CWN.org -- (DALLAS) -- While other ministries and relief groups battle legal hurdles to get aid to cyclone victims in Myanmar, Gospel for Asia is providing immediate assistance thanks to its long presence there.
Gospel for Asia's John Beers says the ministry has some 500 missionaries in Myanmar and a Bible college which has become a relief and rescue station housing hundreds of survivors.
"The suffering of the people is unimaginable," said GFA President K.P. Yohannan, speaking from India where he is monitoring the situation.
"Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, are homeless. Food is in short supply, and prices are skyrocketing. Electricity may be out for months. People have lost literally everything."
In response, he said that the missionaries, as well as other volunteers, are forming GFA Compassion Services teams to help bring relief to thousands left homeless by the 120-mph winds.
And GFA has activated a cyclone relief fund, with 100 percent of donations to the fund going straight to the field to assist survivors.
"We are also trying to get some of our workers into Burma from neighboring countries," Yohannan explained, "but right now transportation and communication are closed off."
"As in the past," he noted, "our workers and church members are helping every way they can to alleviate the suffering and bring the hope of Jesus Christ into the situation."
Only about 4 percent of Burma's population is Christian. Beers says that in more than 20 years of ministry in Myanmar, Gospel for Asia also has established 400 churches and 250 mission stations.
While the immediate needs are for food and clean water, Beers says Gospel for Asia also wants to offer hope and spiritual assistance to cyclone victims, including Buddhist monks.
Sources: The Associated Press and Gospel for Asia