Thailand (MNN) — The monsoon rains are wreaking havoc on the country Thailand. Bangkok authorities are evacuating parts of Bangkok as flood water have surrounded the capital. The flooding has killed 527 people, mostly by drowning. Some provinces north of Bangkok have been inundated for more than a month, although flood waters there have started to recede in recent days as massive pools of runoff flow south.
The flooding has had a direct impact on a radio partnership between HCJB Global and the Thailand Christian Radio Network. HCJB Global Asia Pacific Regional Director Ty Stakes explains the vision of this group of Thai Christians. "They have a vision by the year 2020 to establish a network of over 70,000 cell churches in Thailand and to basically bring the Gospel to every part of the country."
One of the leaders was saved while studying in the United States, and Christian radio was a major part of his spiritual growth. Radio will also be a major part of TCRN's church growth initiative. Stakes says, "He has a vision for local FM radio to be a major part of this strategy to build the church and expand the church of Jesus throughout Thailand."
The desire is to eventually plant 100 Christian radio stations. Stakes says, "It is a connecting point in strategic communities to do outreach in the community, build bridges to the predominately Buddhists [population] that live in Thailand, and to encourage the church in their faith."
Stakes says HCJB Global has been able to help with that vision. "We have a bunch of equipment that God has provided, staged up there: transmitters and antennas ready for new stations. We have helped them establish four new stations. And we have provided technical consulting and new transmitters, antennas, and equipment for eight existing stations that are run by Christians that are part of the network."
10 training seminars have also been held to help the network.
However, Stakes says, "The monsoons have been terrible up there. All of our people have had to leave the country. And most of our partners are dealing with the fact that family homes and everyone around them are flooded, and commerce has come to a screeching halt."
While the goals remain the same, "At this point we've got to wait and see how this flooding situation pans out and decide what our next targets are,"explains Stakes.
Stakes is asking Christians to pray. "Pray for our partners in the Thailand Christian Radio Network as they work through what impact this flooding has on their strategic plans, and ask God to show us the best way forward."
If you'd like to help start a radio station in Thailand, $25,000 is all it takes. HCJB Global is looking for radio stations, churches, and foundation partners to help reach Thailand with the Gospel. Click here to help.