Native Missions Help Rebuild After Christmas Flood Disaster Kills Over 1200

January 6, 2012

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Mindanao, Philippines – Indigenous missionaries are rushing aid to help rebuild broken lives, homes and churches after Typhoon Washi killed over 1200 during the Christmas holidays. The death toll is still climbing. On Thursday, 25 more died in a mudslide and many are still missing. Over 300,000 were left homeless. Christian Aid Mission of Charlottesville, Virginia is sending emergency aid.

“Three of the indigenous missions we help have already sent relief teams,” says Stephen Van Valkenburg, the Southeast Asian Director at Christian Aid, “and we are sending financial aid to them yet so much more is needed. Local missionaries have organized feeding and evacuation centers to help the survivors whose homes, churches and mission centers were destroyed in the flash flooding.” The rebuilding efforts will take months and more financial aid is needed to help rebuild thousands of homes and structures.

Contributions to the Philippines Christmas Disaster Fund can be made online or by phone and should be designated to 801DIS. To give via credit card, call 800-977-5650.

Indigenous missionary leaders say that the most urgently needed supplies can be purchased in the Philippines including food, blankets, kitchen utensils, medicine, mosquito nets, temporary shelters and water.

One missionary pastor said, “The situation is overwhelming . . . so many deaths and thousands still missing. Some are from our own church. We have buried most of the dead and are moving on to do what we can do to help survivors. From among ourselves we raised some food, clothing and other needs. Now we are asking Christian Aid to tell our brethren overseas of our need for prayers and whatever support they can share. Temporary shelters are needed and much help in rebuilding.

“Some friends have already started to give, but the next few weeks will be critical and we hope we can help the victims, as well as share the gospel in the process.”

The flash floods came in the middle of the night, catching many people unaware. As a result, many families lost children, who panicked and were swept away in the early hours. Most of the city of Cagayan de Oro is still without electricity.

Another indigenous missionary emailed a cry for help to Christian Aid: “I would appreciate it if you would pray and share this tragedy with other Christians in the USA that they might help meet the needs of the survivors. We are praying and hoping that we will have what we need so we can help the survivors.

“Thousands of people are homeless, and the survivors are mourning for their lost loved ones and suffering for lack of essentials like water and power.”

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