Philippines (MNN) — It's not unusual for the Philippines to be under water in August. While many countries in the West battle the "dog-days of summer," countries in southern Asia and Oceania fight torrential rain and flooding.
The Philippines are especially affected: approximately 20 tropical cyclones hit the archipelago each year.
But this year, monsoon rains, combined with a recent tropical storm, are spelling disaster for Manila. Over 60% of the city was submerged earlier this week; close to 300,000 people are stranded because of severe flooding.
The government shut down all work except rescues and disaster response, and a "state of calamity" has been declared in several areas.
AMG International reports minimal damage to its 18 childcare centers in Metro Manila, a region consisting of approximately 12 million residents. The report comes as a relief to AMG, whose work was severely affected by last year's flooding.
"We are grateful because we have not seen extensive damage. But some of the families of the children have been affected, [and] some of our staff members have been affected," says AMG International's Tasos Ioannidis.
"Being affected" usually means losing everything you have to floodwaters.
"A lot of the people live in shacks. The houses consist of tin and cardboard sometimes," Ioannidis says.
With flooding occurring every year, moving seems a simple way to prevent massive loss.
However, "They are very poor…and they really have no option to move from there," explains Ioannidis. When the waters recede, "they will build in the same place because they have no other option."
AMG is reaching out with emergency supplies and an important message.
"It's because of the love of God and the love of Christians around the world that we are able to help them at the time of need," says Ioannidis.
"A lot of our help is to families that we are already reaching through our Child Development Centers. But also we come into the entire community and help as we have the opportunity."
This opens doors to share the Gospel with people who may have never heard of Jesus. Last year, AMG spread God's Word to 5,500 families in the community through assistance and cleanup efforts.
"Whether there's flooding or not, there are always people that are in a lot of need over there, so we always need resources to step in and help," Ioannidis says.
Ioannidis says it's possible that the flooding could get worse. Pray that this doesn't happen. Pray for the floodwaters to recede. Ask the Lord to keep opening doors for AMG to minister.