Damage in Philippines is ‘Katrina times four’

By October 28, 2009

Philippines (MNN) — On
Monday, the U.S. government sent enough food aid to feed 438,000 people for 60
days. According to disaster response teams with the Christian Reformed World
Relief Committee
, Manila will need the support.

"This is Katrina
times four," said Larry Shine, task force director for the Texan Southern
Baptist volunteers.

In mid-October, 30
volunteers from Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas arrived in Manila to serve in
areas hard-hit by two consecutive typhoons. The group worked with local church members
and Southern Baptist missionaries to help flood victims in metro Manila.
Volunteers cleaned up mud-covered basements and handed out food.

Within days following
Typhoon Ketsana, IMB workers distributed 400 bags of food with the help of
their house church. Volunteers from Texas helped pack and distribute an
additional 400 bags, and in total, the house church has distributed nearly 4,000
food bags. In a community lacking any evangelical presence, volunteers were
able to be the hands of Jesus by giving food to 300 people. All food was purchased with Southern Baptist
world hunger funds. 

Filipino church
administrators looked for ways their church could help the community, despite
the damage inflicted to their own homes. The volunteers helped remove mud from
their homes and clean up basement classrooms in a vocational school.

Flooding triggered by
Typhoon Ketsana covered almost 80 percent of metro Manila; more rain fell in 6
hours than the average rainfall of September. To prepare for future disasters,
leaders of Manila-based International Baptist Church hosted a disaster relief training
program for local churches.

"We bring
leadership, equipment and know-how," said Miguel Tello, a disaster relief
volunteer. "We want to leave the equipment and the knowledge with the
nationals. If we just come and clean up, that's not as effective."

In response to disaster
relief efforts, unreached people are coming to Christ. Volunteers report professions
of faith at all locations.

"It was just so
good to see the Lord at work in the midst of adversity," said a volunteer
from Oklahoma, "and to know that these six will be discipled by [the pastoral
team] and will grow in their faith."

Pray
for more flood victims in the Philippines to put their faith in Christ for
salvation. Click here to support the relief work of IMB.

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