VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/1/11)—$18,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) relief funds have been sent through American Baptist International Ministries (IM) to flood victims in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Thailand to provide emergency relief items, including food, water, shelter and medical supplies.
$10,000 for flood and mudslide victims in El Salvador and Nicaragua
Torrential rains this fall have swamped some of the poorest countries in the Americas. In El Salvador alone, 150,000 people are affected. 15,000 are living in temporary shelters and others are fleeing their homes in great numbers, according to ACT Alliance, an organization composed of over 100 members (including American Baptist Churches USA) working in long-term development and humanitarian assistance.
Along with the risk of further mudslides and waterborne diseases, the region faces devastating food shortages in the months ahead.
$4,000 in OGHS relief funds for Nicaragua relief will be managed by IM missionaries, Laura and David Parajón. In addition, $6,000 in OGHS funds has been sent to El Salvador for flood relief. $4,000 will be administered by Federación Bautista de El Salvador (FEBES), and $2,000 by Asociación Femenil Bautista de El Salvador (AFEBES). Both organizations are IM partners.
$8,000 for flood victims in Bangkok, Thailand
In Thailand, the Chao Phraya Rivers reached record levels and floodwaters are spilling into Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. The city has an average elevation of less than two meters above sea level. At least 366 people have been killed because of seasonal monsoon rains and flooding since July 25, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported on its website. Millions of people are affected and the government declared a five-day “holiday” from October 27 – October 31 to enable people time to deal with the flood waters.
Annie and Jeff Dieselberg, IM missionaries in Bangkok, describe the desperate situation, “We have watched our neighbors to the north become inundated and now we have joined the ranks of people who are taking precautions. Four of our women live in areas already flooded and have evacuated and many more live in high-risk areas….NightLight Design, Co. Ltd has begun to move furniture, electronic equipment, jewelry, and perishable goods to the top floors of our buildings. We distributed packages of canned goods and Mama noodles to the women and staff. We have prepared our outreach center to receive any of our employees and their families who need to evacuate.” NightLight is an international organization committed to addressing the complex issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution. Annie is one of the founders and both Annie and Jeff serve NightLight.
$8,000 in OGHS relief funds for Thailand flood relief has been released. $2,000 will be managed by IM missionaries, Annie and Jeff Dieselberg through Nightlight. $6,000 will be administered by IM partner, the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT).
Donations continue to be needed. Donors can mail donations to: International Ministries, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851. Support can also be given by American Baptists through their church by making checks payable to the church with “One Great Hour of Sharing – 2011 flood relief (for Nicaragua, El Salvador or Thailand)” written in the memo section. These gifts will be sent from the church through the American Baptist region and then to International Ministries.
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the General Board of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist Mission organization formed in North America. IM brings US and Puerto Rico churches together with global Christian partners in holistic ministries that meet human needs and help people come to Christ, grow in Christ and change their worlds with Christ.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.