Philippines (MNN) — Every Christian knows they're
supposed to help the poor and needy. It is amazing to see this principle put
into action during disaster. Typhoon Haiyan has certainly highlighted some needy
people. For some Christians, however, the matter is personal.
This is true for Compassion International.
"We've got over 66,000 kids in our child development centers throughout the Philippines,
so about 340 church partner projects in the entire country of the Philippines."
Tim Glenn of Compassion reports, "We think probably 99 or 100 of those church
projects have been affected or impacted in some way, which could mean as many
as 19,000 kids." That makes up about one-third of the children that Compassion
works with in the country.
Compassion is still in assessment mode. Because of this,
numbers are uncertain. The teams located on the islands will start the process
of assessment with their church partners. "There could be as many as 200 kids per
church, so they're going out and they're going family by family by family, and
trying to track people down," says Glenn. The process will be long and
difficult, since many members will have left without leaving any information
As of Monday, no deaths have been reported among their sponsored
children. Compassion will be contacting the children's sponsors directly if
there is any news about their child.
As to the extent of the damage, Glenn says it varies
depending on location. "We're hearing everything from flooding and heavy rains
to entire little communities wiped out." Definite numbers of deaths are
unavailable as many bodies have not been counted, and evacuees are unaccounted for.
Glenn hopes the number to be much less than the current estimate of 10,000.
Travel between islands is difficult, and communication is
wiped out in many areas. But Compassion is on the move to aid who they can,
using resources from their disaster relief fund. "We're already providing some
emergency food for affected families. In some of the regions, [our team] is already
handing out emergency food, and that's what that disaster relief fund provides.
It provides food, it provides temporary shelter, some clean water, some
clothing if they need it, some basic necessities."
The deadly wake of the hurricane has provided an opportunity
to share the Gospel. Compassion has 339 church partners in the Philippines
alone. Glenn explains: "Our mission is to allow the church to be the church in
their community, to provide what we can for that church to be the minister,
the healer, the provider for the folks in their community. We're inviting people
to come into the church, learn about the Gospel, learn about the love of God,
and learn how we've been called as Christians to care for the poor and do
exactly this: to minister, to serve, and to disciple."
To continue this work, Compassion sincerely needs your help
replenishing their funds. Online contributions to their disaster relief fund
can be made here.
Glenn also asks that you be in prayer for communication to
be reestablished to their teams as well as the children and families involved
in their program. Pray that they would be able to track down the families in
need and provide them with the supplies necessary for survival.