Suzy Triplett, SP staff in Bangkok, Thailand, shares how her community is experiencing interdependence and bold leadership in a time of crisis
"We are all in this together."
Our community leader repeated this phrase during our community meeting. She’s not kidding. Our Bangkok community is made of 249 households, surrounded by four walls and two gates. Our doors are three feet away from one another, making social distancing difficult to maintain. But we’re all in this together, so we’ve responded together.
Everyone’s agreed to take necessary precautions, remaining within the walls unless absolutely required outside. We’re purchasing groceries and street food inside our community as much as possible—both to reduce our risk of exposure and support our own vendors amidst financial hardship. We’re practicing responsible hygiene, and distributing hygienic supplies to others—namely motorcycle taxi drivers, who are at greatest risk.
It is ultimately God’s grace and protection that will sustain us through this, but God often works through the ordinary actions of ordinary people. Our interdependence with one another has never been more obvious. While many among us are reeling from income loss, I’ve seen inspiring displays of leadership, faithfulness, and compassion in our community.
P'Dtu is one. She’s an unpaid community leader. Her husband, a taxi driver, was officially laid off last month, leaving their family without any income. Still, P’Dtu works tirelessly to support our community during this crisis.
She attends daily virtual meetings with
and share resources. She participates in government briefings on the virus and relays announcements to our community, ensuring everyone is informed and empowered to respond.
She has arranged for public spaces to be disinfected twice a week and spends hours supporting families applying for financial assistance. In two weeks, she procured donations and assembled a team to make masks for every adult and child in the community—amounting to over 1200 masks. And after being trained in making hand sanitizer, she whipped together 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in one day!
P‘Dtu is rising to the occasion, leading our community with calmness, creativity, and great compassion. The most significant part of all this, perhaps, is that we continue to live, serve, and work without knowing what awaits. P’Dtu and other leaders don’t have any idea of what the future might hold.
All of us are in this together. Because of your generosity so far, 250 households in one urban poor community in Bangkok will receive one week’s supply of food. And we hope to continue using the COVID-19 Community Support Fund to bless the poor in other parts of Bangkok as well. Would you consider giving to this effort? Your gift is helping us and other Servant Partners staff tangibly love the poor around the world.
You can contribute to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund at www.servantpartners.org/covid19, and follow Servant Partners ministry in Bangkok at www.friendsofthecity.org.