Philippines (MNN) — More than 70 people remain missing following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Philippines this week. The quake hit the Island of Negros in the central part of the country. Unofficial reports have the death toll at 42, but hope is fading for those who are believed to be buried by landslides.
You may have sponsored children in the region through Compassion International. Compassion's Kathy Redmond says, "It's an area where we have about 25 child development centers. It looks like Bacolod City was affected, but in our centers we have had no children affected so far."
We asked Redmond if that could change. "Our program facilitators are going through and trying to get tallies and assess the needs. So we say, 'So far, none of our children have been affected.'"
The poor in the Philippines are at risk during these kinds of disasters. "It's not like these areas are built with great infrastructure and safety codes and things like that," says Redmond. "So when an earthquake hits, it can really be devastating."
An earthquake compounds the need for people to sponsor children with Compassion International, who works through the local church. But in situations like an earthquake, Redmond says sponsored children aren't the only ones in need. "For those who are in need–though it might not be our own families and children of Compassion, but others in the community–they will go to the church to get their needs met."
That also provides opportunities to share the Gospel. "When people go in to receive some of their basic survival needs, they are given the Gospel also as a survival need. So it all happens in the church, and we can see the church transforming communities in that way."
If you'd like to sponsor a child or get involved in their complementary intervention services — which provides for needs outside the sponsorship — you can click here.