How Much Does it Matter?

Posted: May 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

On May 3, a cyclone swept through the country of Burma, leaving 28,000 dead and another 33,000 missing. While that is a horrific tragedy, it has now been eclipsed by a bigger issue: people who are trying to survive in a country with no food and lethally contaminated water. Humanitarian organizations estimate that the death toll may multiply FIFTEEN times because of water-related disease and lack of basic necessities.

Compounding the whole situation – in fact, RESPONSIBLE for MUCH of the situation – is the country’s government which is refusing to allow foreigners in to distribute aid. Of the hundreds of visas that have been applied for by relief workers, less than 10 have been approved by Burma’s junta. It’s outrageous.

I’ve been following the story closely and was thrilled to see that they had approved the entry of a Red Cross boat filled with enough supplies for 1,000 people. Today, that boat sank.

I don’t know…it’s another Big Death Toll disaster in a country far away. A country smaller than our Texas. It’s hard to know how much to care…to know how much it matters. But, today – maybe because it’s Mother’s Day – I’ve been realizing again that numbers are lives and Jesus is in the life business. The mom in the picture has a name and a story, the baby has a future and a hope. Each one occupies a specific and wonderful place in the heart of God and we cannot afford to grow complacent or calloused.

I’m not a relief worker or a soldier or a government official. I don’t have a bunch of extra food or water to take and I couldn’t get in even if I did. However, I have been given a kingdom (Luke 22:29) and have decided to invest some kingdom resources in a country that is sinking slowly into the plans of the Thief.

I love my life in America, but any amount of time in the gospels will assure us that Burma matters to Jesus. And it should matter to us.

Believing for Miracles,


  1. helenw13 says:

    It matters a lot…

    There are days where if I were to only read the “liner notes” on computer webpages, it would be really easy to give a momentary gasp and then go about the day…I really don’t want to live in that reality because I live so very far away from where the devastation is a very real thing…

    Thanks Bo for the reminder!

    How did the conference go…I assume it was incredible!

    Have a blessed weekend…and are you surviving all this graduation busyness…but you have done a wedding so this should be a breeze for you…I on the other hand seem to be spinning in various directions and I wish that I was a lily of the field but I am not…trying to be…desperately…

  2. bolovesjoe says:

    Hi Helen,

    The conference was really great – but I was glad when it was done. So much to focus on right now! I went to Napa Valley for some time with my college roommate and now I’m home and it’s on to graduation. We WILL survive…we’re strong! And then we’ll probably cry some, huh? This letting go is strange stuff. 🙂 Praying for you!

  3. Lindsay Joy says:

    Did you hear they’re letting ALL aid workers in now to help with the relief effort?!?!

  4. bolovesjoe says:

    Yes – amazing news. And I’m trying to be hopeful that the conditions they have set “as long as they’re genuine humanitarian workers” will not be a roadblock to slow the process down. I thought the comments from the head of the UN were a little hesitant, but it does seem like a great development.

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