What happens when an emergency arises, and you immediately have to leave your home? What if you didn’t have time to save anything? Where would you go? Who would you turn to?
When torrential rains poured down on the border town of Mae Sot. Riverbanks overflowed, flooding many of the slum communities where we work. The water around our office rose rapidly on a Monday morning as we began a normal day of Compasio Training School (CTS). Our team scrambled into action to keep the water out using boxes, sandbags, tarps and whatever we could get our hands on. All of our efforts could not keep out the muddy water and we were forced to quickly evacuate. We moved all of our equipment, furniture and supplies to the second floor to avoid as much damage as possible.
Knowing that many families would be greatly affected by the floods, our team headed to the communities to find out how we could help. Our trucks trudged through the mud and high waters to find that homes had been destroyed, food supplies tainted and many could not earn enough money during the floods to put food on the table for their families that night.
At the garbage dump, our team found that twenty-five homes were flooded and families were forced to sleep on the floor of a nearby school. We provided rice for these families to cook that evening.
It has been amazing to see how the community has pulled together. Local organizations, mission groups and relief organizations have joined together to meet the needs of the flood victims. Some of our own staff and CTS students who have given of their time, energy and finances, have expressed that although this has been an exhausting week, the chance to work together to help in this time of real need has been a definite highlight of their CTS experience.
News came that just across the border in Burma where the flooding was much worse, over 200 people lost their lives and countless families have lost everything. While there still great need and so much to be done in Mae Sot, we are grateful for our lives and the safety of those we serve.