As Typhoon Hagupit is sweeping out of the Philippines, church leaders there are offering their thanks for your prayers.
The storm that struck the country on Saturday displaced more than a million people, but evacuations and emergency preparedness efforts lowered the predicted fatality rate. While more than 6,000 people lost their lives during Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, only 42 people have been reported killed by Typhoon Hagupit.
Immediately following this year’s storm, the church’s Nazarene Disaster Response teams in the Philippines began conducting rapid assessments and moving forward with a response strategy.
The areas hardest hit by the typhoon are the eastern Samar and northern Samar provinces, where the Church of the Nazarene has more than 1,000 members in 10 congregations. Reports indicate that at least 70,000 families in these areas are affected and that 80 percent of the homes in some of the areas of eastern Samar have been destroyed.
A Nazarene Disaster Response team is now on the island of Samar to work with local church leadership to respond to the needs of affected families and communities. The response priorities will be meeting immediate needs for shelter, food, and water, along with children’s safe place camps to provide post-trauma debriefing.
In addition, supplies including Crisis Care Kits and tarps are on their way to affected communities in northern Cebu, which were still recovering from the devastation created by Typhoon Haiyan last year. Although the Church of the Nazarene does not have a church in the area, the church’s disaster response teams have established relationships with the communities. Churches in the Central Visayas District, along with students from the Visayan Nazarene Bible College, will continue to reach out those affected by Typhoon Hagupit in Cebu.
A Nazarene Disaster Response team that has been stationed in Panay to help with rehabilitation efforts following Typhoon Haiyan is headed to the islands of Gigantes and Lilongot as well as churches in rural mountain areas. Due to their remote location, these underserved communities are in greatest need of assistance.
As local teams are going out to meet the needs of their neighbors in Jesus’ name, the need for prayer and support continue.
Will you to pray for the children, families and communities affected by Typhoon Hagupit?
Will you continue to pray for local churches and Nazarene Disaster Response teams as they work to meet immediate needs and minister to children?
To contribute toward Nazarene Disaster Response efforts, you can give to the Philippines Disaster Response fund.
Funds contributed to the Philippines Disaster Response fund will go toward meeting urgent needs (including food, water, and shelter), post-trauma ministry for children, and ongoing rebuilding efforts.
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