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Bangkok flood victims welcome aid
Living Water Church distributes aid funded by Mennonite Church Canada

   
 


Pat Houmphan, Mennonite Church Canada worker in Thailand, offers a care package to a victim of Thailand’s worst ever flooding. – photo provided by Pat Houmphan

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December 21, 2011
-Dan Dyck, with reports from Pat Houmphan

Bangkok, Thailand —Bangkok and the surrounding region continue to experience the worst flooding in Thailand's history. The flood crisis, which began in July, has left many districts in the central provinces and neighbourhoods to the east and west of Bangkok still under water in December.

“It is very sad to see the hundreds and thousands of people that have been impacted by this big flood,” said Pat Houmphan, Mennonite Church Canada worker in northeast Thailand. “They have had to leave their houses and move to temporary shelters and have lost their jobs and belongings,” noting in his report the lack of sufficient drinking water and food, and rampant illnesses and infections.

Pat and his wife, Rad, and members of Living Water Church, helped prepare and distribute aid from Mennonite Church Canada in a local partnership with Overseas Mission Fellowship. The Houmphans, who began their Thailand ministry in 2000, bought 310 bags of food and other necessities to assemble into care packages for survivors.

“We were encouraged to see the believers, from children to the more senior and elderly members of the church, helping out with packing,” said Pat, who led a delegation of Living Water Church to Bangkok to distribute the aid on November 16 and 23. They wanted “… to share God's love with people affected by the flood. The flood victims were very grateful to get the help from the Christian groups,” he said.

Over 12.8 million people have been affected. About six million hectares of land, over 300,000 hectares of which is farmland, were inundated. The World Bank estimates damage at $45 million US, which ranks the Thailand flood as the world’s 4th costliest natural disaster in 2011. Reconstruction will begin once flood waters have moved south and out to sea.