Prayer Updates
Asia Pacific
Disaster relief for the Philippines (88600)

On Friday, 8 November, Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, leveling homes, infrastructure and entire towns. One of the strongest storms ever recorded, the powerful winds threw ships onto land and pummeled rice and coconut farms. The rising death toll will likely surpass 10,000. Hundreds of thousands of survivors are now homeless, injured, sick, destitute and grieving the loss of loved ones.

Journey with SIM's Relief Response Team into the Disaster Area

SIM has served in the Philippines since 1984 providing a witness to unreached minority groups. SIM is ideally placed to respond to suffering in affected areas through its many church partners on the ground. These local churches have the capacity and reach needed to assess needs and provide local leadership in emergency distribution and trauma care.

SIM's disaster response will include food, water, medicines, clothes, blankets, and basic home utensils. A second phase will include medical clinics and trauma counseling. A third phase will assist with rehabilitation - rebuilding homes, livelihoods and dreams that have been shattered.

Our goal in all relief response is to demonstrate God's love in action. Through sacrificial giving and service, people will be physically, emotionally and spiritually restored and encouraged. Through such acts of compassion and solidarity, communities may be more open to the Gospel. By working with and through local churches, we build them up to be the hands and feet of Christ; these churches will remain for years beyond the disaster as a presence for Christ.

SIM Philippines has already been coordinating relief for survivors of September's armed conflict in the city of Zamboanga, Mindanao. New relief efforts for typhoon-ravaged provinces will be added to the work currently underway for Zamboanga.

Please join us in praying for the church in the Philippines to shine like a light amidst these twin disasters. Pray for believers to experience great hope amidst their tragedy and to bear witness to this to their neighbors. Pray also for orderliness to characterize relief efforts, and for relationships among churches and mission to bring great glory to God.


Interview with SIM Philippines Director:

What exactly is the emergency situation you are facing?

On September 9, 2013, about 200 MNLF rebels entered Zamboanga City, taking over several coastal towns, burning thousands of homes and taking many civilians hostage. As a result of this conflict, more than 180 rebels have been killed and many soldiers, policemen and civilians killed or wounded.

An estimated 10,000 houses were set on fire. 111,000 civilian residents fled from areas of battles, most of them without saving any belongings from the fires. These residents are now living in makeshift evacuation centers.

They are in need of clothes, food and temporary shelter while they find ways and means to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. It is still a question as to how they will return to their normal lives after this crisis is over.

Yahoo: Humanitarian Crisis in battle-scarred Philippine city
CNN: Death toll climbs as army, militants fight on in the Philippines

How are you partnering with other agencies for a coordinated response?

Two long-time partners of SIM in reaching out to minority groups are already in the ground helping. As they are able, they are providing food for evacuees. Any type of food can be given except pork for the Muslims.

Who are the beneficiaries?

The beneficiaries are evacuees taking shelter in the gym of a Bible College in Zamboanga City. Many of these evacuees are Muslim-background believers coming from four conflict-ridden barangays (villages) in Zamboanga City. There are also Muslims. There are men, women, youth and children. Anyone who is left homeless because of this violence is helped without regard to religion, race, gender or age.

How many people do you plan to help?

Thousands are affected but we plan to focus on evacuees at the Bible College Evacuation Center. Sixty families (250 individuals) are currently taking shelter there.

What do you plan to provide?

  1. Food -- though other groups are helping to provide this, with the uncertainty on the length of stay of the evacuees at the center, they may still have need for this.
  2. Clothes -- many evacuees left without saving their clothes which were then burnt along with their homes.
  3. Medicines -- due to the crowded accommodation at in evacuation centers, many are getting sick.
  4. Temporary shelter -- while waiting for their homes to be rebuilt
  5. Construction materials and kitchen utensils -- needed when they start rebuilding their homes as soon as this crisis is over
  6. Counseling -- evacuees need help as they recover from the trauma and upheaval they are experiencing.

What is the timeline for provision?

As of this writing, September 25, there is no certainty as to when the crisis will be over. Until the City Crisis Committee issues clearance for civilians to return to their homes, the evacuees will remain at Bible College Evacuation Center.

For the duration of their stay, we plan to help provide food, clothes, blankets and medicines. After the crisis, we will put in place a Phase 2 to help with kitchen utensils, construction materials for rebuilding homes, school materials and counseling if possible.

UPDATE: Yahoo: Philippine troops hunt down rebels in south

When the funding for an immediate emergency response is raised, excess funds will ensure a fast response to the next disaster.



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