Philippines (MNN) — The Philippines can’t catch a break. One month after twin typhoons struck the nation, Filipinos are anxiously watching the Taal Volcano, which could erupt “in hours or days” according to the nation’s volcano alert system.
If the volcano does have a major eruption, it would endanger island residents’ lives, water supplies, and power. Such a natural disaster would also disrupt ground and air travel.
The Taal Volcano already had an eruption of ash and lava on January 12. Since then, the volcano continued to spit and sputter and now is at a simmer. But researchers say the danger isn’t over and the volcano remains at a level 4 — the second-highest volcano alert level.
AMG International ministers in the Philippines through child sponsorship, media evangelism, medical care, and supporting national Christian leaders. AMG’s Bill Passons says they are monitoring the situation closely.
“We do have three projects that are…within a 20 or 30-mile radius of the volcano, so we do have some things that have been affected. Right now, most of the effect has been that we’ve had some covering of ash and other things falling from these not-so-minor but not major eruptions yet…. We have not had any major damage to anything at this point, but obviously it’s a concern and we continue to be on alert.”
AMG is also raising funds and leading recovery efforts in response to the recent typhoons.
Christmas Eve’s Typhoon Ursula cut a similar path to Super Typhoon Haiyan from 2013. Many people in Eastern Samar remember Haiyan’s wrath and now must rebuild again.
“Some people that we had helped before as far as rebuilding their houses and livelihoods, their houses were destroyed again,” Passons says. “We’re coming back and reassessing how we can help them again. So that’s ongoing, obviously.”
Meanwhile, Typhoon Kammuri swept through Northern Samar on December 2nd, and AMG was directly affected.
“We had significant damage to some of our properties, our camps, [and] our hostels where we have kids. So we’re in repair mode and recovery and helping meet basic needs initially. But then [we are] helping people plan for how they can rise up out of those situations too.”
While AMG is not directly a disaster relief organization, when disasters like this happen in AMG’s backyard, they jump to respond. Passons says in the midst of hardship, God is moving hearts.
“When we respond, people get to see the love of Christ because they say, ‘Why are you helping us?’ We have compassion because Christ in us produces compassion,” Passons says.
“But then secondly, when we come in there and we’re working in there, they see that our faith is real and that, yes, even in the midst of disasters that we still are worshipping. We’re still seeking Lord and He’s still good. It becomes a testing of the faith of our people there and people do notice that.”
Right now, the Philippines needs your prayers — both in the wake of the damaging typhoons and in the midst of the volcano watch.
“The situation is very tense, so just pray for wisdom and for how to respond…. Pray for peace and that we would keep our eyes focused on Christ.”
Passons also asks, “As the resources come in — and we have limited resources — just pray for discernment on how those would be best used and that they would be used in a way that would produce the most benefits and be the best for the community, not just short-term but also long-term.”
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Header photo courtesy of Exec8 via Wikimedia Commons: https://rb.gy/lcxnmr.