EE Outreach Effort in Philippines posted by John Sorensen on Dec 04, 2013
In the Old Testament we’re told, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31) Later Jesus would say, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40).
Rarely are we given such opportunity to honor God and bless Christ! Yet many of you have done just that, by giving to allow the workers to go forth in the Philippines, ministering to hundreds in the name of Christ. I’m excited to offer you a report from Bernard Henson, our National Director for the ministry in the Philippines:
The Super Typhoon, code named “Yolanda” (Haiyan), visited Philippines on November 8, 2013. It was the most powerful typhoon ever recorded in the world and is considered as the deadliest natural disaster visiting the country. Days may have passed after her extremely destructive visit, but the debris of broken lives, homes and dreams of her victims is scattered in the affected regions. The sun may have lit up the skies, but her wrath left darkness in the 574 municipalities, 57 cities, 44 provinces and 10,365 barangays that are still currently mourning over 5,209 deaths (recorded by NDRRMC as of Nov. 22, 2013) and over one thousand missing family members to date. The death toll is still expected to increase adding more pain to the situation along with the cries of more than four million people placed in evacuation centers. The homes of 9.9 million Filipinos were flattened.
Foreign aid is extending support to the Philippine government in its best effort to help the Filipinos rise again. We are grateful that much has already been done. However, much more needs to be addressed. The need for Good Samaritans is great, and Christians are called to be God’s hands in rebuilding lives for Jesus here.
In order to maximize resources we have strategically selected three priority areas to ensure that we accurately respond to Jesus’ call. It was based on actual site visits, studies on secondary data (news) and prayers for discernment. The three areas are:
• Northern Cebu, particularly Bogo, Medellin, Tabuelan and Daan Bantayan
• Province of Ilo-ilo
• Province of Ormoc
According to our research, these three areas are most qualified for assistance based on spiritual need and poverty incidence. Criteria included:
• Least evangelized
• Least people trained by EE
• Least number of partner or assisted churches
• Least responded
• Severely damaged livelihood (Agriculture and Fishing)
Our goal is to reach 5,000 families from the three priority areas. This may be a small number when considering the millions in need, but we believe this is a good starting point. Distribution will assist:
• 2,000 families in Northern Cebu
• 2,000 families in Ormoc Province
• 1,000 families in Ilo-ilo
This outreach will encompass three primary components:
Phase 1: Humanitarian Relief Assistance and Psycho-social Support
This phase will address the most pressing biological need of the victims (food, water, lamps and clothing) alongside with the very important psychological need for stress debriefing.
Phase 2: Spiritual Ministering
This phase will focus on the need for healing beyond social and psychological wounds/trauma. In-depth healing of the soul can only be found in Jesus. In this phase our team shall work on extensive and intensive Gospel sharing and prayer activities. Community prayers, support prayer group meetings and group Bible studies will be organized. Praise and worship services will be regularly conducted in partnership with the local churches in the area.
Phase 3: Structural Rehabilitation
This phase will focus on assisting the local churches that were flattened by the storm. Rebuilding the churches will demonstrate that our faith can never be put to death even in the midst of devastation. The presence of the physical church where they can gather again as a community of believers will remind them of God’s unfailing and unchanging love.
Phase 4: Implementing Team
This special team will ensure that our goals are accomplished while fully maximizing every resource available with utmost quality and transparency.
Please continue to pray for the Filipino people and their spiritual and physical recovery, and please pray for the success of this massive outreach effort. We will continue to report information to you as it becomes available.
If you’d like to contribute to this outreach effort click here. Your gift will go directly to assist Filipinos affected by the typhoon.