Over recent weeks I have been glued to social media following news of flooding in Thailand, watching in amazement as people I know and places I’ve traveled a hundred times are flooded out. In many ways, I wish I could be there with the Thai people and my missionary friends in the midst of this crisis.
In lieu of a first hand account, I wanted to pass on a well-written summary of the flood situation from a missionary friend in Thailand, together with the story of his family’s evacuation from their home and prayer points.
Read his story and pray....
“Bangkok's 12 million residents are now being warned of flood water up to 5 feet in their area which could take as long as one month or more to recede. Supermarkets are trying desperately to keep shelves stocked as people rush to buy drinking water and food. Thailand is now facing a crisis situation. It is very sad, and very serious.
"The Flood of the Century" is what some people are calling it. We are now in the middle of the worst flood in memory.
We are currently ending the rainy season and entering the dry season. But all of the rain that has been falling for the past 4-5 months has been making it's way down from the north and flooding everything in it's path. It is hard to describe the amount of water that has been flooding everything in it's path. The provinces directly north of Bangkok have been successively flooded, burying houses, cars, factories, rice fields and everything else in it's path. We have been following this news as it has happened over the past several weeks.
The Thai government has done everything it can to try to protect Bangkok, which is the heart of the country financially and houses over 12 million people. For weeks we have seen bulldozers try to reinforce and elevate the sides of canal and river walls. We have also been building sandbag walls at strategic places to try and divert the water. The plan has been to try and divert the water to go AROUND Bangkok. Unfortunately this has not been possible.
We actually don't live in the Bangkok province, but in a province just north of Bangkok. We live directly in the path of the water north of Bangkok. For a couple weeks our neighborhood has been building up barriers to help protect from flood waters and it would have worked to keep out a couple feet of water. But last Saturday, the water rose too fast. It came into our neighborhood and has continued to rise. We had stocked up on food to last a couple weeks and had decided to stay if it looked like we would only need to be there 4-5 days. We've been in floods here before in Thailand so we sort of knew what to expect. Our fridge and everything had been lifted to the second floor.
Unfortunately the news and government has not been completely upfront with how serious the flood is AND how ineffective their efforts have been to control it. The water didn't stop rising when we thought it would and it looks like it will not recede for a few weeks. The severity in our area was much more than predicted. Right now we have over a meter of water in our neighborhood and the downstairs is flooded.
We evacuated by boat and thankfully we were able to get our car out. Many people we not as fortunate and have seen their cars buried under the water. The water is still rising. Because Bangkok is so important, they are trying to hold the flood where it is for as long as possible and try to kick as much water out around Bangkok to the east and west. That means that the water sits in our area longer. We have left our home and have found temporary housing in the southern part of Thailand that is not at risk for flooding right now. Please know that we are safe where we are.
For the people still in Bangkok. The water is now bearing down on the city and the next week to 10 days should be crucial. Many have left but it's not possible for all to evacuate. This is a very serious situation. Pray for essentials like food and water for those that have to wait for the water to recede. Oftentimes the water gets so high that electricity for an entire area must be cut off. This is when survival becomes much more difficult for those that are not prepared.
Many people have lost everything in this flood. Businesses have been wiped out and therefore many people are uncertain about their employment.
PRAY that they would seek security and comfort in Christ.
PRAY that God would use this crisis, in His infinite wisdom, to bring many people to know Him.
PRAY also for wisdom in how to help those affected. It can be overwhelming since you can't help everyone, but at the same time we want to do what we can to help as many people as possible.”
If you want to HELP WITH FLOOD RELIEF in Thailand you can GIVE through OMF INTERNATIONAL with a DESIGNATION TO: P68044 TH-RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. They have immediate needs with many in temporary shelters and there will be lots of repairs needed when the water recedes.