By October 1975 most of the children, who had come from Vietnam to England on the Airlift, had already been adopted into new families. With no opening to return to Vietnam, the PVO Committee began to pray that God would show them the next step – work in another country, or close down the Project. The Committee decided to send two people to assess the situation in Thailand, where thousands of refugees were pouring across the borders from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
After spending less than a month in Bangkok and the border areas, it was clear that there was a huge need to help, and a new team was formed to assist refugees coming from Cambodia. Project Vietnam Orphans became Christian Outreach, and the team worked in various border camps primarily with children, but also helping the young people and adults to prepare for a new life in countries in North America and Europe by equipping them with practical and language skills.
Some 35 years later, there is a new generation, children of the former refugees, growing up as fully-integrated citizens of the country that welcomed their parents in their hour of need. That they have integrated so well is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the CORD team members in the refugee camps.
The story of CORD’s work in Thailand can be found in Part 9 of Pat Ashe’s book, Dust and Ashes.