Christian Aid for Thailand Flood Victims

October 17, 2011

Indigenous missionaries have organized a flotilla of small boats to deliver disaster relief along with a strong witness for Christ to flood victims here. They are being assisted with help from Christian Aid Mission of Charlottesville, Virginia, which has set up an emergency fund to send relief to the most affected areas.

CHANGES OF DRY CLOTHING ARE ESSENTIAL ... Many are still wearing the clothes they had when they fled their homes at the start of the flood weeks ago. Bed rolls are needed as well as water, food packs, medicine, and gospel literature.

"The monsoons this year have been some of the worst in history," says the Southeast Asian Director at Christian Aid, "streets and roads have turned into canals and small boats have replaced cars - local missionaries have organized whole congregations to reach out to their stranded neighbors." Hundreds of small boats and volunteers are already engaged in the effort.

Contributions to the Thailand Disaster Fund can be made online or by phone, and should be designated to 720DIS.

Over 50 churches have been damaged or destroyed so far. In addition to the emergency aid needed now, more help will be needed to rebuild after the floodwaters subside.

Indigenous missionaries need emergency funds from Christian Aid to rent more rescue boats, purchase gasoline and deliver emergency food packages, water, dry bedding, and medicine as well as gospel literature. A week's supply of rice, noodles and other staples costs only $5 per "food pack." A motor launch can carry up to 4000 food packets of emergency aid on a single visit to stranded villagers who are marooned on high ground. Bed rolls cost about $30 per family, and thousands are needed for those living without shelter.

Over 600 have been killed in the Central plains of Thailand and Cambodia since the current floods began in July, and the death toll continued to climb over the weekend as the floodwaters breached the inner walls and dykes of Bangkok. A combination of monsoon rain, floods, mudslides and high tides have coincided to create some of the highest waters in history on the Mekong and Chao Phraya Rivers. Many lowland areas in the central plains have been under water for six weeks now.

"CHRISTIAN NAVY" TO THE RESCUE ... Christian volunteers load food and water onto rented and borrowed boats. To survive the floods and set up camp on higher ground, a small family needs about $100 in relief goods.

The areas in most need include Banpa Inn District (Ayuthaya), Utai Tharni City (Uthai Thani), Nakorn Sawan and Bangkok. In many of these areas, flood victims have been forced to evacuate as many as three times and have lost everything they own.

The work of responding to Thailand's 2011 flood tragedy will go on for years. Long term help from individuals and churches will continue to be needed. For more information, contact the Donor Relations Department at Christian Aid Mission, 1-800-977-5650. Church groups who wish to make this a special Thanksgiving or Christmas project are invited to contact the Southeast Asia Director or Church Relations Office for further assistance.

Christian missions to migrants and illegal refugees are in special need. One missionary leader assisted by Christian Aid said that "Migrant workers have been facing more difficulties because they are not on the help lists and not registered in their communities. They are denied assistance by government and NGO charities because they don't legally exist." Many of these are Christian refugees of persecution in nearby Burma.

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