Burma is in the midst of change and we want to report to you what is happening, both good and bad. We are grateful for those who have brought greater freedoms to Burma. We also want to stand with those who have not yet experienced those freedoms and are still under attack. Thank you for your prayers and support.
A summary of the situation as we see it now in January 2014
Good news and improvement in some areas:
1.Aung San Suu Kyi holds a position in parliament and she, along with others continue to work for more freedom, reforms and justice in Burma.
2.There are some in the government at higher levels who do want to change the constitution and establish reforms before the 2015 elections.
3.Many political prisoners have been released and there is greater political freedom.
4.Censorship and travel restrictions have been eased.
5.Ceasefire negotiations are ongoing with many of the ethnic groups and there is an overall reduction in fighting and displacement. Ethnic Armed Groups are negotiating with the government regarding political dialogue, credible monitoring mechanisms, and the need to consolidate existing ceasefires.
6.Burma Army leaders have signed an agreement to end forced labor and there has been a reduction in some areas.
7.The FBR had the opportunity to meet U Aung Min in 2012, as well as some of the leaders of the new government.
New attacks and ongoing oppression:
1.In spite of and during ceasefire talks, the Burma Army attacks against the Kachin continue with over 100,000 Kachin people displaced since 2011. In November and December 2013 the Burma Army attacked a Kachin IDP camp burning shelters, looting rice stocks and displacing over 2,000 people who had to flee again. Attacks continue in this area as of January 2014. See FBR report.
2.In northern Shan State, fighting and displacement continue against the Shan and Ta'ang people, through 2013 and into 2014. Attacks are especially heavy in Kut Hkai, Nam Kham, Nam San, Mon Ton, Mu Se, and Kyauk Mae townships. Victims are Kachin, Shan and Ta'ang villagers. In January 2014 the Burma army continued attacks into Kyauk Mae township, Northern Shan State, capturing villagers and torturing local leaders. *Report pending.
3.In Karen State the Burma Army is using the ceasefires to supply their camps beyond the normal supply rate and continue to use forced labor. In December 2013, they fired on villagers on 9 different occasions in Luthaw Township, Muthraw District, Northern Karen State. They have also built new camps and reinforced existing camps. See FBR report.
4.The constitution has not been changed and the military retains control of power.
5.In Arakan State, over 140,000 people have been displaced by inter-ethnic violence between the Rohingya and Arakan. This has been partially fueled by repressive Burma government policies and actions. Rohinga refugees suffer brutal living conditions and live in constant fear of attack. Please see Fortify Rights Report on the Rohingya.
6.Humanitarian access is still blocked for IDPs in parts of Karen, Karenni, Shan, Arakan and Kachin State.
7.There has been no apology, expression of remorse or establishment of a truth and reconciliation process to address Burma Army attacks, oppressions, human rights violations, war crimes and displacement.
8.Karen and Karenni refugees continue to live restricted lives with a decrease in food supplies.
9.Land confiscation and land rights abuses have become worse due to government and business encroachment.
We see two things continuing to happen at once: positive changes and ongoing oppression. The Free Burma Rangers will continue giving help, hope and love to those under attack, to get the news out and to stand with the oppressed. FBR has added land-mapping to help villagers retain their land in the midst of changes. We pray for more positive changes and for a closer relationship with the Burma government. We continue to pray for and work for, reconciliation, justice and freedom for all.
Thank you and may God bless you,
Free Burma Rangers
We are excited to let you know that the Seek God for the City 2014 companion app has been released! This is a great tool to use alone or alongside the Seek God for the City booklet. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices and it works on most smartphones and tablets.
Here are a few of the great features of the companion app:
* Easy-to-set reminders that encourage consistent, regular prayer.
* Links directly to Operation World, the top site for helping you pray effectively for every nation.
* It's portable for use anywhere, anytime.
* Ease of searching for a specific word or phrase.
* Encourages the ability to pray in unison with other believers in any place around the world.
You can download the app from iTunes or Google Play for only. $0.99. Search "Seek God for the City 2014" or get the link directly from our website: www.waymakers.org
This app makes it possible for many more people to pray when reminded in the midst of their daily activities. We've learned that people are much more likely to pray with their mobile device than at a computer screen. That's why we are excited to tell as many believers as we can to get and use this app to deepen and stretch their praying.
The WayMakers team
Steve, Barb and Stephanie
As world leaders meet to discuss Syria's future, children are sending a message to the leaders explaining what peace means to them.
When all you hear about in Syria is war it's important to listen to the voices of children calling for peace. Please share this heartbreaking video below with your friends and give, pray and advocate in any way you can. Amplify the voice of Syria's children as global leaders and Syrian delegates meet for the first time in three years.
