Happenings, News

MMS building homes, fishing boats for tsunami-hit families in Phuket

THE Methodist Missions Society (MMS) is rebuilding 18 homes for the families hit by the December 2004 tsunamis in the Namkim (Morgans) Gypsy Village in Baan Nam Khim province, Phuket. This province was the worst hit area in the Thai island resort.

The MMS is also working with the church of a local pastor, Pastor Benz Worakorn, to build fibre fishing boats for 16 families in Baan Nairal, Taimuang, Phang Nga province, Phuket. It costs about 32,000 baht (S$1,335) to build a fishing boat.

Through its Thai-registered community service arm, the Muangthai Mettakij Foundation, the MMS has identified these two projects.

It is helping Pastor Wasan of Baan Nam Khim province to rebuild 18 homes in the Namkim (Morgans) Gypsy Village at Baan Nam Khim.

Work has started on the rebuilding of seven homes sponsored by the Chinese Annual Conference of The Methodist Church in Singapore and supported by volunteers from various mission organisations, noticeably Youth With A Vision.

The cost of constructing a 4 by 6 sq m house with a washroom and kitchen is about 50,000 baht (S$2,100).

Even as the immediate needs of the tsunami survivors are being met, the long-term relief work of the MMS through the Muangthai Mettakij Foundation is to focus on rebuilding their lives.

The MMS’ three-fold mission in responding to the needs of the survivors is to:

• Continue seeking support for the rebuilding of homes and construction of damaged fishing boats;

• Supply resources to displaced families to help them earn a living; and

• Support the schooling of displaced and orphaned children.

Those keen to come alongside the MMS missionaries, Thai pastors and workers to show God’s compassion and love for the tsunami survivors in southern Thailand can contact the MMS Home Director, Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng at 6478-4807 or email: koheng.quek@methodist.org.sg

The MMS needs your help and support in its rehabilitation work among the villagers in Phuket.

We are reminded of God’s commitment and compassion in the face of this tragedy as articulated in these two Psalms:

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18.

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:.3

We can be assured that God provides care for the broken-hearted and hurting people displaced and devastated by the tsunamis. Prophet Isaiah comforted the people of his day and time with the assurance of God’s presence to guide them through the eye of any storm:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2).

In Luke 21:34-36, our Lord reminded us that things could happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Thus, we must be ready to seize the day, bear fruit and please Him in all that we do.

We praise God for our Methodist congregations that have responded in several affected areas with their prayers, generous gifts and resources to help the displaced and homeless survivors.

Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng is the Methodist Missions Society’s Home Director.