Philippines (MNN) — Numbers detailing death and destruction
from Typhoon Haiyan continue to grow. Communication in the Philippines is still
down, and many families are separated with no idea who's alive and who's dead.
Marlou Barredo, wife of Advancing Native Missions founder
and President Bo Barredo, is a native of Tocloban, a city in the Philippines.
She now lives in the United States. So far, she's received news that her brother and
two cousins and their families are all alive.
But from the rest of her relatives in the Philippines,
nearly 200 in number, she has heard nothing.
"A cousin of mine who has two kids and his wife [have] all
been listed as missing. So, I am not sure exactly what has become of them, but
I am just entrusting them to the Lord. I [also] have a niece who is almost like
a daughter to my husband and me who I haven't gotten any information about or
heard from." Barredo informs us that her niece is eight months pregnant and
also has a little daughter.
"I am just waiting, hoping, and trusting that they are safe,"
On seeing from afar what has happened to her city, Barredo
says: "The damage is just unbelievable. I cannot recognize the city that I was
born in and that I grew up in and I went to school. It's just heartbreaking
seeing all those images, all those pictures of devastation and of bodies
literally littered on the streets. It's just overwhelming."
Meanwhile efforts to aid the survivors are not sufficient. "There
are not enough people to retrieve the dead bodies, or even to provide food and
water to the thousands of hungry, starving, and thirsty residents. These are my
people, and my heart just goes out to them."
As desperate individuals seek to feed their family, relief
organizations face serious danger. "The security risks are just increasing as
the days progress because there's no food, so people are hungry and people
would do anything to get to whatever relief goods there are." As a result of
this desperation, many aid convoys have been held up.
Barredo recognizes the help that people in other countries
have given, especially through ANM. "There have been responses from kind-hearted
brothers and sisters here in [the U.S.], and I'm so thankful to them for giving
through ANM. Thank you so much."
Christians can continue to open the door to the Gospel by
showing God's love to these people in need of so much. Barredo encourages you
to check out ANM's Web site to learn how you can help.
Pray that Barredo will receive good news about her family.
Pray for ANM's partners on the ground–about 30 ministries.
Other partners are participating in medical aid distribution in safer areas.