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AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit
World News

Pastor in Thailand praying for cave rescue to be used as evangelism tool

by Tola Mbakwe

An ambulance with its emergency lights flashing left the site of a flooded cave in northern Thailand on Monday afternoon where a youth football team has been trapped for two weeks.

Hours after the second phase of a rescue operation was launched, the ambulance drove towards a helipad, where a helicopter was seen taking off shortly afterwards to the cheers of the crowd below.

The same process was used for at least one of the four boys rescued in the first attempt at getting the twelve boys and their coach out of the underground Tham Luang Nang Non complex in Chiang Rai province.

Bryan Kaui-Pai, who helps lead Grace Bangkok Church in the capital of the country, told Premier News Hour the nation rejoices as each child is rescued.

Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page via AP

"When they were found it was almost like a big sigh of relief as a country," he said.

"It's like 'wow they're still alive, all of them are still alive. Wow.'"

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, aged 11-16, and their coach from the cave as the annual monsoon bears down on the mountainous region in far northern province.

Eight people remained trapped in the cave, including the team's coach, as of Monday afternoon.

Workers have been labouring round the clock to pump water out of the cave, and authorities said heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels inside.

The four boys pulled from the cave on Sunday in a dangerous operation that involved them diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages were happy and in good health, authorities said.

Kaui-Pai told Premier God's hand has been on the rescue operation.

Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page via AP
In this July 3, 2018, image taken from video provided by the Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page, a Thai boy smiles as Thai Navy SEAL medic help injured children inside a cave in Mae Sai, northern Thailand.

"God was in that... I'm believing that he was, and somehow we'll be able to use this as a launch off point in discussing with other Thai people the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Sunday's mission involved 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy Seals. Two divers accompanied each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when searchers found them.

Kaui-Pai said Christians should continue to pray for the release of those still inside.

"Just pray the guys with all the technical know-how, with all the survival know-how will be able to help these young men pull through, come through," he said. "Maybe out of this somehow the gospel will be communicated."

Listen to Bryan Kaui-Pa speaking with Premier's Alex Williams here:

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