Wycliffe Associates counts the cost of typhoon

By November 28, 2013

Philippines (MNN) — While it’s been nearly three weeks since Typhoon Haiyan struck with incredible force in the Philippines, ministries continue counting the cost of this super typhoon.

UNICEF Philippines photograph.

UNICEF Philippines photograph.

In case you missed it, this super-typhoon was the most powerful storms ever to hit land. It killed thousands, left thousands missing and homeless, and destroyed countless buildings. Many are saying up to 700,000 people have nowhere to live.

This same storm has had an impact on ministry, too. Wycliffe Associates President Bruce Smith says the ministry was affected. “It directly impacted one Bible translation team in the major city of Tacloban. They’ve lost their offices. They’ve lost their homes. They’ve lost all their equipment related to it, and they’ve even lost their personal savings. These team members have lost everything. The great thing that we praise God for is no loss of life.”

The good news is the team had back-ups, so the Bible translation project isn’t lost. Smith says, “We can’t make a huge difference as a Bible translation ministry in the immediate physical needs, but we can do everything possible to encourage the team, to make sure they have all the resources to get back on their feet and be able to resume Bible translation as quickly as possible.”

That means helping them rebuild their homes, replace offices and equipment, and provide communications so they can work with other Bible translators in the region.

In the meantime, this catastrophic event is giving Christians a unique opportunity to share Jesus because of the way this disaster is viewed. “In many parts of the world, that kind of supernatural devastation can only be interpreted and understood as an act of God,” says Smith. “So, what it does is it positions people to ask the questions about their relationships with God.”

That opens doors for the Gospel. Already, Smith says, the work this team has done is making an impact. The work they had already completed is helping answer those questions.

Smith says funding is needed to help rebuild. “In order to get homes and offices and those kinds of things back in place, we’re estimating probably an initial need of $50,000.”

While this is Thanksgiving in the United States, Smith is encouraging Christians to think of how fortunate they are and give out of gratitude for the blessings God has given. We can also demonstrate that we were blessed to be a blessing and these are people are certainly in need of our care, our concern, our prayers, and our stewardship at this point in time.”

If you’d like to support the Wycliffe Associates team in Tocloban, click here.


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