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Chiang Rai Cave

Pray For Adun and His Teammates

We praise God that all 12 boys and their coach have now been discharged from hospital and are recovering at home.

One of the boys is 14-year-old Adun, a Compassion-sponsored young person. Adun has captured the hearts of people across the globe with his confidence and resilience.
The only one of the teenagers who speaks English, Adun was able to respond to British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton when they discovered the boys. “How many of you?” they asked. “Thirteen,” Adun answered in a film clip that has now been watched by millions.

Adun Compassion Sponsored Child

Over the last few weeks Adun’s eloquence has caught the world’s attention. But because he’s part of Compassion’s child sponsorship programme, we’ve had the privilege of knowing and supporting him for years.

Thanks to his Compassion sponsor, Adun has been helped to overcome poverty. Adun’s child sponsor has empowered him by providing health checks, education and weekly support from caring church project staff.

These project staff were a vital part of Adun’s journey before his traumatic experience in the Chiang Rai Cave, and they’ll be there week in, week out to support him in the years ahead.

Adun loves the weekly project activities provided by the Compassion’s partnership with his local church. He’s a gifted student and regularly leads music at the church. One day, Adun hopes “to be a doctor and a famous professional soccer player for Chiang Rai United Club.”

Adun’s church is led by Pastor Go Shin and his wife and has around 100 members. In addition to the Compassion project activities, Pastor Go Shin also runs additional activities for children like Adun who are non-Thai citizens.

Several of the children in the community are non-Thai citizens who live at the church because of the transient nature of their parents’ work. Most of these children come from families who live in extreme poverty.

Adun’s parents are part of an ethnic group known as the “Lua” or “Wah” group. As the oldest of their five children, Adun’s parents encouraged him to live at the church where he could receive a more stable Thai education and the opportunities offered by the Compassion programme.

Adun was discharged from hospital on July 18, along with the other 11 boys and their coach. He will continue to stay at the church under the care of Pastor Go Shin and his wife. They, along with Compassion Thailand, are working to help Adun receive his Thai citizenship.

“We will keep everything simple and help Adun have a life like what it used to be for him,” Pastor Go Shin explains. “Adun is a child and student and his responsibility is to study and return to a normal life. We have other children here who are from similar backgrounds or poverty levels as Adun and receive regular support. We will continue to care for all the children, while also making sure Adun has the support he needs.”

Please continue to pray for Adun and the rest of the Wild Boar football team:

  • Pray for Adun and his teammates to continue to heal and recover from their experiences.
  • Pray for Adun’s citizenship process to be completed successfully and quickly.
  • Pray for Adun’s parents and his four siblings who live with them.
  • Pray for Pastor Go Shin as he navigates this situation and the other challenges in his community.
  • Pray for Compassion Thailand and the local churches as they reach out to more vulnerable children.

18 July 2018, All 12 Boys go home

Thank you for your faithful prayers for the Wild Boar football team. Today all 12 boys and their coach were discharged from hospital. At a press conference, the boys described their experiences and expressed their gratitude for the global help and support they've been shown. 

The boys appeared healthy and well, and according to the hospital director, they've gained an average of 3 kg each since their rescue.


  • Please pray for all the boys and their journey of physical and emotional healing. Pray for them to be given the support they need to process the trauma of the last fortnight.
  • Pray for wisdom for the nearby churches as they continue to serve the families and community when all the media attention and support is gone.

13 July 2018, Please pray for all the boys and their journey of physical and emotional healing

Praise God that earlier this week, all 12 boys and their coach were brought safely out of the Chiang Rai cave. 

The parents of the Compassion-supported young person have been sharing their delight at the good news their son is safe. Compassion Thailand's photojournalist confirms that he was rescued as part of Monday's diving operation. 

Parents of Trapped Thailand Teenager

The relieved parents of the sponsored boy who has been rescued from the cave in Thailand standing outside of the church where their son attends the Compassion programme.

“Thank you to God who helps us to see our son very soon. We are so happy to hear that our son is out of the cave and to welcome him home. It’s the love that God gives to our family. God is great love and there's nothing He can’t do,” they share.

The boy's Compassion project director adds, “For me , I feel the most happiest that I’ll see [him]. Thank you to God that He’s helping the boys to exit the cave. And thanks to God that He prepared the team so well to come and help all the boys."

News reports share that all the boys are in a good condition. They have undergone X-rays and blood tests, and two of the boys have been treated for lung inflammation.

Thailand hospital

All 12 boys and their coach are now recovering in Chiang Rai Hospital.

The first four boys were rescued on Sunday 8th but the mission was paused overnight for air tanks to be replaced. A further four boys were successfully rescued Monday 9th and on Tuesday 10th divers re-entered the cave to resume the operation and bring the final boys and their coach to safety.

Thailand rescue operation photos

More than 1,000 professionals helped with the rescue operation including Thai Navy Seals and emergency services, Australia’s Specialist Response Group, US marines and British caving experts.

photos of Thailand cave rescue

Compassion's partner churches also supported the rescue efforts. Here, a Compassion project director cooks food for the air force team.

