When we had used all of the funding that was provided for our flood relief project, we thought that we wouldn’t be able to help any other flood victims. However, several more donations arrived, so both Lutheran Hour Ministries and LCMS World Relief and Human Care decided to send additional funds. This gave us the opportunity to assist another 1,000 families.
On Saturday January 28 our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff and two volunteers took 400 flood relief cleaning packs to Sinsamut Community in Thanyaburi District in Patumthani Province. When we distributed the flood relief packs in the past, the residents gathered together and we gave them the packs in one place. This time we had to do it a different way. Because it was close to the time for the election of the new community committees, the community chairman decided to not have the residents meet in a large group. He was afraid that it might seem like he was trying to affect the election.
Instead, he asked our LHMT staff to deliver the packs individually to each house. Although this meant a lot of extra work for our staff, it also provided a good chance to spend a few minutes talking with the residents in their homes. Throughout the morning we delivered 310 flood relief packs to people who owned their homes.
Another 90 families were renting their houses, so they were not eligible to vote in the community elections. These families collected their flood relief packs later from the community committee. Although we had to do things differently, the day turned out very well. We were able to interact more personally with many people and they all appreciated our help very much.
On Sunday afternoon, January 29, the LHMT director, LHMT staff and LCMS missionaries traveled to Sainoi District in Nonthaburi Province. This area is quite far from any big city. It’s mostly a lowland farming area, so it took much longer for the flood water to recede. Many of the residents are orchid farmers. Almost all of their orchids were destroyed or badly damaged in the floods. The financial loss to their families and community was very great.
We distributed 570 flood relief cleaning packs to 4 small villages. We gave 170 packs to Village #8, Village #9 and Village #11. In Village #12 we delivered 60 packs. The people in these villages were very surprised that anyone would still be helping flood victims in January. Because their farms were some of the last to become dry, they thought they wouldn’t receive any help.
Most of the residents are afraid that the water will come again this year, so they are not starting their farming again. They don’t want to make the large financial investment necessary to get their farms operating again, if they will lose everything in the coming rainy season. The LHMT director plans to make follow-up contacts with the village chairmen in the coming months to find out how they’re doing.
After delivering 570 cleaning packs, we still have 30 packs left. So we plan to deliver those packs to the churches where some of our staff attend to help their members who suffered from the flooding. Our thanks to LCMS World Relief and Human Care and the Lutheran Hour Ministries headquarters in St. Louis for providing the funding for this project. We thank God for the opportunity to help another 1,000 families.