Imagine pushing off into the sea (jammed in the hold of a smugglers ship) from the country where you were born and have lived your life. That country refuses to accept you as a citizen, and you are faced with persecution and an uncertain future. Then, drifting at sea on a boat with no captain (your human traffickers having abandoned you), imagine having NOWHERE to go. You can’t go to Thailand, you can’t go to Malaysia, you can’t go to Indonesia; you for sure can’t go back to life in Rakhine State in Myanmar, and you also can’t go to Bangladesh. You are adrift at sea, period.
If you haven’t heard about the refugee/migrant crisis coming from Myanmar and Bangladesh, please read this article from the New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1Fml8rH
Today I read a sentence that saddened me to the core (from Myanmar Times). In the face of this crisis, refugees struggling to survive with nowhere to go, this is what people had to say:
“The prime minister of Thailand warned that if more of the migrants arrive they may take jobs from Thai people, while Indonesia’s military chief said they would cause ‘social issues’ and Malaysia’s deputy home minister said accepting one boat will send a green light to thousands more who cannot ‘be flooding our shores’.”
Here are a couple direct quotes:
“…push back any boat that wants to enter Indonesian waters without permission, including those of boat people like the Rohingya.” – Indonesia’s chief military spokesman [NYTimes]
“We have been very nice to the people who broke into our border. We have treated them humanely, but they cannot be flooding our shores like this. We have to send the right message that they are not welcome here.” – Malaysian Deputy Home Minister [NYTimes]
Please pray for these people, and pray for leaders in in this part of the world to come together and provide help (for those on the boats, for those caught in limbo on the shores of foreign lands, and for those struggling in the places from where these people have fled).