Many caught in the worst monsoon-fed flooding to hit Southeast Asia in 50 years will receive relief supplies made possible through collaborative efforts of LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC) and Lutheran partners in Thailand and Cambodia.
Two initial emergency-relief grants from WR-HC totaling $17,500 have been approved for flood-relief efforts with partners in those countries — $10,000 for Thailand and $7,500 for Cambodia.
For relief in Thailand, WR-HC is collaborating with Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), whose ground-level Bangkok ministry center is in a building surrounded with waist-high floodwater — as of Nov. 1. The effort in Thailand will provide relief supplies such as food, medicine, flashlights and batteries — to be assembled and distributed by LHM staff, volunteers and other Lutherans.
Floodwater from the overflowing Chao Phraya River that runs through Bangkok has forced many Lutheran staff and church members from their homes. The LHM-Thailand ministry center closed Oct. 21 so that staff members could protect their homes. The ministry center remains closed and a number of its scheduled programs have been canceled. LHM staff members indicate that it is not known how much water is inside the ministry center, since travel in that part of the city is nearly impossible.
For updates from the LHM-Thailand staff about the flooding situation in that country, click here.
News agencies report that floods in Thailand have killed at least 427 people since they began in July, with damages estimated at $6 billion.
The Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt, director of International Ministries for LHM, expressed appreciation for the WR-HC grant for flood relief in Thailand.
He said that “working in partnership” with the Synod mercy arm, “we will be able to share the love of God in Christ with words and deeds, as our ministry center in Thailand helps those suffering from this tragedy.”
Unusually heavy monsoon rainfall and flooding along the Mekong River in Cambodia since August have reportedly affected an estimated 1.2 million people there and have led to at least 148 deaths and the destruction of more than 420,000 acres of rice fields.
The initial $7,500 WR-HC emergency-relief grant for people in five flood-affected Cambodian provinces will support basic needs including food, tents, water filters, medicines, clothing and construction materials.
For relief efforts in Cambodia, the Synod mercy arm is working with two partners — the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia and the Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation.
Also as of Nov. 1, Synod missionaries in Thailand and Cambodia report that they are safe, according to Ministry Mobilization staff of the LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM).
In Thailand, where Synod missionaries live and base their work in the Bangkok area, there are two LCMS career missionary families and two single “Globally Engaged in Outreach” (GEO) missionaries.
One LCMS career missionary family and one single GEO missionary in Cambodia are in Phnom Penh, which is less affected by flooding than other areas of the country.
“LCMS World Relief and Human Care is pleased to be able to provide much needed relief in Thailand and Cambodia in partnership with LCMS missionaries, the indigenous Lutheran church and Lutheran Hour Ministries,” said the Rev. John Fale, interim co-executive director of the OIM. “Through these kinds of cooperative and collaborative opportunities, we are able to strengthen the capacity of one another in a way that most effectively provides tangible mercy accompanied by proclamation of the Gospel. I ask that the LCMS continue to ask the Lord of the harvest to grant His blessings upon our work together.”
LCMS World Relief and Human Care is a part of the LCMS Office of International Mission. The Rev. Glenn F. Merritt is director of Disaster Response with the OIM.
“Donor’s gifts are urgently needed at this time,” Merritt told Reporter, “so that we can continue supporting relief and recovery efforts worldwide, including for Thailand and Cambodia.”
To make a gift for flood relief in Thailand and Cambodia:
- mail checks (noting “Flood Relief — Thailand/Cambodia” in the memo line) to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- call toll-free 888-930-4438.
- click here for the “Give Now” online option.
Any funds not needed for this relief effort will be used for other disaster-response purposes as determined by LCMS World Relief and Human Care. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Posted Nov. 3, 2011