Local churches equipped to do trauma counseling.

By February 24, 2006

Philippines (MNN) — There is little hope of finding survivors from last Saturday’s mudslide that wiped out Guinsaugon, a small village on the Philippine island of Southern Leyte.

Operation Blessing immediately sent a disaster relief team from Manila to respond to the needs and help with initial emergency response.

Kristin Vischer with Operation Blessing says it’s a difficult situation and they’re dealing with people who have lost everything, including family members, “So it’s just the basic, basic stuff. It’s just really helping them with starting over and while they’re still digging everything out and trying to go through the disaster zone as quickly and safely as possible.”

The OBI disaster relief teams have distributed more than 600 relief kits to families and have addressed medical and basic survival needs. “We’re responding to the need by providing meals and disaster relief kits filled with toiletries, blankets, shoes and other basic necessities to survivors. And we’re also working to mobilize local churches to provide trauma counseling in addition to other emergency relief efforts.”

A trauma intervention training seminar is scheduled for this weekend. More than thirty participants are expected to attend. This will help them enable others to help with the longer-term aftermath of the tragedy.

Vischer explains the ‘why’ of their work. “Our mission is to demonstrate God’s love in action, so obviously our teams are definitely doing that by helping these poor traumatized people in their hour of need. And the Great Commission tells us to be Jesus to everyone, and I believe that our teams show the love of Christ, even if they don’t say anything their actions speak definitely louder than words.”

Operation Blessing is involved, not just as disaster relief in the short-term, but Vischer says they are very connected to a volunteer network of people ready and willing to help for the long-term. “We have a lot of partnerships with faith-based as well as other types of partnerships, so we’re very involved and very interconnected with the churches and government partnerships and that kind of thing within the Philippines.”

If you would like to help with the ongoing relief that Operation Blessing is providing, please contact them via their information listed below.

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