Flooding closes second airport, threatens Compassion

By October 27, 2011

Thailand (MNN) — Thailand's floodwaters have spilled far enough into Bangkok to promote the shutdown of a second airport in the region.

Over 360 people have been killed and more than 100,000 displaced in the heavy rains and floods of Thailand which have been marked as the worst flooding the nation has seen in 50 years.

Compassion International has several child development centers in the country, a few of which have been greatly affected over the last few weeks. Waters have been receding, but Compassion recently discovered that the worst is yet to come.

Heavy rains will soon prove to be too much for river dams to handle. In an effort to prevent further tragedy in the nation, the Thai government has decided to divert the water in various directions to lessen the blow.

The problem is: Compassion kids are in the way.

"They're trying to open up waterways and that sort of thing to lessen the flooding. But unfortunately, we have a lot of projects in the way where they would be opening up those areas," explains Redmond.

Essentially, the government would be intentionally flooding certain areas, and Compassion centers happen to be in those areas.

So just who would be affected by floodwaters if the government diverted waters the way they intend to? "There would be about eight projects, and our projects have about 250 kids, on average," says Redmond. "So it looks like there are about eight projects that would be right in that general area, and if the waters were diverted, it would then affect those."

Hundreds of families struggling from flooding would be bad enough, but Redmond adds, "A lot of the times the flooding can be the least of our issues–it's what comes after the flooding."

What comes after would inevitably be disease spread through stagnant water, toxins from a lack of sanitation, homes turned to mud as their dirt floors are soaked, and a host of medical issues and relief concerns.

It would be a financial blow to Compassion as they respond, especially amid the number of other crises the ministry is handling across the globe. But it would be a livelihood crisis for the affected families.

Currently, Compassion is anxiously waiting for a response as to what the government will decide. Compassion workers in Thailand know the families involved better than the government does, says Redmond, so Compassion is speaking up on behalf of the families in every way possible.

Pray for Compassion as they try to respond to this crisis in Christ's love, both to government officials and to Compassion families. Pray that these families would be spared and would cling to Christ in the midst of uncertainty.

You can respond to this crisis directly by providing Compassion with the support they will need if their centers are indeed affected. Click here to help.

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