"The Devastation is Heartbreaking"
November 11, 2013
As their nation reels from incomprehensible destruction in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, several Philippine ministries are pleading for immediate help and the steadfast prayers of Christian Aid Mission supporters.
One of the strongest storms in recorded history—with winds reaching upwards of 235 mph—slammed ashore November 8 in the central Philippines. Thousands are dead and 4 million people have been displaced.
Entire coastal villages were swept away by giant waves reminiscent of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. The wide swath of structural destruction across the archipelago has affected some 12 million Filipinos.
Tacloban City on the island of Leyte was hit particularly hard, where the death toll continues to rise as victims are pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings. Major roadways have been cleared, but it may take months before electricity and telephone services are restored across the city.
Bohol Island, which suffered significant damage from an earthquake in October, was further ravaged by the typhoon. Missionaries and pastors serving in the area lost everything in the quake, and the typhoon has only added to their distress.
One ministry leader asked for urgent help for the 25 pastors who were directly affected by both the earthquake and typhoon. In addition, he reported there are “300 to 500 families of these pastors’churches who are very much in need.”
“No complaints are heard from them for they know Jesus knows what they are going through. Still, they need our prayers for comfort,” he said.
Numerous churches and Bible schools assisted by Christian Aid have also been decimated by the typhoon.
Recovery efforts will take months, even years, and structural damage has been immense across the central Philippines. However, survival is the most pressing concern now, and water, food, and shelter are critically needed.
“The devastation on the islands is heartbreaking,” said another ministry partner. “We covet your prayers.”