Flood Relief: The Hardest Part
The water is deep.
The water is very, very dirty.
And yes, there are crocodiles.
But that’s not the hardest part for YWAM’s Emergency Response Team (ERT). The hardest part is not being able to help everyone who asks.
Over the past few months, flooding has inundated large areas of northern and central Thailand, including parts of Bangkok. More than 5 million people have been affected, with thousands of homes and businesses under water. YWAM formed the ERT to help provide assistance to the many people severely affected by floods. When the ERT gets a call asking for help, maybe a YWAM family who needs help to get an ailing mother out of a house flooded up to its second floor, maybe 65 families in a government housing project who have no food and no one is helping them, the ERT preparation team springs into action. Within a day usually, they have prepared emergency food packs and homemade life jackets, as many as the ERT ‘deep water’ team needs. And loaded down with supplies, the deep water team heads out. They’re never sure how they’ll get to their flooded destination but they know that God will make a way. And day after day, miracle after miracle, God makes a way. Maybe an army truck that comes along at just the right time or a boat big enough for the team and the supplies. God always comes through. Oh, the ERT team tries to plan, but things change fast in this flood crisis - the plans you make today will probably be changed by tomorrow.
So the ERT deep water team reaches their destination and hands out the packages, face to face, hand to hand. There are lots of opportunities to give encouraging words, comforting words, prayers. But it’s hard. Because every time, on the way to that destination, they meet hundreds of others who see the emergency bags, the life jackets, and beg the team to stop and help them. It is so hard, so very, very hard to say ‘no’. What would YOU do? You know if you give what you’ve prepared away, then the people waiting at the destination, the people you promised to help, won’t get the help they are waiting for.
So the ERT comes back to the YWAM ERT preparation center, and says ‘we need to go again - there are more who need our help’.
The ERT knows they can’t help all of Bangkok’s flood victims. But they, like churches and Christian groups all over this city, are doing what Jesus would do: touching, reaching, loving and helping the one God puts in front of us, and then the next one, then the next one.
And His kingdom comes. One life at a time.