Philippines (MNN) — Meteorologists say Typhoon Haiyan may be the strongest storm ever to hit land. Thousands are feared dead. Thousands more are injured and homeless. Because of where the storm hit, damage assessment may take days and maybe even weeks. The death-toll may take just as long with so many small islands affected.
Advancing Native Missions has been hit hard by the disaster. Marlou Barredo, the wife of AMN’s founder and President Bo Barredo, grew up in Tocloban. Oliver Asher is ANM’s CEO. “She has probably 200 relatives scattered throughout that area. Today, as far as I know well know, she still has not heard from hardly any of her relatives in that area. So, we’re really concerned.”
Super Typhoon Haiyan, also called Yolanda, made landfall in the Philippines on the morning of Friday, November 8. With sustained winds of 195 m.p.h. and gusts as high as 235 m.p.h., Haiyan was equivalent in force to an exceptionally strong category 5 hurricane in the US.
Advancing Native Missions serves over 30 ministries in the Philippines and several of these ministries are in the areas where Haiyan’s effects were greatest. One of Advancing Native Missions’ partners reported in an email, “We are devastated. Tacloban is like a ghost town, but I am assured that the Lord will not leave us nor forsake us. There is no more water. Total blackout, many dead. I have been manning the health post for the past three days. Thank God we are alive. Pray for sustenance and the recovery period.”
Advancing Native Missions is collecting funds to send to ministry partners who were already on the ground when the storm hit. There are two medical missions teams currently reaching out to those in need of medical attention as well as other teams searching for missing people, providing shelter, food, and other necessities. The need is great and they will soon run out of resources. Advancing Native Missions is asking Americans to be part of the recovery through their prayers and financial gifts.
ANM supports national missionaries so they can do the work more effectively.
Asher says they have a two-step process to help. “Step one is just to receive fund and forward funds to the Philippines. Then within the week we will start the step two plan which is start to collect things to send over. We may send containers over.”
He says they’ll be collecting the important things. “Water, food, medicines, chlorine tablets and things like that.”
According to Asher none of this will be done without the Gospel. “That is front and foremost our greatest desire is to see the Gospel shared in the Philippines and for God to be glorified. We want to let people know that they have a God who loves them and a Savior who loves them.”
You can help Advancing Native Missions provide relief to those in need. Go to AdvancingNativeMissions.com to give safely and securely on-line. In the meantime, pray that Marlou Barredo’s family will be found alive.