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In Thailand, humanitarian arm of church responds to worst flooding in 50 years

ADRA distributes thousands of emergency care packages, cases of water

In Thailand, humanitarian arm of church responds to worst flooding in 50 years

ADRA Thailand teams load boats with emergency supplies for the Bang Pa Ku villages this week. In the capital, Bangkok, floodwaters on the outskirts are moving toward the city center. [photo courtesy ADRA]

The humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is responding to the worst flooding Thailand has seen in half a century. More than a third of the Southeast Asian country is currently flooded following months of unexpectedly heavy monsoon rains.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Thailand has already distributed nearly 2,000 emergency care packages to affected families. Each package includes food staples, drinking water and medicines. ADRA Thailand also provided an additional 1,500 cases of water to residents of remote districts, where families are stranded without electricity or supplies.

Water flowing south toward the Gulf of Thailand has already killed close to 400 people and displaced more than 100,000, the Associated Press said. Tens of thousands of Bangkok residents are fleeing the capital ahead of waist-high water, reports indicate.

Adventists in the region are reporting damage to homes and property, but no loss of life. The church's university, located two hours outside of Bangkok on higher elevation, remains safe from floodwaters, said Simon Siew, a church official for the Southeast Asia Union Mission.

Church leaders are concerned that Thailand Adventist Mission headquarters -- as well as many of the church's nearby schools, churches and a hospital -- are vulnerable to flooding in the coming days. The Thai government is expected to open area flood control dikes to relieve surging canals and rivers.

"There is an urgent need right now for the Thailand Adventist Mission to procure two boats to help with the flood relief efforts," Siew said in an email this week. "Please pray for our folks there as they struggle to go on with their lives in the face of this horrible natural disaster."

ADRA officials in Thailand are expected to reassess the situation in the coming weeks, providing additional assistance as necessary.