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The alert came in the night - it was a message on my phone with a video showing water streaming forcefully through the simple wooden house of Pastor Chan Thorn, Srey Kujt and their three children, in northern Cambodia, near the Thai border.
This couple, who have planted three churches in the past decade while operating their farm business, are made out of stern stuff - and can even cope with a river in the house. I thought of their fields - their livelihood would be under water: cassava and cashews which sustain them and their ministry.
Soon I heard from Yin Bunna, the national coordinator of the 100-strong Nexus church network, a member of the Radstock network.
Some of the crops would be salvageable, but much had been lost, and re-planting now will bring a harvest in February at the earliest. Three church families who had been living homeless, in the shelter of others’ stilted homes, were now literally washed out of their makeshift “residences”.
Radstock churches from the UK and Canada were among those who got involved, as contributors to the immediate need, sending funds for rice, canned fish and other basics to be distributed through the churches.
On November 16th a message came from Bunna:
"Stopsley Baptist Church in Luton, England, sponsored a house for a homeless family, who are part of the church in Sala Krao district, Pailin province, and sponsored a rice bank project in Sneng commune, Barnon district, Battambang for the coming year, which is in need in times of adversity.
Stopsley Baptist Church also sponsors the team for transportation and mission trips…Thank you so much for the love, the prayers, the all-encompassing support as a family, friends, partners, and co-labourers in the harvest of Jesus Christ.
In response, 22 families in Battambang accepted the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.
The church in Pailin is joyful and thankful to know that the brothers in the Lord, whom they have never met, have the love of God for them, and this action is an example that the church in Cambodia will imitate as their brothers and sisters around the world have imitated Christ."
Although the waters have receded, the crops take time to come back. You and your church can help!
Seventy-two specific families have been identified who are in specific need.
How Can Your Gift Make A Difference?
Builds a simple tin house for a homeless church family.
Provides rice (60 kg) for a family for one month.
Provides canned fish for a family for a month (15 cans).
Provides a month’s worth of salty beetroot (5 kilograms/11 lbs).
Will lay raised foundations on four family homes to avoid future flood damage.