meet my friends who didn’t know where I went for so long.
While my journey was humorous and self-inflicted, the people in the Chin State of Myanmar (formerly Burma) have to experience isolation and need as normal life. Chin State and its people have been disadvantaged in terms of socioeconomic development. Mountainous terrain and poor road conditions isolate this state from the rest of the country, hindering external assistance. There are currently no airports in the whole of Chin State but airport development in Lailenpi would enable aircraft to access the State for the first time in 70 years.
Dr. SaSa (pictured) has seen many impossible dreams come true in his life, so why not an airstrip? SaSa grew up in these mountains with an intimate knowledge of what it means to be isolated. As a young child, he remembers the day his mother’s best friend died in childbirth along with the baby, and the day he lost three of his childhood friends from diarrhea. With no clinic, hospital, roads, or even education, he believed nothing would change unless he could help his own people. He needed to become a doctor.
Through a series of improbable and miraculous circumstances that took him to India, Armenia, and England, he became that doctor, started an NGO called Health and Hope, met Prince Charles who became a patron of the organization, and began training Community Health Workers in Chin State. Over the course of six years, 834 Community Health Workers have been trained and are serving their communities across 551 villages. The work has expanded to include training Traditional Birth Attendants and supporting the education of more doctors. Truly nothing is impossible, even moving a mountain.
Moving a mountain is what is needed to provide these people with outside resources. EMI developed a design for an airstrip literally on the top of the mountain as you can see from the design graphics below:
The Myanmar government were so impressed with EMI’s design of the airstrip that they want to incorporate our ideas into their design and construction codes. The government has invited EMI to advise them on another mountain runway under construction in a different location and they are discussing involving EMI and our partner ministry MAF in the development of up to 25 more runways through the country of Myanmar.
Hope is starting to spread throughout Myanmar. Providing air service will help develop the people of Chin State’s economy, education and health. And as EMI stays faithful and diligent with our ‘good deeds’ of design more people in Myanmar will no longer feel isolated.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Praying for EMI
Have you ever wondered how you can pray for the work and people of EMI specifically? Here is a link of prayer points for each day of the month of January: EMI_Prayer_Calendar_January_2018
Any EMI account holder can subscribe to the prayer calendar by marking it in their preferences – start at the ‘pray for us’ icon at the bottom of emiworld.org.