Philippines (MNN) — Government
officials in the Philippines say Typhoon Lupit is expected to be stronger than Ketsana and Parma. Evacuations in
northern areas prone to floods and landslides are underway as the system
Lupit means "fierce" — an appropriate name for the threat of a
fierce attack on an area still struggling with record-high rainfall. Resulting
floods swamped the capital, Manila, and drowned large swaths of farmland in
northern provinces. More than 850 people were killed and hundreds of thousands
Wycliffe Associates president Bruce Smith says, "The flooding damage
that happened in the previous storms has not yet abated. Obviously, the repair
process has barely begun, so for a third storm to be headed that direction,
that's got to be devastating news."
Smith says they are mobilizing a
humanitarian response. This is the other part of living out the Gospel. "When lives are threatened and livelihoods are threatened, the best thing that we can do as brothers and
sisters in Christ is to really stand with them."
The support work of Bible translation
in Manila stalled in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ketsana, which struck the
Philippines September 26, 2009.
However, all of the Bible translation
support staff members, national staff, and their families located in Manila are
safe and accounted for. Some have been
forced to evacuate their homes, while others have sustained significant damage
to their residences and personal property.
Keep praying. "Even though the people are physically
safe, they don't have the shelter that they need going forward, and in the
conditions that they need. The other thing that these floods always bring in
the aftermath is waterborne diseases. This is another area that we need to be anticipating that's
going to impact Bible translation teams, as well."
Wycliffe Associates is seeking to raise
funds to meet the needs of displaced Manila Bible translation support staff,
which includes food, temporary housing, structure repair, and the replacement
of lost belongings.
There's a sense of urgency to getting
the team back on track. "While various
groups rush in with physical aid, the crucial work of spiritual support
begins," says Smith. "The life-restoring power of God's Word is vitally
important in this area of Asia today."
More than 60 Bible translation projects
are underway in the Philippines, with at least 20 more projects that need to be
started. Click here if you can help.