Philippines (MNN) — More than a dozen people are dead as Typhoon Nesat tore through Luzon, the Philippines most populous island. The storm packed winds of more than 100 miles an hour, while rains flooded the streets of Manila, where reports indicate some 64,000 people are affected.
Compassion International has work in the region. Compassion's Kathy Redmond says not much information is coming out about their program. "What we do know is that our Compassion staff are going through homes [to help residents]; we know that they would have set up shelters. They have all the emergency supplies that they need. This is something they would have been prepared for. And really, their goal from here on out is to get the church project working again."
Monsoon rains and typhoons are common in the Philippines.
The Compassion Philippines program is huge, says Redmond. "We have 50,000 kids in the Philippines. And many of them would be concentrated in Manila," which was the hardest-hit area.
Even though flooding is bad news, Redmond says that doesn't end the problem. "When you have stagnant water–which they will, when you have mold and things like that, you have a lot of waterborne illnesses. And those are things that pop up a few weeks or a few months later."
This type of disaster only exacerbates the need for child sponsors. For $38 a month, you can sponsor a child. Redmond says it's truly an investment. "We have a tremendous record when it comes to releasing children from poverty. We have seen them go on to be leaders in their country. We have seen them become doctors. So, sponsoring a child through Compassion gives them the best hope that they could have."
Redmond says sponsorship does more than feed, clothe, and educate. It allows them to hear the Gospel. "They not only hear the Gospel, but they take the Gospel back to their homes, back to their families. And we not only see children who are saved, but children who end up leading their entire family."
Redmond says last year, 5000 children and their families came to Christ.