Typhoon Devastates Thousands of Homes in The Philippines

Dec. 12, 2012  

By Ernie Daasin

Theos Doulos Ministries

"This week, specifically last Tuesday, a Super Typhoon named Bopha (international name) or Pablo (Philippine name) hit the Philippine island of Mindanao in the areas of Cateel, Davao Oriental, and the Compostela Valley province where we live. Three days after the storm, my wife, Dorcas, and I went to New Bataan, where we saw toppled trees, banana plantations completely ruined, countless houses blown away, and much more devastation as shown in the pictures."

"At first we thought there were no casualties, as people were in the safe evacuation center. But we soon learned that it was suddenly hit with a strong flashflood. The soldiers who responded to the disaster also died during rescue operations when their vehicle was smothered by the strong, muddy water. Hundreds are still missing. "To date there are 800 people confirmed dead and an even greater number are missing; the numbers continue to rise as the flood subsides. Many are buried in the mud, and some are buried under piles of big trees and debris. Survivors continue to search, and some find bodies of their loved ones. There are about 250,000 people now living in schools, gymnasiums and other public places. People are pitching tents along the roadside because the evacuation centers are overcrowded."

"Many are desperate to find food. Some eat the dead animals and other livestock just to survive. New Bataan and Cateel are hard to reach areas, taking two days for private organizations and the government to reach them with food supplies. Roads are damaged and large trees are scattered over the roadways. More help is needed to provide proper clothing, water, extra food, etc."

"Thousands of acres of banana plantations were heavily damaged. Almost all banana trees were uprooted. About 167,000 people worked on these banana plantations and depended on the wages they earned. With this typhoon and tragedy, all of them will start from scratch, and most of them have no idea what to do or where to start. Coconut plantations were also heavily devastated. In fact, almost all agricultural plantations were destroyed."

"The winds blew at 130 miles per hour, crushing homes, uprooting very big trees, and smashing buildings, such as the Provincial Capitol Building and the Municipal Hall."

"Hope seems to be so elusive now to these people. They need help and prayers."

Native missionaries with Theos Doulos Ministries are helping those affected by the typhoon. As God provides, they are having tent meetings in New Bataan and Cateel. They stay four to five days in each place. Every night they preach the gospel, and then distribute relief goods to typhoon victims. During the daylight they visit the temporary shelters and evacuation centers for counseling. When the crusades are completed, the ministry will leave a gospel worker in both places to continue the work.

Leader Ernie Daasin is seeking financial support to enable native volunteers to provide food, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils, clothing, water, etc. for people suffering from this disaster, and to provide an avenue for sharing the Gospel.