The Alliance Responds to Typhoon Haiyan

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

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.

More than 15 Alliance church buildings were leveled during the typhoon. Also, around 200 C&MA families lost their homes. Damage assessment is ongoing.

A Rich History

Robert JaffrayThe first Alliance missionaries arrived in the Philippines in 1902. Progress was slow; after 20 years, there were less than 500 baptized believers and three churches. Pioneer missionary Robert A. Jaffray was sent to the Philippines to determine if the field should be closed. When he arrived, Jaffray didn’t see struggling churches without growth—he saw what God could do. “I believe that the Philippine field can be the largest field of The Alliance,” Jaffray said.

Today, CAMACOP (the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines) is a vibrant, autonomous, missionary-sending church. It is one of the largest evangelical groups in the country with more than 2,700 churches and 446,415 inclusive members.

An Alliance Response

CAMA (Compassion and Mercy Associates, the relief and development arm of The Alliance) 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 to develop a response plan.

CAMA has sent an initial gift of $10,000 to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP) and will send more aid as plans unfold.

“Typhoon Haiyan has caused significant loss of life in the Philippines and widespread destruction of property,” said Mike Sohm, CAMA’s president. “National and international relief agencies are working now to provide food, water, and shelter and to restore order.  The CAMACOP has been working to determine how Alliance pastors and church members have been impacted. Please pray for Phil and Mark; they will depart on November 26.”

“Tragedies such as these become opportunities for the Body of Christ to stand together. Join me in supporting our brothers and sisters in need,” said U.S. C&MA President John Stumbo.

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

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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