Update: Extending Hope After Laos Dam Collapse
Today’s post is written by a CAMA worker serving in Southeast Asia.
On July 25, 2018, a dam burst in Attapeu Province, southern Laos, flooding area villages with five billion cubic meters of water.
Over 13,000 people were affected, experiencing damage or loss of their homes, livestock, and livelihoods. To date, 49 people are reported dead and 97 missing.
CAMA, in partnership with The Christian & Missionary Alliance of Canada and the local Lao Evangelical Church, has provided aid to 1200 families in the hardest-hit areas. Teams handed out soap, detergent, wheelbarrows, shovels, cooking kits, fishing equipment, and rice. In addition, national staff trained in counseling spent time with local people to encourage them and pray with them.
A national team member said, “The people in Attapeu have experienced something that is beyond words. It is such a difficult thing. But they made it through, and this is miraculous. Some had to grab onto trees to save themselves. When I heard their stories, I was so moved and sad.”
During a distribution, a local pastor who partnered with our team nodded towards the government official overseeing the day’s activities. “This man has arrested me twice,” the pastor told the team. That day, the official and his colleagues all thanked the pastor and shook hands with him and other local believers.
“We know that in this world we will face many troubles,” says the team leader. “We know there will be earthquakes, floods, and more. But disasters can open doors to many opportunities to share about God.”
The team is currently working with the local church to organize a training in Attapeu on caring for those who have experienced trauma. Curriculum planning is underway. Please pray that all necessary permission would be granted and that logistics for hosting the training would come together.