Haiyan Updates

This Christmas, spare a thought for those in the Philippines still reeling from Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda last month, and for all who suffer hunger, oppression, loneliness, and want.

More material on the typhoon to add to my original Haiyan post:

Rebuild Malapascua — Got a soft spot for Malapascua Island as I dove with thresher sharks there in 2005, and an old family friend lives there now as a dive instructor. Like much of the central Philippines, Malapascua was flattened by the storm and needs help with rebuilding.

From storm chasers at iCyclone via CapitalWeather, an inside look at what it was like in Tacloban at the height of the storm:

Tracking Super Typhoon Haiyan: International Effort Provides New Views of Monster Storm, Saves Lives — On earth observation technologies and agencies which helped detect the storm’s conditions, save lives, and aid relief.

I also received this through a friend on the board of American Baptist Churches International Ministries, who are coordinating disaster relief for ABC-USA:

IM missionaries serving in the Philippines, Debbie Mulneix and Jonathan and Thelma Nambu, report that relief efforts are beginning to take effect in the typhoon-stricken areas in this Southeast Asian country. Located in and near Manila, the missionaries are safe as this part of the Philippines was mildly affected.

The storm hit on November 8, 2013 and it is estimated that more than 3,600 people lost their lives, according to the BBC. The number of injured stands at over 12,400.

In a Baptist World Aid news release on November 14, Judson Herbilla, general secretary of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC), said communication was difficult as phone lines were down and travel by road, ferry or air to the affected areas was not possible. The CPBC is an American Baptist International Ministries (IM) partner.

Herbilla estimated that there were 2,000 families in immediate need of help. He said many churches were affected by the typhoon. Among the urgent needs are for food, water, medicine and construction materials for housing.

According to Mulneix on Friday, November 15, many of the schools and organizations around the country were volunteering to donate food, and were going to pack it for distribution.

Three days after the storm hit, $10,000 in emergency relief funds was sent from One Great Hour of Sharing to help victims of this massive typhoon. IM’s partners around the world are pitching in to help. The Rev. Carlos Sanchez, pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Salvador, El Salvador, one of IM’s partner churches, raised $605 in a special offering, reported Jose Norat, IM area director for Iberoamerica and the Caribbean. “This is a church of modest means,” stated Norat. “This means a lot.”

“Earlier this week, IM partners, CPBC and Philippine Baptist Church Development Ministries, in coordination with the Asia Pacific Baptist Aid of Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, received requests for relief in the hardest hit areas in the provinces of Capiz, Iloilo and North Negros where the majority of CPBC churches are situated,” reported Dr. Benjamin Chan, IM area director for East Asia, India, Hong Kong and China. “CPBC would like to assist in the immediate needs of families by providing food, drinking water, blankets and mats. CPBC is coordinating with government officials to be able to reach the affected areas.”

U.S. and Puerto Rico churches are asked to keep the victims, their families, their churches and the Filipino churches in the U.S. in prayer. Additional financial relief aid is urgently needed. Make a tax-deductible contribution online.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and the development of assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches. Learn more: http://www.abc-oghs.org/