Watch this video http://www.wvi.org/syria-crisis/video/starvation-war-crime please pass it on to all your network.
World Vision are inviting churches and prayer networks around the world to hold a prayer vigil with a candle or mobile phone on March 14th (the 3rd Year Anniversary) for the children of Syria. We ask the Lord to soften the hearts of leaders and to listen to the pleas of peace. http://www.wvi.org/syria-crisis/video/starvation-war-crime Please post this and share this for your local church Calendar.
National Prayer Strategy for the Ten Domains
Believing that "with God all things are possible", a prayer initiative is an internationally coordinated, united prayer effort for the holistic transformation of a nation or city. It is holistic in that informed prayer is focused on the unique needs of a society whether they are in the social, political, economic, ecological or spiritual realms. Such needs may be ethnic conflict, war, political oppression, economic corruption, exploitation of the poor, religious persecution, or the need for spiritual renewal due to laxness or division in the church. As people come together to seek the Lord for their nation, He promises to bring healing, forgiveness and restoration (2 Chronicles 7:14, Is. 41:17-20, Ez. 36-37, Rev.22:1-3).
Prayer initiatives normally combine an on-site visit by an international team of prayer leaders in a conference or seminar with local leaders from the churches, para-church organizations, and prayer networks. If appropriate and possible, it is valuable to include representatives from other spheres such as the business community and government. During the conference, local leaders present the current situation in the nation with key concerns for intercession. Members of the international team give teachings on strategic intercession, as well as case studies and stories of how God brings healing, reconciliation and restoration through prayer. All of this happens in a dynamic, free flowing sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do to bring transformation to those who participate and to the wider society.
In addition, prayer networks around the world are alerted in advance and given specific information on the initiative for that nation, so they can provide the informed support of many thousands of gifted prayer warriors. With this mixture of both a locally and internationally coordinated prayer focus, we have seen the hand of God breaking through in numerous previous initiatives, often with supernatural demonstrations of His power and direction as well as bringing tangible changes reflected in the newspaper headlines. The way He does this is always fresh and unique to that particular nation.
Prayer Initiative/Seminar Program
"Uniting in Prayer, Transforming Our Nation" 2 Chronicles 7:14
I. Prayer and Social Transformation (International Team)
Discussion- "What are the key issues for prayer for the nation?"
Political/economic situation (local speaker shares key prayer concerns)
United prayer in small groups or twos and threes
II. Reconciliation and Identificational Repentance (International Team)
Church and its mission situation (local speaker share key prayer concerns)
Time of prayer
III. Building a United Prayer Movement (International Team and/or local facilitator)
Discussion and time of prayer
IV. Process of National Deliverance and Restoration (International Team)
Discussion: "How can restoration come? How can we pray and work together?
V. Local conflict with spiritual powers of evil (local speaker shares key prayer concerns)
Conflict with Spiritual Powers of Evil (International Team)
VI. Establishing a United Prayer Network (International Team and/or local facilitator)
Discussion: Planning for the Future
VII. Commissioning as Intercessors
Note: all presentations will be interwoven with times of intercessory prayer, discussion and response to the work of the Spirit among us. Our team and the local leaders will together submit ourselves to one another and to the Lord for direction throughout the initiative. This is only a rough draft for general direction and communication. It can be modified if necessary as the local leaders and international team confer together.
The heat of the battle is intensifying in our families, churches, and nations. In this critical time of history, we believe a united call to release our children, youth, and families is a key to changing nations. Therefore, we are asking pastors, leaders, educators, and parents to unite, empower, and release the voices of the children and youth in prayer and worship.
Psalm 8:2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies to silence the foe and the avenger.
Global Prayer and Praise is a collaborative worldwide initiative asking leaders to empower the children, youth, and families of nations to raise their voices together for the release of God's justice. With the participation of various organizations including The International Prayer Council, Children in Prayer, YWAM, IHOPKC, 4/14 Window Movement, Global Day of Worship, Transform World, TheCall, Arise International, and numerous others, we believe this is a God movement.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them"
(Matthew 19:14). Will you let them come?
For 24 hours, on the weekend of April 13 - 14, 2014, there is a worldwide call for all children, youth, and families to unite in prayer and worship of Jesus our Lord. We invite local communities to gather together to pray, knowing that they are joining countless others around the world.
HOW TO PARTNER AND HELP THIS INITIATIVE
- Visit the Global Prayer & Praise website for more information: globalprayerandpraise.com
- Get the word out to all believers, organizations, denominations, and networks, especially those who focus on children and youth. (Please feel free to forward this email)
- Ask those with current ministries to children and youth to gather and host prayer & praise events however big or small.
- Include an announcement in your bulletin and newsletter.
- Announce on Palm Sunday and invite families to participate.
- Would you extend a personal invitation to those in your network to participate?