Home General News Hope beyond the headlines – Time Sian

Hope beyond the headlines – Time Sian

by ervte

In February 2021, reports of a military coup in Myanmar hit the headlines. The stories of violence, protests, and the terrifying consequences for the lives of civilians, especially those already living in poverty. I followed the headlines, tried to wrap my head around the complex situation, and remembered Myanmar in prayer. But it wasn’t long before other news came into the limelight: Within weeks, rising local COVID numbers caught my attention. Within six months, the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan created a new front and center of the conflict. And a year after the coup began in Myanmar, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was at the forefront of every broadcast.

Conflict dominates the headlines, and knowing how to respond to any emerging crisis is difficult. The increasing needs are enormous, and it is tempting to avert our gaze.Hope beyond the headlines - Time Sian

So can we take a moment to remember these conflicts worldwide – hidden from the headlines but still ongoing and, in some cases, exacerbating? Because tragically, the consequences are inevitable for the millions of people who live with conflict as their daily reality. There is an urgent need for humanitarian aid, and countless children are out of school, displaced communities are vulnerable to disease, livelihoods are destroyed, and families are torn apart.

In Myanmar today, more than 14 million people need help. After years of decline, poverty has risen to levels not seen since 2005. In northern Mozambique, a five-year conflict has forced more than 780,000 people – nearly half of them children – from their homes. In Afghanistan, since the revival of the Taliban in August last year, 60% of the population is expected to need emergency assistance. In Yemen, where people have lived under the trauma of war for the past seven years, two-thirds of the population needs help. In Ethiopia, the violence in Tigray has displaced nearly 2.5 million people, also affected by drought and famine.

The quantifiable effects aside, the invisible losses are equally catastrophic. How do people process their trauma? With whom do people grieve when they have lost connection with neighbors and known support networks? What do people do with their hopes for the future?

Why, O Lord, are you far away? Why do you hide in times of need? We despair at the depth of division in our world. We wonder what it takes to see a world enjoying peace and harmony. Arise, Lord! Forget the helplessness…

I am so grateful that the Psalm doesn’t end there, and I know the story doesn’t end there for our neighbors who face the ongoing effects of conflict and poverty. These conflicts may be hidden from our news pages, but they are not hidden from God. The last verses look forward to a time when the rage of the nations will end, and the violence of humanity will no longer be terrifying. This future reality may seem distant, but it unfolds today if we have eyes to see amid crises.

Today, Tearfund works with local agencies in these conflict zones. Motivated by the relentless love of God, these partners work to bring immediate relief and lasting hope. In Afghanistan, where Tearfund partners have served faithfully for decades, a humanitarian response has been launched to reach more than 14,000 people. In Myanmar, local NGOs and churches are supported by Tearfund’s partner to provide essential health care to more than 9,000 people struggling with the effects of the coup and the third wave of COVID-19. Similar locally focused responses reach thousands in Mozambique, Yemen, and Ethiopia. Providing immediate help allows people to work through their trauma together, support each other and gain hope for the future.

Conflict dominates the headlines, but God calls us to write another story together. Tearfund believes peace is possible in communities, homes, and hearts.

Visit our website to discover more about where God works outside the headlines.

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