06 July 2018, Pray for the family of navy diver, Saman Gunan

Tragically a former Thai navy diver has died while taking part in efforts to rescue the 12 boys and their football coach trapped the flooded cave in Thailand. Petty Officer Saman Gunan lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave complex, where he had been delivering air tanks.

Please pray for Saman Gunan's friends and family during this extremely difficult time. 

05 July 2018, Please keep praying for the trapped Thailand Teenagers

On Monday, we rejoiced as rescuers finally penetrated into the room of the cave where the boys are trapped and found them alive. Thank you to all those who answered the call to pray for these precious lives.

The mother of the trapped Compassion-supported young person has expressed her joy and gratitude for your prayers and support,


"Thank you so much for all prayers and all the encouragement. Thank you to God. I’m really thankful that they found my son and all 13 are alive. I’m so happy and so thankful to see my son again. Thank you so much to everyone that been praying for us and the boys and helping us; thank you.”

Please continue to pray for the rescue teams try as they work out how to safely get the boys out of the cave. None of them can swim and diving conditions are perilous. 

We will update this post as soon as more information is available. 

02 July 2018, Praise God, all 13 have been found alive and well

According to Compassion Thailand's photojournalist at the scene, the Seal team have found the 12 boys and their coach 300 meters away from cave in Pattaya beach where they believed the boys would be.

Praise God they appear to be healthy having sustained only small injuries. Plans are underway to get the boys out of the cave. Officials are warning it may take months as the boys will need to learn to dive or wait for flooding to recede. 

01 July 2018

Please pray urgently for 12 teenagers and their football coach who are trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand (Chiangrai province). It’s now been 9 days since the 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their football coach went missing. One of the teenagers is a Compassion-supported young person.

The Chiang Rai Cave is flooded and the divers have been unable to reach a large chamber deep inside the cave. The cave is about 6-8 km. long. From the entrance of the cave to the large chamber is about 4km. (2.5 miles) The passage to the chamber is extremely small and flooded, covered with sand and mud.

Chiang Rai Cave rescue

The media at Chiang Rai Cave anxiously await news of the boys.

Chiang Rai Cave Rescue Attempts

The rescue team has been trying to remove water from the cave in order to access the area where they think the boys are. The plan is now to drill a narrow shaft to reach the location where they assume the boys are trapped. Water continues to be the biggest challenge in the rescue with the continuous rain hampering above ground work and the amount of water continuously flooding the cave.

As of 2 July, the international rescue operation consists of more than 1,000 people from the Thai emergency services, in addition to members of Australia’s Specialist Response Group, US marines and two British cave experts.

Water is being pumped out of the cave at 50,000 litres per minute through high powered pumps inside and outside the cave. Divers are beginning to close in on an area of the cave known as Pattaya Beach, where they believe the team to have taken refuge.

parent at Chiang Rai Cave

The mother of the missing Compassion-sponsored boy prays earnestly for his safe rescue.

Compassion Thailand's Partnership Facilitator, Gitti Kathu, is on scene at Chiang Rai Cave, providing support to the families anxiously waiting. 

"The church is praying for all the boys stuck inside the cave to be safe and able to come out today. We are praying for the rescue teams and all the officers who are working really hard to try and get in and continuing the search inside the cave," he explains.

"The situation is complicated. The parents are longing to hear an update; since yesterday they were told they boys would be appearing in two hours, but they have still not seen their boys. Many people are waiting for an update from the Prime Minister or the mayor of Chiang Rai Province who can report an official update. No one knows exactly that the outlook is."

Thailand cave rescue

The field where the boys practice their football every Saturday is currently being used by the Thai Air Force team to park their helicopters. The helicopters have been searching the cave areas for rescue entry points and are preparing to deliver the boys straight to Bangkok for medical treatment if they are found.

Surayut Puengpadung, a Compassion sponsored youth also known as Petch is 18 years old and is part of the Chiang Rai province Rescue Academy Team. Surayut was one of the first to report the boys missing last Saturday night and was one of the first to enter the water in the cave to search for the missing boys.

Thailand cave rescuer

Compassion-sponsored youth, Petch, has been searching tirelessly for his friends.

Petch shares, "We want all 13 missing lives back alive. Pray for all the rescue operation teams who are making progress. They are working very hard through this weather and it's very dangerous for themselves. Inside the cave it's dangerous. The water runs fast and there are strong currents inside. Pray for the encouragement of all the parents, when the teams see that the parents are encouraged, they also are encouraged to continue doing their work."

Pray for the boys trapped in Chiang rai Cave

  • Please pray for rescuers to reach the boys and their football coach quickly. Pray for a breakthrough in the rescue efforts. Today US Marines and divers from the UK have arrived on site to help.
  • Pray for comfort for the families facing a difficult wait to hear news of their sons.
  • Pray for the teenagers to know God's comfort and peace as they wait to be rescued. According to reports from Compassion Thailand staff, it's thought the group entered cave with some food and torches. Please pray for these resources to last.


Learn more about Compassion's work in Thailand

Post updated 02.07.18. We will update this post further as soon as more information is available.

Sources: Thailand Cave Search, Divers Reach Further into Thai Cave


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