Easing the Pain: Typhoon Haiyan Update

Philippines: ECHO team first on the ground in rural Leyte province

CAMA (Compassion and Mercy Associates, the relief and development arm of The Alliance) has been in contact with various sources in the Philippines. The following is an adapted excerpt from an update by Tim and Cleo, Alliance workers in that country:

There seems to be no more appropriate phrase to describe the Philippines—the gracious country in which we live—than “disaster alley.” In 1991 we witnessed the second-largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century when Mount Pinatubo produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash, gas, and mudflows.

The previous year, a major earthquake struck the northern part of the country. And just last week, another tremor rocked Bohol Island, near the location of a massive 7.1 quake on October 15 that leveled numerous structures and affected many people.

November 8 saw the strongest reported cyclone ever to make landfall slam the central part of the Philippines just north of Bohol—with higher winds and a swath area three times the size of Hurricane Katrina.

Residents of Tacloban, Leyte, and surrounding areas experienced rain and winds exceeding 200 miles per hour, along with a storm surge that drowned many and swept countless others out to sea. Stunned and injured survivors are doing what they can to bury the dead. Food and water have been so scarce that people are taking whatever they can find in abandoned stores out of sheer desperation.

The devastation is huge, and the number of those affected—in the millions—is staggering. Yet we are convinced it is Jesus’ directive to help ease the pain of even a few. We believe this effort will be best facilitated in communities with which we are familiar, with people we actually know. To that end, we are determined to work with leaders of the compassion agencies with which we partner to provide much-needed aid.

If God has laid it on your heart to help relieve the pain of even a small number of these precious people, helping them rebuild their lives, we encourage you to send your contribution to the CAMA Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

CAMA is sending Mark Jones, regional developer for the C&MA of Canada and a regional consultant for CAMA, and Phil Skellie, former president of CAMA, to assess the situation. They will meet with potential partners, such as the Undheims, to develop a response plan. CAMA has sent initial funds to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP) and will send more as plans unfold.

Photo Credit: Arlynn Aquino EU/ECHO, Leyte, Philippines, November 2013; Source: European Commission DG ECHO

On November 14, CAMA received a donation for Typhoon Haiyan relief from a Japanese person who experienced the 2011 tsunami in Japan. “We are touched by this person’s heart to ‘pay it forward’ and reach out to Filipino people who are now suffering in a similar way,” CAMA says.

Make a Donation

CAMA, the relief and development arm of The Alliance, is currently responding to this crisis with immediate aid. To help support these efforts, visit CAMA’s website and make a donation to CAMA’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

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