Burma Nargis – through the eyes of a mission worker

I got some emails from a friend who received the mails from David Townsend, a friend of his. David Townsend works in Chiang Mai, Thailand and David has access to the cyclone hit areas in Burma. David has been there and is working with whatever resources he has to help the victims. David’s mail describe the pain, sufferings, hardships, horror, anguish faced by the victims and the situation in Burma .

It is a rather long mail, so I have bolded the paras of some of the parts that touched me most. I have also captured a screenshot of David’s profile as below :

David is a Jesuit priest and you can access his sites at :


Dear Friends,

It is a sad sight. To my eyes which have seen Tsunami, kashmir
earthquake, this is really overwhelming. Nature unleashed an orgy
of death and mayhem, wounding an already suffering population.

Yesterday, with tears in their eyes, women explained how the waves
snatched their babes from their bosoms. A mighty tidal wave
ensured that tears stayed on as the children embraced watery

As our boat moved along, a body of a five old boy driffed across,
child of a mourning mother somewhere, the boy drifting in an unknown
waters, waiting for a burial, unwept and unsung.

People do not have drinking water. As their settlments were crushed
into pieces, the decaying debris, in the water logged terrain
emanates deep smell. Food is not there. children were biting at
the coconut shells as we went in. Dead animals are spread out near
those debris. The people neither have the energy nor the will to
bury them. There were many refugees, living in roofless churches and
monasteries. Help has not reached them.

We are doing what is possible in Burma. Last two days we are
reaching out to the starving people. With disel prices skyrocketing
and not available, transport is still a problem.

There is still no electricity and water even in Yangon.

Burma is in deep mourning. The count as crossed 80000 and still
The majestic Irrawady was the mother to these people.
It gave them food, was the transport water way, serpenting
majesticallly through some of the most beautiful rice fields in
the world. The delta was an alluring beauty before Irrawady fell to
the evil charms of Nargis. The mother became the monster, the
beauty became a beast.

The lands and fields were ravished on that night. The people
will take ages to come to normalcy. That needs great fellowship,
not only in material needs.

I will keep updated as and when internet is available. Be assured
the people of Burma are grateful to every simple good deed.

In a remote corner, wading through slush mud, we reached a small
broken church, where famished refugees were waiting for outsiders.
When we reached there, they welcomed with gratitude and served a
cup of burmese tea, the only thing they could have.

For more photos please go to Free Burma Rangers (be warned that it contains graphics that may be overwhelming to some people)

God bless selfless souls like Father David and all those people racing against time to save the survivors. Father David has described that this Burma tragedy is worse than the Tsunami. Therefore, I hope bloggers will be compelled to highlight the needs of the survivors so that each of us can render some form of help.

15 thoughts on “Burma Nargis – through the eyes of a mission worker

  1. the picture of the children floating dead in the water were too much for me…. šŸ˜„

    My prayers are with them…

  2. I feel sooo helpless to see photos of dead bodies. OMG!! It is just too sad. I’m lying if i say i didn’t cry when i first see it. šŸ˜„

    kaDusMamas last blog post..REVENGE!!!

  3. kadusmama – The plights of those mothers who lost their kids or the kids losing their moms are really too much to bear, right? Given to me, I would prefer to hand over my donation direct to people who are already working there. I am sure the Churches will find ways to channel help direct to their mission workers instead of going through all the authorities. You know lah…even our local side already caused so much questions with regards to the Bandar Acheh tsunami donation.

    kopi – Imagine the situation days after…More people will get sick and die due to the infections.

    babe – Ya, me too. If I am going to give, I want to be sure that it reaches the victims and not some parties to glorify their organisation. I lost trust after so many abuses claims we read in the papers.

    NOTE TO ALL : Please do not misunderstand that I am soliciting donations. I am only bringing awareness.

  4. just saw the photos which prompted me to re-evaluate the priorities in my life, sort of putting things into perspective.

    I too made an undisclosed donation to the redcross and DEC.org.uk otherwise i wont be able to sleep peacefully at night.(how can one possibly not do anything after seeing the tragedy?!)

    merely a week had gone by since the cyclone, the earthquake hit china killing ppl in ‘000s. and I recall complaining abt trivial things like a kopi that got cold yesterday….ashame to admit tht i was so caught up with the modern world tht i hav overlooked the importance of living…a live (or alive)

    some of you may hav known that i was havin a wee bit problem with my MIL. From now on, i pledge to learn how to be nice not just to her but to everyone around me.

  5. u r right, starvation, cholera, malaria and other similar diseases will strike the weak ones (more elderly and even more children).

    there are literally kids tat were once running and jumping and laughing out loud like my 2 yr daughter do daily dying as we speak (as i am typing). Sad and cruel but this is the reality.

    just one comment abt donation, i donate for humanity and not just because of the recent natural tragedies. Pick a large international organisation and trust them with yr kindness. Unless u r willing to bring aid in yourself.

  6. JT – LOL, for a second, I know the JT name sounds familiar. And I wonder who it is until the MIL part. Yeah, give thanks and give help.

  7. It is indeed tooooo much to bear. I really cannot think a smart thing to say. I can only pray and try to give a little help for them.
    any other way to make donation which channelled directly to the people there?

  8. i m speechless & i shed tears too when seeing the photos of dead children. i can only pray for them.

  9. So many disasters, all kena left right center. The latest being the ‘tail-end’ typhoon in Northern Sarawak. But then again, I used to work in the Oil & Gas industry off the coast of Sarawak (Shell E-11 Oil Fields), and every time there’s a typhoon or cyclone or super wind systems expecting to hit Philippines, our construction barge run for cover like nobody’s business. So this latest incident isn’t a big surprise. Unfortunately, you know la how everything works in this country, no cooperation amongst Govt bodies ma. Anyway, what I wanna say is this: A group of friends of mine are doing a recital down in KL specifically at the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) on the 30th May from 8:00pm – 10:30pm for the Nargis disaster relief fund. If you interested in listening to choral music and donating, come join us.

    Sorry ya, Lilian. Using your blog to promote event. Feel free to delete, if you find inappropriate. Thanks

    Geralds last blog post..Singing for Fun(ds) – a fund raising recital for Cyclone Nargis disaster

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