Cambodia (MNN) – The Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower dam in Laos collapsed on July 23 due to heavy monsoon rains.
The massive release of water caused flash floods in southern Laos and parts of Cambodia. Though the floods happened nearly two months ago, people are yet to experience the worst of it.
The Worst of the Flooding
The dam collapsed on July 23 and released 5 billion cubic meters of water. The floods washed away hundreds of homes in Attapeu province and killed up to 30 people. Hundreds of people went missing in the floods and more than 6,600 people were displaced.
Overall, it’s estimated that as many as 16,000 people were affected by the floods in the Attapeu province and Cambodia.
Entire villages, roads, bridges, and homes have been destroyed and washed away. Many people have lost all their possessions.
“But the real tragedy in it is… that all of their rice fields and their harvest area has been destroyed,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says.
“Although they didn’t die and there were no fatalities during the initial flooding, it makes the ongoing ability to survive, it just puts a matter of [people in a] very delicate place. And right now, they need help. They need help because there are thousands of people that are at risk right now.”
Without crops and animals, which have been drowned in the floods, people no longer have a way to support themselves.
They’re forced to start over.
Providing Immediate Support
“During the monsoon season in Asia, the flooding happens to increase and it just makes people very vulnerable,” Kelley says.
“If these people don’t get immediate help, many of them will perish. And the ones that are most vulnerable are the elderly and the children.”
World Mission is mobilizing their Gospel workers in Cambodia to assist people through humanitarian aid.
Kelley points out that these areas affected are among unreached people groups.
“It’s mainly Buddhist in this area. They’re very hostile to Christianity, but what this disaster has created is an opportunity for Christians to come in and bring aid. [The people] wanted nothing to do with Christians prior to this, but because they’re in such a dire situation, they’re openly receiving support and it’s really created a tremendous opportunity to share the Gospel.”
World Mission’s indigenous partners are distributing food and basic resources to provide for people’s immediate needs.
Kelley says their partners want to be a blessing to people no matter their religion. They simply want to do it out of Christ’s love.
“We’re not doing it ‘if you receive this bag of rice, then you have to hear the Gospel,’” Kelley explains. “It’s not that at all. God does something supernatural when we respond, when authentic love softens the heart of that person so that now, when we share the motivation of it, they’ll receive the Gospel.”
While people are seeing the authenticity of Gospel workers’ love, they’re opening their hearts. Kelley says even government officials are participating in distribution that their Christian workers are initiating.
As World Mission gives basic needs, they’re also distributing their solar-powered audio Bibles, the Treasure, in people’s native languages. Their goal is to help establish listening groups that will form into Churches and missionaries.
Join World Mission as they give life-saving humanitarian aid. Just $50 can provide food and supplies for a family for an entire week. Also, help spread the Gospel amongst these hurting and heartbroken people by giving solar-powered audio Bibles.