WORD OF LIFE PHILIPPINES TYPHOON RECOVERY EFFORTS
If you have been following any of the news reports coming out of the Philippines you have seen the horrible human tragedy that is unfolding day by day. What was perhaps the most powerful typhoon ever recorded devasted portions of the Philippines just a few days ago.
Because Word of Life Philippines is one of my annual ministry destinations, I have had a particular interest and concern for what has transpired over the past few days, receiving some periodic updates from WOL country director, Mike Foster. The two Word of Life locations on the main northern and southern islands were spared a direct hit and therefore did not sustain significant damage. However, some Word of Life staff and their families, as well as churches and other people connected with WOL were in some of the hardest-hit areas.
Below, I have included the two most recent brief updates, with the second reflecting answers to prayers that were requested in the first. These are followed by a letter that Mike sent out to the WOL Philippines constituents and ministry partners, which gives more details about the role Word of Life is planning in the disaster recovery effort, as well as how concerned believers in the U.S. can contribute to the vital work and ministry they are about to begin in the hardest-hit region.
Below Mike’s letter, I have included some pictures of the area in which Word of Life will be helping with the recovery effort, and ministering to those who survived the typhoon.
(As you may recall, I am scheduled to be in the Philippines in February with Word of Life to teach to do a pastors conference with “The Gospel” as the theme.)
Reports from Mike Foster, Director, WOL Philippines:
First report (11/11/2013)
Just wanted to send you a letter (attached) that tells what is happening here in the Philippines and what we are trying to do with relief for typhoon victims. It is really bad, all of our staff is affected, have loved ones missing in the middle islands. The devastation is unbelievable. We are going to send two trucks down with some of our best men to help with the recovery as soon as it is safe. Right now it is chaotic and dangerous. Also, we can’t get in, the international relief organizations and government have first priority. We are going to need help to recover from this. Please pray with us.
Second report (11/12/2013)
Already there have been answers to prayer, people checking in who were on our very LONG LIST of missing persons! We hope to get Jesil and Bambie out and back to Manila maybe as early as today, student Reynold’s family is accounted for and also his whole church family is safe but in need!!! We are still praying for Leizel’s sister who has not made contact, and Pastor Rolly and Esther Agonon , their two girls and extended family, and Domingo Clerigo, all just south of Tacloban City, near the ocean and we have not heard from them. Yet, stories are coming in of God’s faithfulness. We keep praying…
(Note: Jesil and Bambie are okay as seen in the above report, though they had not been heard from when the letter below was written.)
Formal report and recovery donation information (through Word of Life)
Dear Friends in the US,
Thank you so much for praying for our team as typhoon Haiyan made its way over the Philippines!! Praise the Lord there was very minimal damage here at our camp in Laguna! We were on the outskirts of the typhoon, it hit us late afternoon but we never lost power which is a miracle in itself
We have not heard from JESIL, BAMBIE and their 4 month old baby, ASAPH!! Tacloban, the city where they have been serving as Word of Life Philippines missionaries, was hit VERY BAD!! We have not had any communication with them since the storm began! The airport in Tacloban was destroyed, along with communication lines, many of the roads and much of the city. Please pray for this young couple, that wherever they are, God would encourage them, protect them, provide for them and use them to share God’s message of salvation and hope to those all around them who are hurting!
There are people looking for them, there are places where they can report, so their name goes out on a list and we get contacted, etc. So far, no word but we keep praying. Reniel, a student at the Bible Institute entire family (seven siblings) live just outside of Tacloban, in the path of the typhoon and and there is no word from any of them. We have not heard from pastors we know down there. Today, Monday, reports should start coming out. The government and World relief agencies are setting up food and water centers in the city. Also they are using military cargo planes to fly people out of Tacloban City, and because Jesil and Bambie are there, it may be possible for them to get to Manila in the next day or two.
When things are under control, roads cleared, we hope to send a relief team down there made up of our folks who know the area well. As always, we also bring a hope and peace that the world cannot understand during times like this. Can you help us?
The biggest need will be trying to rebuild shelters for those who have lost their entire homes and possessions so financial help is going to be needed to purchase roofing materials and supplies. Please, let folks know. There is so much looting and chaos right now. Our believers need protection from the Lord! We want to make sure funds go to help the ones who lost everything. Pray for us all,
Here at Word of Life Philippines, we are trying to mobilize relief for the typhoon stricken central region of the Philippines. If you can give financial assistance, please send it to:
Word of Life
PO Box 600
Schroon Lake, NY. 12870
Checks should be made out to: Word of Life
Designate: Typhoon Recovery 07037C
Thank you for your prayers, We hope to keep you posted as information filter in.
By God’s marvelous grace,
Mike and Marti Foster & Word of Life Philippines staff.