“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” – James 2:15
Thanks to quick action by the Thai government, imposing a travel lockdown and other measures in the early days that continues until now, Thailand has had low numbers of COVID infections and deaths. But the Land of Smiles has been hard hit economically during the pandemic. Prior to COVID, 20% of the Thai economy was dependent upon tourism. With hotels, restaurants, tour buses, and tourist attractions empty, the impact has been magnified, rippling across all sectors of society from farmers to furniture makers, truck drivers to tour guides.
For the past decade, ZOE has partnered with the Children’s Hunger Fund and Life Impact International to get food, shoes, and other necessities into the hands – and onto the feet! – of thousands of the most needy families in Thailand. Over time we’ve developed a widespread network of more than 70 local churches in some of the poorest communities here. Thus, when COVID collided with the economy, we were ready to pick up our pace and roll! Our partners stepped up with extra resources and ZOE’s team loaded up our 4-wheel drive trucks with food and supplies and hit the roads and the mountain trails.
In just two months, July and August, we delivered 4,635 mercy boxes to many of the churches in our network where pastors and congregants distributed them to hungry neighbors, providing much-needed food and supplies to over 800 families. Now that’s something to smile about!
Mercy Network is a regional network of like-minded churches committed to gospel-centered mercy ministry. ZOE partners with local churches who have a passion to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ. ZOE provides food boxes to the local churches for them to use as a means of building relationships within their respective communities.
-Written by Ron Boyer