|Dear Friend, |
Thailand has been all over the news lately because of severe flooding. The northern area was hit first....that's where we live. Heavy rains, flooding, flash floods and landslides have brought much damage to our nation. Downtown Chiangmai was flooded out and we had to retrieve our guest from their hotel in a boat! That was first in our twenty five years here.
Hope Among Devastation... Our network of graduates and ministers across northern Thailand keeps us well informed of local conditions and problems that need to be addressed. One of our graduates contacted us about Bagu Village. A flashflood had swept through this mountainside village in the early morning hours sweeping away twelve houses. The entire center swath of the village was gone as were the lives of many villagers, property and livestock. Landslides had rendered the village inaccessible from the road. Shut off from the outside world, the only way there was down the Salween River which borders Burma and Thailand; and then trekking through the jungle from the river.
Double Jeopardy - Double Blessing... On top of the logistical problems posed by flood destruction and landslides, we now had to travel through dangerous military controlled areas. Prior to our arrival, several Thai villagers and a Thai soldier were killed by Burmese troops patrolling the river. We were taken in under Thai military escort; soldiers with machine guns accompanied us throughout our journey. Through the help of Water of Life Church, we were able to take in relief supplies for 60 families; roofing panels for 60 homes, blankets, mosquito nets, bedding, water pots, cooking utensils, etc.. Supplies to help the villagers relocate their village to safer surroundings.
Crisis Creates Opportunity... Bagu Village had never heard the Gospel. Our initial trip in to take supplies opened the hearts of these remote villagers. A dozen Americans braved a dangerous river journey through enemy territory, hiking through malaria infested jungles to this remote village. "Why are you interested in us," they asked. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes would not perish," was our answer. We have already returned with a medical clinic and more supplies; practical means that are opening the hearts of these villagers. Our goal....bring them to Christ and build a church.
On Other Fronts... Our bible school students have successfully completed their third semester of training. Our third and fourth semesters are heavy in outreach and practical ministry along with solid biblical studies. These students are already experiencing God working through them to help others. They will graduate February 2012.
God Bless You Richly,
Charlie and Cathy
PS: Last month we shared the Ban Den Project with you. We need this dormitory constructed and useable by May 2012. The first step is to get the electric and water in order. The electric cost $10,330.00. The water system will cost $ 9,830.00.