BANGKOK, THAILAND (October 28, 2011) – Abundant Life Center has been closed temporarily in anticipation of possible flooding from waters that have ravaged other parts of the city, says Byron Amundsen, director of administration and finance for the Department of World Mission of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
The center is a holistic ministry that seeks to help people find jobs and develop life skills for those who have migrated to the city from the countryside. For the past several years, the ministry has helped women through its ALC Crafts project. Women use local Thai fabrics to sew small bags and purses that are then sold internationally.
Missionary Karen Groot oversees the ministry. She has temporarily closed the center and has encouraged employees, many of whom have family in northern Thailand, to evacuate.
It is unclear whether the waters will impact the center. Government officials have issued several flood warnings in recent days for the area, but nothing happened, Amundsen says. Water in the largest river is expected to overflow its banks this weekend.
Flooding in Thailand is common, but normally is not this extensive, Amundsen added. Unusually heavy monsoon rains have caused the waters to rise in areas of Thailand since July. More than 370 people have been killed.
High tides in the Gulf of Thailand and floodwaters that have flowed from the north have led to the flooding in Bangkok, which also has been hard-hit by recent rains. Missionary Carl Groot had helped with relief efforts at one of the city’s airports until it was flooded.
Abundant Life Center has suffered minor flooding that reached several inches deep in some previous years, Amundsen says.