Watching the news tells you what is happening but it doesn’t usually tell you how to respond. In today’s guest post, missionary Erwin Kint reflects on how Christians are to respond in times of crisis, and how Thai Christians are responding to the flooding crisis in the Central Thailand province of Lopburi:
Everywhere in Central Thailand and in Bangkok, one can find all kinds of walls and dams erected to protect people’s property, like houses and shops. If I want to go to the 7/11 in our neighbourhood, I need to use a sand-bag step to climb over an approximately two feet high brick wall. If I want to go to the bank, a big step over a brick wall suffices. Many other people use sandbags to protect their property, but we all know that sandbags without a water pump are only temporary means of flood protection.
This phenomenon of keeping the water outside the gates occurs at different levels: individuals guard their houses, neighbours seal off their neighbourhoods, cities protect industrial parks, and provincial authorities protect their region. Nobody is happy to receive a massive deluge of water, and as a result provinces have been closing their gates, not allowing the water to spread out. The result is a massive unstoppable deluge that has been heading south towards Bangkok without losing much power. And Bangkok is also still attempting to keep its gates closed, swamping its suburbs under 1-3 metres of water.
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.
Still on furlough in the U.S., I've been tracking from a distance the news about flooding in Thailand. Flooding is not uncommon there but this year it is uncommonly bad. It is reported that this is the "worst ever seen" and some people are calling it the hundred year flood (Watch Video of Bangkok Flooding in 1942)
The latest figures report that over 820,000 families (2.6 million people) are affected, 244 have been killed, huge areas of farmland damaged, and over 180 key roads cut off. The main highway going north out of Bangkok is cut off in Ayuthaya, just 1.5 hours north of the capital. Trains fair no better.
Lots of people whom we know have been affected by this, having to evacuate their homes to higher ground. Personally, we are hoping that our household possessions will still be usable when we return to Thailand in a few months time. They are stored in two locations, in Lopburi and Ayuthaya (perhaps the hardest hit province). I'd rather not lose all my books, and I know that my 5 year old son has been looking forward to being reunited with the toys that are in storage back in Thailand. Of course, our household goods are a trivial matter compared to people lives, and their livelihoods.