During the emergency response phase o Cyclone Nargis, I had the privilege to be onthe ront-line o Partners’ work. We took risks, prayed hard, and worked around theclock to ensure that resources and personnel were in-place to be the hands and eet o Love in the Irrawaddy Delta. The Burma regime attempted to block our many acts o love. I am amazed at howeective our response was. We were able to deploy sta to the Irrawaddy Delta andensure that ood, medicine and shelter were made available to those who needed it.Some Australian news media stated that we were the heroes o the relie eort. I amnot so sure. Let me explain why.During one o my visits over the past two months I had the privilege o sitting in aroom with some o the real heroes o the Delta. These men were in the IrrawaddyDelta on the day that the cyclone hit. They usually lived hundreds o kilometres away.One o these men had decided to throw a small digital camera in his bag. Thesecameras are hard to come by in Rangoon, yet he’d been given one by people in theresistance movement a ew weeks prior. He’d also received training.As the storm hit, this man decided to wrap the camera in a plastic bag and then placeit under a table on a raised bamboo oor. He thought this place gave the best chanceo survival or the camera. The storm hit in orce and many people were scramblingor shelter. The entire village ended up standing behind a solitary concrete wall untildawn. As the sun rose, our hero went back to see what had become o the camera. Atree had allen on the roo o the hut, and it was destroyed. However, as he crawledinto the hut he saw that the camera was still where he’d let it. Although the waterhad swelled beneath the oorboards it hadn’t reached the camera. He cautiouslyopened the plastic bag, and examined the camera. He waited to ensure there was nomoisture in the circuitry. With a nger-press, the camera came to lie. This man took photos that told the world o the devastation. These photos were beamed throughmajor news networks and allowed people to see the true nature o what the Burma re-gime was attempting to hide. This man went on to be a key person in communicatingthe many needs o the people in the Delta. Despite his ull-time job back in Rangoondemanding his time, he ensured that he was able to secretly pass unds and equip-ment, and acilitate people to get to the areas o most need. His sacrice saved livesand shined light in a dark place.In this issue o our magazine, you will read o some o the unsung heroes who makelove a liestyle within areas o conict in Burma. As I told this man, “You are my hero”, Iexpress the same sentiment to the people whose stories are told here. God is workingthrough ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary eats. Thank you or your ongo-ing partnership to ensure that the world knows what is going on in Burma, and moreimportantly, that people are assisted in their deepest areas o need.Inspired By Lives Well Lived,Nathan WillisNational Director, Partners Relie & Development Australia
PARTNERS MAGAZINE FOURTH QUARTER 2008
Partners Magazine Fourth Quarter 2008
Partners Relie & Development
To demonstrate God’s love to victims o confict and oppression.
Steve GumaerPRAD is a registered charity in the USA, Canada, UK,Australia, Norway, New Zealand and Thailand
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Craig Garrison, Nathan Willis, Dave Eubank,Kath Halley, Sarah Armitage,Steve & Oddny Gumaer.
Steve Gumaer: pg. 1, 4, 8, 9, 10; Chris Dolan: pg.17, 20; FBR: 6, 12; Bryan Monzon pg. 7; Doh Say: pg.19(right). All other photos: privateFront cover: Doh Say. Photo by Steve Gumaer
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Bryan Monzon, Oddny GumaerUnless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations aretaken rom the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV.Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984. Zondervan Publishing House.Permission to reproduce any o the material ound inPartners Magazine can be obtained at:firstname.lastname@example.orgPrinted in Thailand© Partners Relie & Development 2008.
by Nathan WillisPartners Relie & Development Australia