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Partners in Progress Ministers with Both Service and the Word

Ship of Life

by Stafford North

Partners in Progress, sponsored by the 250 member Windsong Church of Christ in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and supported by many others, serves primarily needs of people in Asia.  And they use a wide variety of ways to help.

One of the primary ways Partners in Progress helps is with their Ship of Life, which cruises mainly on the Mekong River in Cambodia.  Typically those on board treat a hundred patients a day as they stop at communities along their route.  Those on the ship provide medical, dental, and pharmaceutical care to those who have great need, some of whom have never even seen a doctor.  Churches have now been planted along the route with Christians coming from Phnom Penh to work with them on weekends. 

Church building and water plant

Another project is a combination floating church building and water purification plant.  This raft like structure moves about from village to village on Tonle Sap Lake, the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia.  The lake is, in fact, home to 30,000 fishing families who live in floating houses.  They are extremely poor, many of them having fled the Vietnam war.  This new floating structure has living quarters and a room for classes and worship.  In addition, the new raft has water purification facilities to provide filtered water to those on and around the lake as well as bringing the Living Water to them.  Help with water is badly needed because most of the health problems in the area are caused by contaminated water.

Water ambulance

Also on Tonle Sap Lake, Partners has remodeled a gunboat sent by the Soviets to fight against Pol Pot in Cambodia.  After being used to fight along the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, it became surplus.  It has been rebuilt as an ambulance to transport critical patients to the mainland.  It can also carry supplies as needed in both good weather and bad.

The Siem Reap Bible Institute that trains evangelists on the northern lake shore will provide both manpower to operate the raft and ministers to evangelize among the 12,000 people who will come to fill their water jars. 

Life vests

One of the new initiatives at Partners in Progress is to provide life vests for children who ride to school in little row boats.  These often capsize, leaving the children in a condition where many drown.  When people from Partners met with people from the villages, they listed this as their number one request.  The vest costs only $5 and could save the life of the child if the small boat carrying him to school should tip over.

The programs which Partners in Progress operate involve volunteers from the United States as well as those who are natives to the region.

For more information on contributing to Partners in Progress or to work with their projects, contact them at www.PartnersInProgress.org.

Posted on October 18th, 2013

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