Baptists respond to typhoon in the Philippines

The Philippines military, in a scene being repeated countless times since Typhoon Haiyan’s landfall on Nov. 8, assists survivors in the aftermath of the largest typhoon ever recorded. The Philippines government has declared a national state of calamity. (BP Photo)

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Texas Baptist Men, Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery ministry, the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches and the Baptist World Alliance are working with pastors in the Philippines to provide aid after a devastating typhoon.

typhoon survivors400Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan wait for supplies. The monster typhoon claimed at least 4,400 lives and displaced more than 900,000 people. (Photo: Baptist Global Response)The monster typhoon claimed at least 4,400 lives and displaced more than 900,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Ernest Dagohoy, pastor of First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City and vice chair of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, contacted Hudson Herbilla, general secretary of the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches, Nov. 10.

Staff members from the convention, headquartered in Iloilo City, visited affected areas to survey damage, Dagohoy said. Their initial reports indicated about 95 percent of the homes in the coastal towns of Estancia, Carles and Concepcion were destroyed.

“Relief efforts have been undertaken, but these were hampered by impassable roads and debris scattered all over,” Dagohoy wrote in an email to Chris Liebrum, director of Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery.

An assessment team representing TBM and Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery ministry will travel to the province of Iloilo in early December. The team will determine where to concentrate efforts and work together to formulate a response plan. It likely will include distributing water-purification systems and food, as well as rebuilding homes and churches.

Appeals for contributions

typhoon response kids400The hardest hit areas in the Philippines are left with little clean water or food. (Baptist Global Response image)The Baptist World Alliance issued an appeal asking its member churches around the globe “to make generous and urgent contributions” to assist the typhoon victims.

To underscore the urgency of the need, BWA shared news from member Gerlie Baltero of the Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches in the Philippines. Baltero reported seeing “bodies lying in the streets” and that “people have lost their homes, their work and some of their loved ones.”

Baltero also reported many in need of food, water and medicine in a number of Philippine provinces.

The Luzon convention is one of five BWA member organizations in the Philippines that total 430,000 in membership.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is deploying one of its missionaries to the Philippines to help victims of the deadly typhoon. Eddy Ruble, CBF’s Malaysia-based field personnel, will help provide assessments and coordination of logistics in those efforts.

CBF also is sending $10,000 to Asia Pacific Baptist Aid, the relief arm of Baptist World Alliance’s Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, to address immediate needs of families reeling from the storm. That donation follows a $2,500 contribution the Fellowship made to help Conscience International dispense drinking water to storm victims.

Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist relief and development organization, released an initial $15,000 to humanitarian partners who are focusing on three areas in the Philippines—Tacloban, northern Cebu and Panay provinces.

How to help

To donate to TBM disaster relief efforts, click here .

To donate to BGCT disaster recovery, click here.

To donate to BWA disaster response, click here.

To donate to CBF disaster response, click here.

To donate to Baptist Global Response, click here.


–Compiled from reports by Texas Baptist Men, Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery, Associated Baptist Press and Baptist Global Response

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