Attention WAR family! This article is a call to urgent action to all our prayer warriors: an extraordinarily harsh monsoon season is wreaking havoc on Southeast Asia, causing severe flooding in Thailand which has proven to be the worst the country has experienced in half a century. Thai government reports this country-wide flood to be causing a similar devastation as that of the 2004 tsunami. The country has been devastated in a matter of days, but it will take years for Thailand to recover.
While rushing water fills the streets, the flood waters retreat at a far slower pace than the onset, and are expected to stay through the end of November. Over one third of Thailand is flooded; many places submerged under 10 feet of water. Over 1,000,000 people have had to evacuate their homes and over 366 have died as a result of the flooding.
Affecting over 8 million people in 60 of the country’s 77 provinces, floods have closed down hospitals and other public facilities. Dead livestock decay and spread bacteria in the waters which people must walk through or drink from every day. Canals and drainage systems overflow, adding more germs to the flooding. Yet another danger is the risk of air-borne diseases and diseases spread by mosquitoes rapidly multiplying in stagnant waters.
The economic toll to this country is increasingly astronomical. Thailand is a major regional agricultural producer, manufacturer and exporter. Flooding in rice paddies destroys the nation’s staple food supply. It also is reported that 1,000 factories have been flooded causing immediate unemployment of over 600,000 workers.
The days are deceptively beautiful and sunny, but the rain starts again every night, making it difficult for families to go to sleep, fearing what their world will look like in the morning. Will they be next among the growing numbers of homeless?
As is the case with any natural disaster, newly displaced or orphaned children will be easy targets for traffickers. Furthermore, with so many people now unemployed and stripped of their homes and possessions, the future is precarious and the numbers of women at risk of trafficking will sky-rocket. This current disaster is yet another battlefront which our partners in Thailand must now face, all the while engaging daily in spiritual battles as they continue to provide safe and healing homes for at-risk and rescued women.
Although Bangkok has not experienced the more drastic flood levels, the prime minister recently announced that flood levels were expected to reach at least half a meter. Many superstores have sold out of bottled water and ramen noodles, testifying to both the panic levels and poor government guidance. The track record of the government has been to downplay both the threat of flooding along with the actual depth of the water, thus our dear partner in Bangkok, Samaritan Creations, has decided to avoid taking any chances and will temporarily close. The women will return to their respective villages, where they will be safe, until Samaritan Creations gives the green light for them to return. Those who are unable to travel to their villages will travel with the safe house staff to Phitsanulok.
To add to all the dangers coming with the rising flood waters, a number of crocodile farms in Thailand have been flooded, which means that crocodiles have become another safety concern for those living traveling in flooded areas. Our partners in Bangkok live 19 kilometers (a little less than 12 miles) from the largest crocodile farm in the world!
We at WAR, Int’l request our WAR family to fall to your knees and lift our Thai partners and the Thai people up in your prayers to the Most High God. Pray that the drainage system in Bangkok will continue to hold fast against the worst of the flood damage. Pray that God miraculously intervenes to quiet the raging waters. Pray that aid continues to arrive every day in the form of food, clothing, medical attention and shelter. Pray that God continues to sustain and protect our partners and the women they rescue and train.
Pray for our dear partners in Bangkok, who have requested prayers for safe travels for their family, and the women and staff of Samaritan Creations. They also request prayers that the damage would be minimal and that churches would take the lead in relief and rebuilding efforts, as well as for the preservation of life. Lastly, pray that our partners efforts to flood-proof their home and business will stand against the waters.
We are so thankful to have our WAR family to unite with us in prayer for our dear partners and for the devastated people of Thailand! God is our rock and our refuge, and He alone has the power to work miracles and bring calm to the raging waters. To Him we must turn, and in Him we must hope.