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Southeast Asia Regional Update February 2022

Bearing Light and Bringing Hope

Super typhoon Rai, locally known as Odette, hit the Philippines on December 16, just a few days before Christmas. The typhoon directly impacted our partner's work in Negros Occidental, Katuwang Resource Center, Inc. Barely recovered from the impact of COVID-19, Katuwang faces yet another devastating challenge, with a portfolio at risk estimated at over five million pesos or $110,000.00. In addition, the livelihoods of over 450 families, composed primarily of farmers and fisherfolk, are severely affected.

On top of this, the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines continues to worsen as the omicron variant creates an outbreak, setting new peaks on daily cases reported. The outbreak began after Christmas and New Year, creating a strain on the country's healthcare infrastructure and causing strict travel restrictions in and out of the country. Families and friends had a rough start as the omicron variant crept into their homes and businesses. While most symptoms are mild, others had to deal with loss. When there is great sorrow at the beginning of the year, greater faith is needed. We come together in grieving and offer what little light we have to bring comfort.

As an exploratory trip to East Borneo kicked off our year, things are looking bright in Indonesia. Our Indonesia Partnership Manager visited East Kalimantan (East Borneo) with Yayasan Wahana Generasi Bintang (YWGB) to meet with 26 church leaders/pastors thirsty for knowledge on discipleship entrepreneurship. Some of these church leaders/pastors have started their own microenterprises, mostly in agriculture and fishery. This March, we hope to conduct a training of our PW Microenterprise Curriculum with these church leaders and pastors as primary participants. Through this, we hope that Partners Worldwide will bring light and serve the underserved communities and churches in East Borneo.

Myanmar continues to fight for democracy to be restored in their country: mass protests, armed resistance, and mass killings continue to ravage the land. It has been over a year since the military seized control. Since then, our work in Myanmar has shifted since business training and mentoring is not a priority when everyone is trying to survive. We work with our BA team, a dedicated group of Christian businesspeople, in raising funds and creating awareness of the reality of life in Myanmar today. We also spend time praying and encouraging our LCI leader, Pastor Jeremy, as they do what they can to provide refuge, rescue, and relief to the internally displaced Burmese people. God's light continues to flicker -- bringing hope to people in the darkest places.

New Year. Same Passion. Same Call.

The new year signals a new beginning, an opportunity to reflect, be refreshed, and restart. Coming from a year filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges, we welcome this new year with a renewed sense of hope and an even greater commitment and passion to our call -- ready to lunge into action as we fight to end poverty for good! Thank you for joining us as we continue to bring Christ’s light and life into the darkness!

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