Church Sends Aid to Thailand Flood Victims

Thailand-bangkok-flood

Flood waters swamped Thailand’s capital three weeks ago, yet the chest-deep murky water refuses to go. Besides Bangkok, one quarter of Thailand’s 76 provinces are still affected by flooding. The death toll has risen to 527.

Armed with emergency food parcels, clean water supplies, and less than 24 hours’ notice I and other Victory Bible College International students and staff became a key part of Ayutthaya’s relief effort. With over 500 homes devastated Ayutthaya, just north of Bangkok, was one of the worst hit provinces.

Setting out at 6 a.m. our team snailed through traffic; major roads were impassible, with dozens of cars and trucks submerged and abandoned. Military checkpoints, government officials, closed roads, and flood restrictions caused a 10-mile bottleneck. People traveled the streets of Bangkok in canoes, the city was at a standstill. These people needed help and we were determined to give it to them.

Eager to get out of the jeep and help, we arrived to the sight of smiling, waving villagers happily welcoming our team of international students as we unloaded supplies.

Four feet of stagnant waters cover most of the fifty wooden huts that make up the village.The once quiet river running alongside the land suddenly inundated by heavy rainfall turned it into a torrent of devastation as it burst past village banks.

We knew that rebuilding begins with instilling hope in people so we quickly organized ourselves into our allocated roles. Relationships were built through visiting people’s homes, playing games, and painting children’s faces. We showed them the church was in action and ready to respond, demonstrating the love of Christ in a time of crisis.

One woman, at age 60, came by canoe to the village square. She stated in the fifty years she had lived in Poh Sai Rom village (name meaning ‘Tree on the left gives cool shade’) she had never seen anything like this; her furniture, her lifetime’s worth of possessions all lost. She said how overcome she was at volunteers traveling so far and bringing food supplies that were a lifeline for her and her family.

After a long journey back home we knew our team had left an unforgettable mark in the villagers’ minds. Long after the waters recede they will remember that unlikely bunch of believers who proactively reached out and touched the people’s lives, making a lasting difference.
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