It’s official! We’re heading to Bangkok on Saturday even with the threat of flooding. Here are the reasons that we have decided to proceed with MinistryNet:
- The local Thai staff and crisis management team feel that our part of town is safe, and they have promised to take care of any needs that might arise while we are in Bangkok. They are truly amazing and want to bless us with Thai hospitality even in the middle of an enormous crisis for them. They still feel it is safe. And again, the head of the crisis management team and National Director live very close to our hotel location.
- It has not rained in Bangkok over the last 4 days, and water level still is down in our area.
- The hotel not only has food and water stockpiled, but should the hotel get flooded, they have said they will relocate us to another hotel an hour south of our location where there is no threat of flood. They have also agreed that if we suddenly needed to evacuate to the airport that they would bus us to the airport elevated train system, provided the water doesn’t reach over 50 cm (roughly 20 inches)
- Our leadership including our president have given us their blessing to go. They feel that the urgency of mission outweighs some of the risks of going as opposed to postponing until a later time. We all know that 4 months in the digital world is like 10 years in the face to face world.
So, like any international trip, there is a risk. However, we still feel the risk is acceptable at this point, and we do have a plan if things get more difficult than expected while we are there. We are not afraid to cancel at the last minute, if necessary. There is a high tide expected this weekend in Bangkok, and we will be monitoring that closely. However, if our hotel and surrounding area escapes any flooding during that high tide that will give us even more confidence that we should stay dry while we are in Bangkok.
Let us continue to be in prayer for the outcomes of our conference as well as for the victims of the flood. Please pray for those who have lost loved ones. At this point, all of our Thai staff members are accounted for, but some have lost their homes and property. During the conference we will be addressing ways of how we can help.
We consider Isaiah 43:1-7 as the Lord speaking to us for Ministrynet. It is amazing how the situation in Thailand right now has garnered more prayer for this conference than we ever could have imagined. We expected that some of our conferees might suddenly decide not to attend, but instead we are seeing more people sign up! I addition our Thai staff have requested inflatable rafts to help them in their outreach. We have purchased 7 of these rafts and will be transporting them as we go.
We appreciate your prayers for us the ~175 other people who are involved in MinistryNet and that the Lord uses our time together to further His kingdom!