News from Cebu after Typhoon Haiyan

Regular readers of this blog will know that before I was Rector of St Giles I was a CMS Missionary in Cebu in the Philippines, not too far from where Typhoon Haiyan made ground fall recently. Most of my work was in rural coastal villages, which are affected every year by storms and Typhoons. The Pastor Glemar who continues the work we began wrote in his prayer letter in September this year:

Pray also for the living condition of the people in the community. They need other means for sustainable income. Most of them are fishermen. Sometimes have good catch, and sometimes only enough for the day. They are mostly affected by the condition of the weather in our country. If there is typhoon, their source of living might be suspended for they cannot go out for fishing. So please pray for them.

I haven’t heard directly from those who we knew in Cebu, but looking through the news reports it seems that our areas escaped the worst of the storm damage, and were ‘relatively’ unscathed. I have also picked up a couple of emails from missionary friends who are still in the Philippines and who have contats in Northern Cebu and Tacloban, the areas which have suffered such devastation. One of these writes:

The most intense part of the storm went across the islands where we have many of our churches. The church buildings and the surrounding towns and cities were hard hit.

Already many of our churches from the less affected areas are responding with aid. Convoys of food and water are even now working their way along the roads made dangerous by downed trees and power lines, and threats of looters toward the devastated cities. The people of our churches will bring both physical aid the good news of the gospel. They are not waiting for groups from the outside, but are acting now.

I want to encourage you to contribute generously to the relief fund set up by Converge Worldwide. These funds are overseen by our church leaders in the Philippines who we know and trust. These funds will supply aid to where it is desperately needed. This aid, brought by our churches, will provide a wonderful testimony of the love of God, and create an ongoing opportunity for the advance of the gospel.

As a church we are supporting the Typhhon Haiyan Relief effort through our Mission Partner Christian Aid who has partner agencies working in the affected areas. You can find our more about there work and support them financially here – Christian Aid Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.